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2003年05月26日

Another biggie


Just had another big tremor - looks like it was a 6 (Japanese scale) in the Tohoku region, think it was about a 3-4 in Tokyo...went on for 45 seconds...my heart is still racing...

(Updates are transcribed directly from NHK news)

Update 6:45pm - Was a weak 6 on the Japanese scale of 0-7, no reports of damage, although there has been given an all-clear. Seems to be a house fire in Sendai, but that may not be connected although the news helicopters are having fun showing it.

Update 6:50pm - all train services in the Tohoku region have been suspended.

Update 6:54pm - much of Morioka city is blacked out.

Update 6:57pm - more aftershocks are expected.

Update 6:58pm - many highways have been closed in Tohoku.
- very difficult to get through to Tohoku by telephone.

Update 7:03pm - the sea level may rise slightly, but no tsunami's are expected
- this has been the largest quake in Japan since 2000

Update 7:07pm - Although the Sendai main terminal is fine, they are not sure when train services will resume.
- the nuclear 3 reactor stopped immediately at 6:24pm.

Update 7:10pm - Eyewitnesses report that the tremor was first horizontal - then vertical - then horizontal again.

Update 7:13pm - disaster control headquarters have been set up around the Tohoku area and are assessing the damage.

Update 7:15pm - no reports of injuries
- people have been warned to take care with fires and in Miyagi - landslides

Update 7:17pm - the epicenter of the earthquake was off Miyagi Prefecture, 60 kms deep

Update 7:22pm - Mr Nishide, head of the Earthquake monitoring department reports:
: at 6:24pm a large earthquake occurred in the Tohoku region
: intensity of 6 minus on the Japanese scale
: the earthquake depth was very deep - so there is no fear of tsunami
: they have received information only from 1,000 of the 3,000 or so areas where they measure the intensity of the earthquakes.
: they believe that there have been 30 aftershocks in the past 30 minutes, however for an earthqyake this size that's very few
: earthquake happened within the pacific plate
: the aftershocks seem to have come from the same area
: 20 kilometres south/southeast off the coast off Miyagi Prefecture
: the aftershocks now should only reach at most a one on the Japanese scale
: had a predicted intensity of 7

Update 7:34pm - in Sendai some of the gas and water pipes have burst
- one woman has been reported injured so far (not seriously injured)
- some power lines have fallen
- in Miyagi no major damage has been reported
- 11 large tremors were felt after the original earthquake in the region
- some concrete walls have collapsed

Update 7:55pm - all phone services (landline and mobile) are congested in the Tohoku region
- in Sendai all JR trains have still stopped, however subway trains are running and commuters are recommended to try and use those services

Wrap-up 8:45pm - Everything has quietened down now. Fortunately it seems that there has been little major damage and few injuries, no seriously injured or fatalities have been reported. JR train services have not yet resumed as they are checking the tracks and power lines. Narita Airport has checked their runways and everything seems to be in order. No major aftershocks have occurred. My heart has finally stopped racing.

Posted by mjd-s at 2003年05月26日 18:37

added flavour

Thanks for the update MJ. This quake really scared the hell out of me. I'm listening to suck-ass InterFM and they aren't saying a thing! Right when the quake hit I turned on the radio and a very panicked-sounding announcer came on saying, "Do not panic! If you are in an outdoor space, watch for falling objects. We are experiencing an earthquake. Do not panic!" Then he signed off. He sounded like he was about to vomit. Didn't help ease my nervousness much. I just sat on the couch sort of cowering over the kid who sat through it giggling. He especially would have liked my "duck and cover" routine that I was about to do. Hopefully he never has to see that.

Thanks for letting me vent. And thanks for the updates. Much appreciated!

Karen

PS They are currently playing Sister Christie on the radio so I can't hate them SO much now can I?

Added by: Karen Maneater at 2003年05月26日 19:06

Sadly (or happily, depending on my mood) we are a tv-free household....alas...no helpful NHK. But InterFM is continuing with its crap reporting. Hasn't mentioned a thing but it's currently playing "Wild Horses Couldn't Drag Me Away." I have to look at the bright side of things I guess, eh?

Added by: Karen Maneater at 2003年05月26日 19:16

So no radio has played "I feel the earth move" yet? Disappointing. I am expecting to go home to find all my glasses have jumped off the shelf. I was a big one, but my office doesn't wobble very much.

Added by: GG at 2003年05月26日 19:56

Wow! That was a biggie and I'm in an earthquake-proofed building! It felt like it went out for more than a minute! Your updates were very helpful, MJ, as there's just *NO* instant earthquake news in English for us in Japan.

Added by: lil at 2003年05月26日 20:11

I was the first one out of the office and out on the street. Later when my office colleague asked me: "Did you get your wallet?" I realized that i had run out with nothing (on reflex). Thinking about it now, I realize it also answers your question : I would have saved myself. :-)) (and mine as well, as i did ponder a while when you asked the quesiton: What would you save if your place was on fire? and imagine i could not come up with an answer..:-(( ) But through this incident, i have learnt that all the Japanese people in my office (7 of them), grabbed their phones and wallets and keys, before heading out of the doors. :-)) haha! Now i am a happier girl, as i know what i should be saving..:0)) Wallets and keitai is the answer. Hallelujia! PS- Wonder why they grabbed their keys? Hmmm!

Added by: KC at 2003年05月26日 20:53

Bummer, missed it completely, i was walking around outside. Put my foot down funny at one point, like the ground came up to meet me a bit, and so i looked around to see if anything was wobbling, but not much to check, no street lights or anything, thought nothing more of it! Got back to work and everyone is like "Are you ok?" What? What happened? And yeah, obviously i am.... (Lets play "Ask the Obvious!") Bum, cant help but feel a bit gypped.

Added by: j-ster at 2003年05月26日 21:12

I've never seen the trees shake and sway during an earthquake before. That was interesting;' And it went on for so long. Of course, I was at the computer talking to friends around the city the whole time...I probabvly wouldn't have even managed to save myself.

Added by: kuri at 2003年05月26日 22:11

Ok, I'm recovered a little bit but sure hope the earth holds still at least for today! But you must have noticed that we got mentioned in http://www.kottke.org/
So some interesting results from experiencing the quake : 0

Hey, I'll take you up on spiffing up TT...let me get you access. Thanks!!

Added by: mie at 2003年05月27日 10:01

Woa. Sounds like fun...can hardly wait for the next big one to hit here in San Diego! Glad to hear folks are mostly safe. Much Love...VO

Added by: Vince Outlaw at 2003年05月27日 14:58