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Sizable Quake in Wakayama

September 6th, 2004

Considering that Wakayama is about 400 km (250 miles) distant, and that I felt the tremor fairly strongly at that distance, I would not particularly want to be in Wakayama right now.

Preliminary reports put the quake at 5 on the Japanese scale. The Hi-net and Tenki quake web sites are still short on details. A tidal wave warning (up to 2 meters high) for the Pacific coast around Wakayama (near Osaka) is now being issued.

Update: Okay, the magnitude-5 reading was for land only, that was the strongest reading people had on the islands. The actual quake was out at sea, and was a 7.3 on the Richter scale, and happened right on the major continental plate boundary in the Pacific. Tidal waves up to 2 meters are due to hit in a few minutes and throughout the next hour.

Further update: Turns out there were two quakes, one at 6.8 and the other at 7.3. At least fourteen people have been reported injured, but damage and casualties are very low because the epicenter was in the ocean. So far, the tsunamis seem to be very mild. Nevertheless, more than 6,000 people in several seaside towns have been evacuated.

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  1. Ron in Nara
    September 6th, 2004 at 14:39 | #1

    Here in northern Nara-ken, we felt both quakes pretty strongly last night, definitely the strongest since we moved to Japan in late ’95. My wife & I weren’t here to experience the great Hanshin quake in January ’95, so don’t know how that compares at our location a bit east of it here. Kyodo News says last night’s quakes were the largest on the Kii Peninsula since 1944. At least 40 injured at last count too…

    How’s Mt. Fuji doing these days, anyway?

    In China, it’s said that great earthquakes portend great changes in society. Is there such a belief in Japan too.

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