There are more helicopters and many self-defense forces along the highway, which is closed off to non-military personnel. I managed to get a pass that allows us access to these roads, which shows little structural damage even along the coast. The reason why many of the highways are closed is because tsunami waters carrying the debris have poured into the road.
The central business district of Sendai is pretty calm with little structural damage, remarkable given the scale of the quake. Some of the bigger buildings are allowing people to charge their mobile phones for ten-minute intervals and people are doing so on the sidewalk. With most phone lines down, Internet access is unavailable, and sending out sms has been the only way to communicate with the rest of the world.
As I spoke to one man recharging, I am awed by his calm.
In fact, many people are showing such resilience. Things will be different, I am sure, further up north, where an entire village is missing and dead bodies by the hundreds were found on the shore. My cameraman Hide and I will head out there later this afternoon.
It is close to freezing, but the weather has been about the only blessing for survivors and rescue workers. Spring has arrived a little earlier here, with temp up at around 15 degrees Celsuis (about 59 degrees Fahrenheit) during the day and lots of sunshine.
There are no gasoline stands open in the city and I see lines of cars waiting for them to reopen with drivers sleeping in that line overnight.
It is Monday here and as businesses reopen for the first time here after the quake, there will be a clearer indication of the economic impact.
March 13, 7:22 pm Tokyo time:
I am now in Sendai city, where darkness has overtaken the city for the third night.