A tale of survival in Japan
RYAN Carter was asleep last Friday when tremors from the 9 magnitude earthquake hit Japan.
The former Proserpine State High School student has been living and working as a ski lift operator on a gondola at the Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort in Nozawa Onsen in the Nagano Prefecture on Japan's main island Honshu.
He said he was in bed when he felt his building start to shake and things were falling off the shelves.
After the earthquake came the tsunami which hit coastal areas in Japan's Fukushima Prefecture – about 370 kilometres north-east of Nozawa Onsen.
The 21 year old said he was lucky to survive given the mass devastation in the area.
“The main people who are panicking in Japan are the foreigners,” he said.
While people were especially worried about the nuclear plant, Ryan said there was confusion about how serious the situation was in Japan.
“The media have been using the term “melt down” too liberally,” he said.
“There are lots of fire engines around that are trying to help those in towns that are now isolated.”
Ryan is expecting to return to the Whitsundays next month which was his plan prior to the earthquake.
However, he encouraged people to still visit Japan in the future.
“It's like back home. People here rely on tourists to come and visit,” he said.
“I hope people don't rule Japan out as a holiday destination.”