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Earthquake


*Photo : Wikipedia (Japanese)

Great Hanshin Awaji Earthquake (Great Hanshin Earthquake) in January 17, 1995, at 05:46 JST.
Wikipedia (English)
Wikipedia (Japanese)


Japan is a land of earthquakes. Have you ever been through an earthquake?


Since the Japanese archipelago lies on the Circum-Pacific earthquake zone, Japan has many active volcanoes and experiences frequent earthquakes. The two most disastrous earthquake that people still remember are the Great Kanto Earthquake (M7.9) of 1923 and Great Hanshin Awaji Earthquake (M7.2) of 1995. Over 6,000 lives were lost in the Great Hanshin Awaji Earthquake.


It is not too much to say that there is earthquake or earth tremor in Japan every day.

Earthquake Information by Japan Meteorological Agency
Japanese version
English version
*Japanese version is faster to up than English version


In Japan, there is a peculiar numerical value (scale) that shows the shake of the earthquake besides the magnitude. It is called a seismic intensity. The numerical value uses 7 from 0. The Japanese learns the size of the shake by the numerical value of the seismic intensity.

Seismic Intensity 0 : Imperceptible to people.
Seismic Intensity 1 : Felt by only some people in the building.
Seismic Intensity 2 : Felt by most people in the building. Some people awake.
Seismic Intensity 3 : Felt by most people in the building. Some people are frightened.
Seismic Intensity 4 : Many people are frightened. Some people try to escape from danger. Most sleeping people awake.
Seismic Intensity 5 Lower : Most people try to escape from a danger. Some people find it difficult to move.
Seismic Intensity 5 Upper : Many people are considerably frightened and find it difficult to move.
Seismic Intensity 6 Lower : Difficult to keep standing.
Seismic Intensity 6 Upper : Impossible to keep standing and to move without crawling.
Seismic Intensity 7 : Thrown by the shaking and impossible to move at will.
*Sesimic Intensity is called Shindo in Japanese, and more important than magunitudes in Japan Earthquake Information.

By the way, I have an experience of earthquake of seismic intensity 6. The earthquake is 2004 Chuetsu earthquake in October 23, 2004, at 17:56 JST.

Wikipedia (English)
Wikipedia (Japanese)

At that time, I was on the 21st floor of the hotel, the shake of the building continued for 30 minutes. Of course, I thought that I died. But Japanese skyscraper stood up to seismic intensity 6. The building was unbroken.


Japanese seismologists have been doing research to foresee large scale earthquake, and the system to foresee an earthquake has started though it is not paerfect yet. The system to foresee an earthquake tells to people using all communication equipments (TV, mobile phone, radio, etc) in several seconds before of earthquake occurring. People evade danger using this a few seconds.
I will introduce some systems about an earthquake in Japan by a different article in this blog.


By the way, I tell you Japanese 10 articles to an earthquake.
1: First of all, defend my body.
2: Put out a fire of stove quickly.
3: Open a door for the escape.
4: Extinguish fire when a fire occurs.
5: Don't go outside, don't panic, stay in a house or building.
6: Don't approach a narrow road and a wall.
7: Be careful about landslip, landslide, and tsunami.
8: Take shelter on foot.
9: Help all each other.
10: Hear correct information.

A little child learns these 10 articles, too. This is the Japanese feature with a lot of earthquakes from ancient times.



Warning sign of tsunami in Onbetsu-cho Hokkaido (near Kushiro). There are a lot of earthquakes as for Kushiro. And, this region had big damage because of the tsunami by the earthquake.

Really, Japanese people lives with an earthquake from ancient time, and Japan has a lot of natural calamities, and people suffered damage many times. So, most region and many people has awareness of disaster prevention. And, the most important when a disaster is people's helping. Japanese's spirit of helping is affluent, a crime is also a little. A natural calamities made people's good minds in one of these reasons.

Thank you.

(Related my article)
Sympathies from the world
Crisis of nuclear power plant is leaving
Emperor's Message of the earthquake
No damage in Sapporo Vol.2
No damage in Sapporo Vol.1
After two days of the large earthquake
After one day of the large earthquake
Big Earthquake on March 11, 2:46PM

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