27 April 2006

Earthquake Update

I was whining recently that Tokyo hasn't experienced an earthquake for quite a while. I always get tense and nervous when there has been little seismic activity, as I envisage the plates under the sea building up with pressure and I can only relax when I know that a tremor has released some of the built-up tension. And yes, I'm still talking about earthquakes. Possibly.

It was with some relief that I heard there was a 5.7 earthquake just over 100kms from Tokyo last Friday morning at 2.50am. Apparently it woke a lot of people from their slumber and some even fell out of bed, but this earthquake roving reporter slept through the whole event. I grapple with insomnia most nights and am awake more than I care to be. I sometimes find life in Japan to be akin to walking on a path along a cliff face, and I spend the wee hours of the morning worrying about stuff. Sometimes the path is quite wide, and I'm not too close to the edge, so I can skip along quite happily, completely forgetting the presence of the ominous precipice. Other times, like now, the path is very narrow, and I gingerly edge my way along, trying not to look down and hoping I won't fall. Despite all this, for some bizarre reason I was asleep for the minute or so that I actually would have wanted to be awake. I hate missing out on earthquakes as I find them quite fascinating and totally bizarre to experience.

However, I guess we are quite lucky here. The east coast of Russia is inundated with them at the moment.


  1. I used to love earthquakes as a child growing up in Japan. As school kids it was quite the thrill seeing jars and stuff falling off the shelves and seeing people fall down manholes. The only thing more fun than an earthquake was when Godzilla attacked the large cities. But that seldom happened.

  2. GG, I always wake with the slightest temor and bolted upright in bed when the 5.7 hit and shook my little room in Shinjuku last week. I can't believe you missed it! You know, the first time I experience a quake in Japan roughly 10 years ago, I was so scared I vomitted all over the place with shock! Mind you, it was only a 4! Gee, Nooh Girl has come a long way!!! Sorry you missed it and I so know what you mean about worrying over pressure build-up! I always get nervous when we dont have any tremors for a while. When I checked out the earthquake list link on your blog the other day I was surprised to see that we get them in Australia too! Big surprise to me!

  3. Hi GG,

    I'm not sure if this will comfort you or freak you out, but if you check
    you'll see that in the past 2 weeks, there have been 12 earthquakes in the Honshu region of magnitude 4.0 or more.

    I think it's good that we have all these "little" quakes to, as you said, relieve the pressure, but I still don't like them.

    I happen to be extremely sensitive to earthquakes and usually feel them coming anywhere between 4 and 12 hours before they happen. I actually feel them in my body, and sometimes get sick to my stomach or feel exhausted "for nor apparent reason." This has only happened since coming to Japan!

    I've been trained in energy work and have developed an unusual sensitivity to energy fields, and I suppose the earth's energy, especially in Japan, is quite active, so I feel it. Sometimes it's a blessing, and other times it's a little disturbing.

    Take care!


  4. I was woken up by that quake too. One of the benefits of sleeping on a futon I guess...

    I love that IRIS quake monitor...though it freaks me out sometimes too!

  5. Hi Fat, it must have been amazing growing up in Japan. I'll keep an eye out for Godzilla for you - although there was something suspiciously like it when I looked in the bathroom mirror this morning. I'll keep you updated.

    Hey Nooh, I can't believe I missed the freakin' earthquake either. It's about the only excitement I get in my life. Good to hear you are becoming accustomed to them, after 10 years. I felt a couple of 'quakes in Melbourne a few years back. Yay.

    Hi AT, wow, thanks, that link is amazing and I am obsessively checking it about 20 times a day, as one can never have too much information. I really like the sound of your built-in earthquake radar, too. Cool! You could go and work at the Japan Meteorological Agency as a soothsayer and let us all know when the big one is about to hit. Hope you cope with it ok, it sounds like quite a gift.

    G'day VK, what's it like sleeping on a futon? Aren't they like, really hard? I'm very armchair and have a proper western bed. Ahem. I love that link too. I am completely preoccupied with earthquakes.

  6. Hee, it's actually really comfy. I've used a futon the whole time I've been here. We have a double futon...a hell of a lot cheaper than a double bed!