Saturday, June 14, 2008

A Quake-Filled Weekend...

Around 10 or 11 Friday morning, as I surfed the Net from the comfort of my bed, I felt a vibration. My bed seems made to rock, so I assumed at first it was caused by my body having shifted. But it continued for maybe 10 seconds, stopped, then began again. Or course, quakes are common here in Japan. That was just one of many I've experienced, and not even a spectacular example.

But the quake that struck northeastern Japan around 8:43am Saturday? The big one that brought down a highway bridge, sent mud and rocks cascading down hillsides and killed at least 6 people (including one man who ran outside his home for safety only to have a car run him down)? The one that caused 15 liters of radioactive wastewater to spill from a nuclear power plant holding pool?

That one I didn't even feel. A friend had to tell me about it later that day. My mom knew more about it than I did.

According to the Japan Times Online, there are hundreds of stranded tourists in several mountain resort areas around the area, and three foreigners and a Japanese camper unaccounted for in one camping area hit by mudslides. We can only hope they're okay and soon to emerge with nothing more than a more thrilling vacation story.

I need to put some serious thought into making an earthquake preparedness kit. Every household in Japan should have one. A change of clothes, bottled water, canned food, towels and more. Yeah, I need to get on that!


Nenena said...

OMG YES you need an earthquake kit. I keep mine by the front door of my house. Because I am a giant dork, I also keep a USB drive with backups of my writing and novels in the kit. Because if my house collapsed into rubble, the one thing I would be really upset about losing would be my writing. ^^;;

mike said...

Be prepared. Someone told me in case a big quake hits, he keeps a pair of thick leather gloves. I guess the kind someone in construction/demolition might use. He said to try to imagine the broken glass and rubble you may have to remove or dig yourself out of to get out of your home.

Joel Bryan said...

Nenena- The USB drive thing sounds like a great idea. If you get yourself out safely, the only other things that are really irreplaceable are the products of your mind.

Joel Bryan said...

Mike- Thanks! The gloves are worth investing in, especially since the prediction is the the Big One to hit sometime in the near future. Hopefully after I'm gone, hopefully not at all.

A few people I talked to last week think these smaller quakes might ease the pressure and make the larger one less likely, or put it off. Not being a seismologist myself, I'm not convinced.