Let’s Experience an Earthquake

Today was a rest day for me and a couple others. I got to figure out how to wash clothes, see Xara put on a skirt, try out the local katsu place next to the train station, and started putting CDs in their cases for Komeiji Records at Comiket.

…okay, something in there isn’t quite normal, but it’s Japan, everyday should bring something new and interesting.

Later in the evening, I wasn’t feeling well and decided to try to sleep early. I had trouble getting to sleep, and eventually Claire came back from whatever they were doing during the day around 1am.

Pork Katsu at a local restaurant

Then at 2:02am, Claire and I both heard the familiar alarm tone of the Earthquake Warning System on television. A magnitude 5.5 earthquake (10km depth) with a max intensity rating of 4 occurred in northern Ibaraki prefecture. Claire thought they had left their app alarm un-silenced on their phone (they like monitoring earthquake activity even when we’re back home), but instead this was the real deal. About 15 seconds later, our apartment turned into a lightly swaying subway car. I promptly moved the stacks of CD cases I had just finished loading from the dresser to the floor just to be safe… having never been in an earthquake before, I wasn’t sure what to expect.

Japan is one of the most earthquake-prone countries on the planet, and they also have the most advanced early warning system in the world. We knew about this well ahead of time, but it was interesting to have actively used the system ourselves to prevent potential damage to our stuff.

Another earthquake hit a couple hours before I began writing in southern Ibaraki prefecture, but that one was a lighter 4.6 earthquake (50km depth) which we noticed, but no warning was issued ahead of time due to the low intensity.

Everyday brings something new and interesting.

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