It's completely illogical, but experiencing an 8.9 earthquake (actually it felt like a 6 or so where I am) and 100+ aftershocks actually calmed me down quite a bit. I had such a bad morning of crappy neighbors and crying to my husband on Skype about how I can't stand living here anymore, and then BAM! I have to stay calm for my kids, which surprisingly enough, wasn't difficult at all. I pulled my evacuation kit out of the laundry room and put it next to the door, just in case, and sat on Facebook for the rest of the afternoon/evening. It was such a comfort to be able to be in constant contact with both my friends here in Japan and my friends back in Hawaii. Once I knew that everyone here was safe, I turned my attention to Hawaii, and freaked out about them for a while. (Tsunamis were my biggest source of anxiety when I lived there!) Now that I know that everyone there is safe, I'm marveling at just how huge this all was.
This is a video of the indoor pool on base, where we have swimming lessons, I hope you all can see it: https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10150092747686056&comments
Here's some news about the US Navy in Japan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJfEXUrvrsc
Here's a constantly updated list of all of the quakes in the region; there have been more than 100 aftershocks since the first major quake, and they'll probably be going on for quite a while: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/Maps/region/Asia_eqs.php
As for what it felt like: you know how it feels when you're on a subway train that's swaying a lot, and it gives a sudden jerk that almost knocks you down? It was exactly like that, for like 2 or 3 minutes straight. I was under the table with the boys but I'm sure that if I'd been trying to stand, I would have fallen down. The towers are built to sway so they don't crack, so really, it felt exactly like being on a very unsteady train. I have friends who had lots of glasses and dishes break, but the only damage we had was to a Mega Blocks model of Iron Man, and the gumpaste Iron Man I made for Brandon's last birthday cake. It was a bad day for Tony Stark.