Sunday, October 16, 2005

Earthquake and Fire

Lyani and I just experienced the second earthquake we have been able to feel since coming to Japan at the beginning of September. The first one was just a mild tremor, not really worth writing home about (and so I didn't write home about it), but this one was a bit more intense. It lasted about 30 seconds, but it really moved stuff, man! Including me, since I was seated at the time in my rollie desk chair. The quake did not knock anything off the shelves, but we were certainly a bit nervous for the duration of the shaking. Ah, such is life (in Japan, anyway).

But lest anyone worry, know this: buildings in Japan have to meet stringent engineering requirements. I believe that said requirements ensure that buildings can withstand being right above the epicentre of a quake of 7.5 on the Richter scale. Matthew, can you verify this?

Update: the quake is being reported in Japanese news (Japanese language only, sorry about that) (RealMedia newscast here, Windows Media newscast here) and the English-language news sources in Asia are starting to pick it up now. The reports say that the quake measured 5.1 on the Richter Scale at the epicentre, which was just north of Tokyo. According to our landlady, it felt like a 3-ish quake here in Yokohama. There are no reports of injuries or damage.

Update the Second: It must have been a good day for quakes.

Update the Third: Wow! I really should not have named this post "Earthquake and Fire" (the title of a song by Hepcat, for those of you who are keeping score at home), because we just had a fire in our neighbourhood last night! It broke out in an apartment on the fourth floor of a building across the street at about 01:30 AM. Fire trucks responded quickly, putting out the fire but also making an awful din. That will teach me to tempt fate, I suppose!

On a completely unrelated note, you asked for pictures of Yatsu, our pet bear, and now you got 'em!

3 comments:

Matthew said...

Hi. Can't remember the Richter level that Japanese buildings must be able to endure. Japan has its own scale for measuring earthquakes (just to make things more confusing). Anyway, there are different requirements for different types of buildings (schools, etc. would be stronger). Let us hope that your place is one of the strong ones....

Carl F. King said...

Josh,
Nice creative blog, keep up the good work.
See you soon!
Carl King

Sean said...

Yatsu!
Yatsu!
Yatsu!

This little bear is the coolest. I can't wait for the next installment of his (mis)adventures. Hilarity ensues every time Yatsu is left alone!

(Excellent work, Josh and Delyana -- you've raised a very intriguing bear!)