a The Transit Lounge: A Question of Stability

Back in the Day: I had a quarter life crisis, headed to Osaka, Japan for the unknown–only to discover that a passport plane ride are not necessarily a ticket to escape. Some Years Later: Settled back in Oz, the man of my dreams ended up in Tokyo for work–which is how a passport and plane ride showed me home is where the heart is. And Now: Well as luck would have it, we are about to embark on Japan Mark 3, with a baby in tow and another on the way...

Monday, May 15

A Question of Stability

Last night we had an earthquake. This one was very short, unlike the last one I experienced here, maybe just 5 seconds. It began with a bang of movement, which just rumbled off into nothing very quickly just before 2 am.
When it comes to the ground shaking by the way of earthquakes or jishin as it is called in Japanese, I don't handle it all that well. Last night I was out of my bed within seconds, and at the TV tuning into NHK for confirmation that what I had just felt was indeed a little bit of quaking earth. I got Brett and Naoko up too, convinced this one was a prelude to a bigger one in a few hours. The Japanese don't use the Ricter Scale, instead employing the shindo scale. (Shindo refers to the intensity of an earthquake at a given location, i.e. what people actually feel at a given location, while the Richter scale measures the magnitude of an earthquake, i.e. the energy an earthquake releases at the epicenter.) This one was 4 on the Shindo scale at the epicentre, making it a 3 in Osaka. Earthquakes Hazard tells me it was 4.5 on the Ricter Scale (that website is awesome).
Last night, the earthquake's epicentre was south of Osaka, off the coast of Wakayama (just like the previous one too). The good thing about Japan is as soon as an earthquake has occurred, if you can turn onto NHK, the details of it will be up literally within seconds, along with tsunami warnings in a variety of languages.
I was made all the more nervous as I had dreamed last week of earthquakes and on Friday night had read a feature article on the subject in National Geographic, which if course talked in detail about Japan's relationship with earthquakes. Earthquakes remind me that nothing is stable in this life, least of all the earth, and we can't control that and probably never will.
I finally relaxed enough to fall asleep, albeit in event of another, bigger earthquake occurring in the night, I slept with my head at the opposite end of the bed to avoid the aircon from falling off the wall and knocking me out.


Blogger Gitte said...

Full on.
Yes indeed lil' sis. Nothing in this life is stable.

12:41 pm

Anonymous cambosis said...

I still say it was troiboi passing wind! Nonetheless... the simple answer is to take note of what the japanese are doing. If they are acting cooly - go with it. On the other hand if they start to scream and run, then you have a problem. I recommend a quick one/two to anyone in your way. stomp them, elbow them, kick them all... its you or them!


7:26 am

Blogger Miss Riz said...

im more likely to rattle the rafters than troy is but i will keep your jishin advice in mind.

11:28 am

Blogger Gitte said...

Or drink more.

12:20 pm

Anonymous mrm said...

Remember Yuji? Why don't you just get out of there!

10:13 am

Anonymous Big Brother said...

Maybe nothing is stable, but there are places you can be, and activites you can take part in, that are more stable than others. You choose the level of risk you are happy to accept based on your perceived gain.
Historically, September 1st has been a bad day for earthquakes in that part of the world.

11:53 am


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