Sunday, September 05, 2004

Two Large Earthquakes in One Night

From the CNN Website:

TOKYO, Japan (AP) -- Two strong earthquakes, one magnitude 6.8 and the second magnitude 7.3, rattled western Japan within hours of each other Sunday night, injuring four people and shaking buildings in Tokyo.
Damage and injuries appeared to be limited because both quakes were far off Japan's coast, and the region shaken most strongly by them was a sparsely populated rural area, Wakayama, 280 miles west of Tokyo.
Still, tall buildings in Tokyo and Osaka shook.

The first quake, with a 6.8 magnitude, struck shortly after 7 p.m., centered 70 miles off the coast of the Kii peninsula and six miles beneath the ocean floor.
At least four people were injured from the first quake, but there were no immediate reports of damage.
A high-speed train service was suspended for about 10 minutes, Kyodo reported. Local commuter lines serving western Japan were also temporarily halted, the news agency said.

The second quake had a magnitude 7.3, and struck just before midnight. It was centered about 80 miles off the coast of Kochi prefecture (state), six miles below the seabed, the Meteorological Agency said.
The agency issued warnings for tsunami, or waves triggered by seismic activity, for large stretches along Japan's Pacific coast. The highest were expected to reach 1 meter (3 feet).
Japan, which rests atop several tectonic plates, is among the world's most earthquake-prone countries.
A magnitude 6 quake can inflict widespread damage in a populated area.

I didn't feel the first one but I sure felt the second!! I was trying to get to sleep and my bed started shaking as if a big truck were driving by right next to the wall. Then it got stronger! It lasted for a while too. Strange thing was I didn't go anything! All those years of earthquake drills in school and all I did was lay there, not scared, actually thinking it felt pretty cool. Isn't that stupid? I did consider for a minute what I would grab if I had to escape quickly. First thought: clothes (it's too hot to sleep with anything on), then my computer, passport and digital camera. Pretty sad to think that everything else in my apartment is expendable. I didn't even think of my fish, now I feel guilty. 7.3, that's pretty impressive. (In 1995, a magnitude-7.2 quake in the western port city of Kobe killed 6,400 people.)

The big one is on it's way, I hope I'm not in this country when it hits!!

No comments: