Fears of Earthquakes

Posted: November 11, 2010 in Daily Life

One of the things i hate the most about Japan….the quakes. Actually i *would* really like them, if they never got over a 5.5 or so lol. And usually they don:t…..but if they do……yeah. that:s the fear. That:s what makes me hate them.
It has been a long time since we had a quake around here….. When i lived in Tokyo, there were 2 a week! now there hasn:t been one in months….not even tiny ones….and it makes me think the pressure is building up. haha. VS assures me that there are times when the quakes are dormant like this.
Vtec has said that lately, there has been a massive quake in N japan, and in S japan, but the middle (here) has not since that 1920s quake. It:s almost like…it:s time. *fear*
In the last major quake in this region, tons of folks died. It happened during a time when everyone was cooking lunch with gas, so it caused a lot of fires that swept the city. between 100 and 200 thousand people died.
Should that happen today (and it is due) i have to wonder how many people would die. The tall buildings have to follow a much tighter earthquake code than the smaller ones, and they usually don:t collapse. However, i can:t say the same thing about the smaller 1980s 2 story apartments…..and the long cracks in the walls and foundation and steps outside that i see make me wonder as well……those kinds of places are sorta risky-looking. But it:s the older homes, the tiny little eyesores, that are sure to collapse. The traditional japanese roof tiles are very heavy. They actually cause a home to be alot more dangerous than the modern western style shingles……
and are alot more likely to fall in.

and are alot more likely to fall in.
Being up on a hill offers some protection. The hill is composed of more packed, hard soil, and will absorb the vibrations better.
Also you can earthquake proof your house. one thing you learn not to do is put heavy, easy to spill, or fragile stuff up where it can fall easily. in other words, there are no shelves of glass knickknacks in our home lol. So you end up organizing everythign differently than you normally would if you lived in a non-earthquake region. You have to think about stuff coming down on your head. Invest in some earthquake poles for the larger items. They cost around 30 to 60 dollars for usual ones.
everyone uses them. If that closet of clothes came down on you at night…then you would be screwed. it weighs ALOT.
If there is a big earthquake, there are designated rescue areas that we are supposed to go. There is even a phone message service now, where you can leave messages for your loved ones when most phone connections don:t work. i have no idea how that works, but it is a 3 digit number to dial.
The gas lines are set up to cut off automatically should there be any large jolts. The trains are the same. They will stop under jolting.
It is said that you should stay near inside walls or under tables and such, and to avoid going outside. i suppose there is some good reasoning in this advice. during the last big Northern japan earthquake that happened a few months ago, one of the few deaths occured when a man became scared and ran outside his home, only to be hit by a car and die. now that is bad luck.
So, how much safer it is now compared to the 1920s is still a worrisome thing to ponder for me.
well….at least tornadoes never happen here.

  1. これを英語で書くほうがいいだろう。

    My uncle told me years ago that buildings in Japan are being built now with huge containers of water that aren’t totally full- so what happens it that when the quake happens, the water absorbs the vibrations and the building shakes with it…or something like that. He’s an engineer and understood those sorts of things.

  2. Project Van says:

    wow really??? i must research this tomorrow!!! that sounds awesome!!!!

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