A Heartwarming Story: Apple’s Role In The 2011 Tohoku Earthquake

A manager at an Apple Store in Japan recently sent an email to Digg.com founder, Kevin Rose. The heartwarming email told the story of how Apple had helped the Japanese in this disaster. Below are a few excerpts from that original email.

The original email can be read in its entirety, here – and remember, you can also donate to the American Red Cross to help the relief effort in Japan, via iTunes.

Dear Alex L, David, & Kevin,

Hi this is XXXXX in Japan.  As you all must have heard, the 5th largest earthquake in recorded history hit us on Friday, 2:30pm Japan Time.  As Alex often says on TWiM, stories on the ground are often quite different from the stories in the news, and there is a tech story that I’d really like to tell: the story of Apple Inc in Japan.

7 hours and 118 aftershocks later, the store was still open.  Why? Because with the phone and train lines down, taxis stopped, and millions of people stuck in the Tokyo shopping district scared, with no access to television, hundreds of people were swarming into Apple stores to watch the news on USTREAM and contact their families via Twitter, Facebook, and email.  The young did it on their mobile devices, while the old clustered around the macs. There were even some Android users there.

You know how in disaster movies, people on the street gather around electronic shops that have TVs in the display windows so they can stay informed with what is going on?  In this digital age, that’s what the Tokyo Apple stores became.  Staff brought out surge protectors and extension cords with 10s of iOS device adapters so people could charge their phones & pads and contact their loved ones.  Even after we finally had to close 10pm, crowds of people huddled in front of our stores to use the wifi into the night, as it was still the only way to get access to the outside world.



Great Tohoku Earthquake Survivor 2011