Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Of Earthquakes in Japan

Early this morning an earthquake with a 7.3 magnitude hit close to Fukushima, and although Yamanashi is about 300km away, we too felt fairly strong tremors in our home. 

As a traveller, I never once felt tremors, not when I was in Tokyo, Osaka, not even Fukuoka. When I started living here, I became more aware of the earthquakes in Japan. No one can tell when it happens, and in Yamanashi weeks can go by without a single tremor but then you also get days where tremors occur on a daily basis.

My previous experiences were fairly short and small, lasting only about 5 to a maximum 10 seconds. Though short, even in slumber, the slightest quake wakes me and I always wait it out before dozing back to sleep. Y usually just sleeps through it, I imagine he must be used to it. However this morning's quake was strong enough to wake us both from the start. We lay in bed for a few seconds waiting to see if it would slow down or become weaker but it didn't. Y rushed me into the "safe room" the smallest space in our home which was the toilet to wait it out.

I felt so relieved as the tremors became smaller and soon stopped. We went back to bed but spent the rest of the morning watching earthquake videos in YouTube before Y had to get ready for work. Y let me listen to the "Earthquake Emergency Announcement" so I would know how it sounds like. Our street has a speaker which announces certain times of the day and is also used for emergency alerts, apparently they are all over Japan (I never noticed).

Y also told me the Tohoku earthquake in 2011 was the scariest he had experienced. I hope never to experience such a disaster but Y has told me to just be prepared, although Yamanashi hasn't had any major quakes, no one knows where the next one would hit. In contrast to my home country, Japan is relatively safe (in relation to theft and crime) but at high risk for earthquakes, tsunamis and typhoons. Wherelse in KL, snatch thieves are rampant and heartless but Malaysians are safe from such natural disasters. Hmm.. 

Might be a little over-cautious, but I'm going to pack an emergency bag and leave it near the door of our home.

Going to be Googling more about earthquakes today.

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