Archive for the ‘Focus on Japan 2015’ Category

Big Shaker Today

May 25th, 2015 1 comment

A 5.5 earthquake hit northern Saitama today at 2:28 p.m., just 40 km (25 miles) north of Tokyo. The quake was a “Shindo 4” in Shinjuku Ward, where I work.

A 4 on the Shindo scale is defined as:

Many people are frightened. Some people try to escape from danger. Most sleeping people awake.

Hanging objects swing considerably and dishes in a cupboard rattle. Unstable ornaments fall occasionally. Very loud noises.

Of course, where I work, it feels worse than that. My college’s building has 7 floors, and the faculty office—where I was today as well as during the 2001 earthquake—is on the 6th floor. For some reason, the force of earthquakes are magnified considerably in that building, especially on the higher floors.

To me, it felt like a slight shaking at first, but then heavy, forceful shaking. All the phones starting blaring out earthquake warnings, though the warning arrived seconds after the quake did. The big rolling continued for at least a half minute after that, taking another half minute or so to settle down. Everyone was running about afterwards, checking for damage and trying to figure out if an evacuation was called for. (It wasn’t.)

Two hours later, when I went to catch a train home, the lines were still recovering, with significant delays just about everywhere. When I got home, Sachi reported that it was pretty heavy here as well, but the only effect was that a few cupboard drawers were rolled open, nothing else.

Definitely quite a shake and rattle there.

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May 4th, 2015 Comments off

The Washington Post reported that there was a 4.0 quake in the San Francisco Bay Area yesterday. Wow. I am surprised that made the national news.

Here in Japan, we had three quakes bigger than that. Yesterday. All in the Kanto region, where Tokyo is: a 4.4, 4.5, and 4.8. And there was a fourth, a 5.8 in the ocean south of Tokyo, but we didn’t feel that one. I sure felt the others, though.

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