Eric Paulson, president of Lektro, was in Nagoya, Japan, southwest of Tokyo, when the earthquake hit. He had arrived on Wednesday evening from Hong Kong and on Thursday morning, felt a small tremor, which he attributed to an aftershock from an earthquake he heard Japan had on Wednesday.
"Today while at meetings with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, who just took delivery on a new Lektro tug, the earthquake hit," Paulson said in an e-mail this morning.
The Mitsubishi personnel showed serious alarm as it was happening, which was a bit concerning, he said. It lasted for at least 30 seconds with an aftershock approximately 30 minutes later, Paulson said.
"For most of the remainder of our meeting, it felt like the ground was still shaking. I assume it was just an internal motion that kept triggering. Being from Astoria, I haven't felt many earthquakes," he said.
"There was no damage here in Nagoya, although rail traffic has halted, which has put the entire country of Japan at a standstill. I was scheduled to travel by bullet train in the morning to Tokyo's Narita Airport for my flight home, but due to Narita limiting flights and train service still disrupted, I spent the evening on the phone with Delta finding another way home," he continued.
"The trains are still running from Nagoya to the west, so I found a flight between Osaka to Seattle Saturday evening, so I am scheduled to fly out on that."
When Paulson flew thru Narita in November, they also had an earthquake shortly after he arrived. He was also in China when the big one hit there, although he was in southeast China and didn't feel it.
"For a guy who grew up in a non-earthquake area, I sure seem to find them when traveling lately!"
Other than the tsunami and earthquake, the trip has gone extremely well, he said.
"Lektro tugs are selling all over the world right now," Paulsen added.
"In 2010, exports amounted to 60 percent of total sales at Lektro. Needless to say, I will continue to travel internationally despite these earthquakes as that is where the action is at, literally!"