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weepinbell
April 12th, 2015, 12:52
I'm really only asking about this because I have a documentary on earthquakes in Japan on in the background so I'm curious haha. I'm so scared, I've never been in one! Are small ones pretty frequent, do you get used to them? Did you feel like you were gonna poop your pants the first time? I probably will....

Ananasboat
April 12th, 2015, 13:04
When I studied abroad there was a very noticeable earthquake. But it happened at like 4 in the morning, and the only reason I noticed it was because my phone decided to scream me awake. Honestly would have slept right through it.

This time around I haven't noticed any either. I'm sure there have been a couple, and sometimes I'll feel something and not be able to decide if it was the world, or me being dizzy. So, hasn't really been a problem for me. I'm down in Kyushu, by the way.

Ananasboat
April 12th, 2015, 13:06
Because I was curious I went and found this website. Should help to alleviate some of your worries.

http://earthquaketrack.com/r/western-honshu-japan/recent

sourdoughsushi
April 12th, 2015, 13:47
I had a pretty large one a few months back. You could say I felt shaken.

Japan is going to have a lot of earth quakes, and that is out of your control. There are many small ones, but your actions and location dictate whether you'll feel them or not. Most of the time you won't.

Once you're used to them, they can be fun until every once per 5-10 years you get a ride that lasts a little longer than you'd like. Just make sure to acquaint yourself with earthquake and tsunami procedures in your location.

johnny
April 12th, 2015, 14:20
In my 20 months in Japan, I have felt one small earthquake. It happened at about 2:30 am. All it did was wake me up. I waited for about 20 seconds and it stopped.

The Jets I know up north seem to feel them more often though.

BifCarbet
April 12th, 2015, 14:48
I have significant experience with earthquakes in Japan. Feel free to PM me if you're actually really worried. I will share some insight with anyone for whom earthquakes are a concern.

nostos
April 12th, 2015, 16:43
I have a combined near 15 months in Japan, and I have never felt an earthquake (Kansai/Chugoku regions).
I wonder if other prefectures do this? But my prefecture actually had a whole seminar on disaster/earthquake preparedness during our orientation.

haitch40
April 12th, 2015, 19:37
Although not in Japan I have experienced a rather bad earthquake that made some old houses at the bottom of the hill fall down. It happened in the night and I just went back to sleep.

If nothing is collapsing around you they are not that scary I don't think. Obviously if stuff starts to fall then you will be scared.

Cbill1
April 12th, 2015, 19:55
Relevant (http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/04/11/national/science-health/mass-beaching-fuels-unscientific-japan-quake-fears/#at_pco=cfd-1.0&at_ab=-&at_pos=0&at_tot=8&at_si=552a4f1c38d48225)

sourdoughsushi
April 12th, 2015, 20:15
Relevant (http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/04/11/national/science-health/mass-beaching-fuels-unscientific-japan-quake-fears/#at_pco=cfd-1.0&at_ab=-&at_pos=0&at_tot=8&at_si=552a4f1c38d48225)

Holy shi--, it's the happening. We've got to Friday until we're in the clear, then I will down a celebratory beer or two after work while balled up in the shower, which doesn't ever happen on a Friday after work.

word
April 12th, 2015, 21:29
Being from Texas, I'd never felt an earthquake in my life. The first one I felt made me excited, rather than scared--it was around five in the morning, shook my hanging lights, and I made it outside to see the telephone poles swaying gently, too.

I was also surprised at how weak it was. I didn't think that anyone in my town had woken up, but it turns out that almost everyone had. It wasn't huge; I think a 5-something. Enough to get everyone's attention... but I remember thinking that it wasn't any stronger than the wind from a Texas thunderstorm shaking the house.

I was here for the big one, too. I remember that the kids were all a lot more scared than I would have expected them to be. It lasted a lot longer than any of us expected, and I don't think any of us were prepared for the horrifying footage we'd see on TV later.

The vast majority of the quakes I've felt did little more than excite me. I've never had anything damaged severely in a quake. I've never known anyone who was hurt in a quake.

I'm also very glad that I live in the ultra-inaka every time there's a quake. I can't imagine a safer place to be if "the big one" hits. It's one of the reasons I'm so creeped out by large cities.

Ananasboat
April 12th, 2015, 21:33
I was in the north east when I first felt an earthquake. Honestly I thought I was going nuts when I saw I house sway- again thought I was being dizzy- then my dad was like "ANANASBOAT, IS THAT AN EARTHQUAKE?" And I was like, "...wait."

Then he went on twitter and told me it was. That was even before my earthquake in Japan. I thought it was cool before I had time to freak out.

Apollo87
April 12th, 2015, 21:46
Word.

The first one you experience may be a bit of a thrill if you've never sat through an earthquake before.

I was here for the big one though. That was a scary several minutes. Once stuff started coming off the shelf, I nope'ed the eff out and dashed out of my apartment (even though its said to be safer to stay indoors, I wasn't thinking of that in the moment). There was a weird moment when it went from being "oh another one" to a brief flash of terror. The feeling was kind of like when you are riding on a plane and go through a bout of really intense turbulance - a sensation of things being beyond your sphere of control and all you can do is hope that it's going to be okay. Once I was outside, I remember looking at my apartment building swaying like a giant mass of jello and marvelling that it didn't come down. It was surreal. But now I trust the building a lot more. The next couple months as the aftershocks hit were pretty scary too, everyone was on edge for awhile wondering if there was going to be an even bigger one.

It's been awhile now since we've had a really memorable quake. It also feels like we've gone back to being a big complacent (I know I have). I should really go pack an emergency bag again, just in case.

haitch40
April 12th, 2015, 21:50
How often do earthquakes happen in Japan?

Ananasboat
April 12th, 2015, 21:54
I should really go pack an emergency bag again, just in case.

100%. My pred packed an emergency bag. Though I haven't had use of it yet I've not touched it. Bottle of water and instant curry packs an a few other necessities. You town or you supervisor may give you a list. If you don't have an emergency pack in your apartment, the best thing to do is prepare one.

Edit: Sometimes JP post will advertise a list of things. Just look at the list and go to the nearest komeri to find the right stuff. It's usually cheaper if you do the shopping yourself.

word
April 12th, 2015, 22:13
How often do earthquakes happen in Japan?Every day.

Quakes that you can feel? Maybe every couple of months. Varies wildly.

Quakes big enough to rattle you? Maybe once every couple of years.


100%. My pred packed an emergency bag. Though I haven't had use of it yet I've not touched it. Bottle of water and instant curry packs an a few other necessities. You town or you supervisor may give you a list. If you don't have an emergency pack in your apartment, the best thing to do is prepare one.

Edit: Sometimes JP post will advertise a list of things. Just look at the list and go to the nearest komeri to find the right stuff. It's usually cheaper if you do the shopping yourself.word

MG and I still have an emergency kit, plus a larger kit for longer-term incidents. I actually used to be a lot more prepared--not quite "preppers" level, but in my old placement, MG and I could've gone a good month, easily, without outside support. I guess Apollo's right; I've gotten complacent lately. Probably be a good idea to break myself out of that habit.

johnny
April 12th, 2015, 23:53
That reminds me. I need to get more water, just in case.

I also keep 15,000 yen in case of an earthquake.

haitch40
April 13th, 2015, 00:33
Every day.

Quakes that you can feel? Maybe every couple of months. Varies wildly.

Quakes big enough to rattle you? Maybe once every couple of years.


Why did people all those thousands of years ago decide this was a good spot to live?

word
April 13th, 2015, 00:44
Weirdly, it's easy to understand. MG and I have discussed this on occasion; if we had a time machine and were gonna go to some place and time in the past, ancient Japan wouldn't be a bad choice--most folks bathe regularly, the climate is reasonable, food isn't all that scarce, culture is isolated enough to offer a relative sort of peace.

Earthquakes really aren't that bad. Seriously--a Texas thunderstorm can do significantly more damage to a house than a mild or even reasonably strong quake. My mother would sh*t her pants if she were to feel a quake, but once you're accustomed to 'em, they're really rather laughably weak. Most of the dangers are the after-effects--tsunami and nuclear meltdowns and the like. The quake itself is generally pretty harmless, so long as the buildings are designed to take it.

weepinbell
April 13th, 2015, 07:34
This makes me feel a lot better, but I still think I'll shit my pants when I feel one for the first time haha. I guess midwest is a pretty rough place to live when tornado sirens go off like every other day during the spring/summer (I'm literally only like 30mi out of tornado alley range, so I guess I'm lucky...). Still storms are pretty bad here and do some damage reasonably often, so thinking about it with that in mind, I'll be ok.

I think it's more the POTENTIAL for it to be so devastating that's so freaky to me. Yeah tornadoes and storms can be bad and really really destructive, bad a 9.0 quake is just on a whole other level, rare as they are.

And that dolphin thing in Ibaraki is super eerie... let's hope there's no connection to the 2011 quake. Be safe, Tokyo-area people...

Jwang
April 13th, 2015, 08:25
Earthquakes occur daily all over the world. Most the time you can just sit them out or ignore them. If items start getting knocked off shelves and the light fittings are swaying around you should get underneath a sturdy table. If furniture starts moving or you are worried the building isn't up to code and its safe to move then get outside and away from any power lines. I've been in quakes at home, Taiwan and Japan. As long as you keep your cool you'll be fine.

BifCarbet
April 13th, 2015, 09:02
Also, if you experience one that is big enough to put you in danger, you'll get all kinds of sirens, alerts, and announcements. If there's a tsunami coming, you'll know, and probably have plenty of time to get to safety, provided you don't ignore the warnings.

webstaa
April 13th, 2015, 09:13
This makes me feel a lot better, but I still think I'll shit my pants when I feel one for the first time haha. I guess midwest is a pretty rough place to live when tornado sirens go off like every other day during the spring/summer (I'm literally only like 30mi out of tornado alley range, so I guess I'm lucky...). Still storms are pretty bad here and do some damage reasonably often, so thinking about it with that in mind, I'll be ok.

I think it's more the POTENTIAL for it to be so devastating that's so freaky to me. Yeah tornadoes and storms can be bad and really really destructive, bad a 9.0 quake is just on a whole other level, rare as they are.

My apartment survived a 9.0 quake, as did everyone living in my town. There were 23 serious injuries in my town, mostly from people having stuff fall on them. No major structural collapses, although a good number of buildings were made uninhabitable/dangerous and knocked down eventually. Typhoons scare me more than earthquakes. My neighborhood association made flyers, flags, and bags for emergencies. The flag is for hanging on the door, and says a number of things, but it's a 'everybody here is safe/accounted for and evacuated.' The flyer is a reminder to turn off the gas, fill a bathtub, leave doors open, don't run outside, stay away from exterior retaining walls etc. And the bag contains a list of things that should be put in and replaced (and how often) to maintain several days worth of basic supplies in case a major quake knocks out gas/water/power for a week or two like 3/11. You can find versions of that online.

Mostly you'll get earthquakes you can hear (the rumble) or a tiny lurch. Iwate/Fukushima/Miyagi gets a couple Shindo 1 quakes a week. If that. There isn't really any place in Japan that doesn't experience quakes, but it's all on a matter of time. I've experience a couple Shindo 5 strong quakes. But once you get used to 'this is an earthquake, I need to do X' they aren't as scary.

Aqua
April 13th, 2015, 09:27
Small world. My first earthquake was in central Oklahoma, of all places. I never saw a tornado (thankfully), but yeah sure earthquake why not, haha.

I was still surprised when one finally happened in Japan - thought I was having vertigo. I've had two experiences with earthquakes since getting here in July (that I was awake for anyway), both in the office. They equated to casual indifference and the other that actually got an announcement and the tv turned on for about 10 minutes. For me, it was reassuring when there wasn't a big deal made of it. I know they'll flip into high gear if it's something serious. My prefecture orientation also had a great talk on earthquake safety, so I feel okay at home. Just prep that emergency bag and try not to worry until you're sure that the Earth hates you!

greyjoy
April 13th, 2015, 09:27
I've got nothing worse than a three, and I'm pretty sure that was over reported. Maybe 3 seconds of shaking. This was preceded by everybody's phones screaming at slightly different intervals, and me frantically trying to make mine stop making noise, which is probably not a great instinct. Everyone at worked stopped what they were doing and rushed to turn on the news. At the time that seemed unnecessary given how weak it was, but my mind was still working through what was going on.

I've had a few other barely perceptible shifts happen.

I have basically nothing in the way of preparation, aside from a 2 liter if water and an emergency ¥10000 stashed away. I should do something about that, but I have a fairly cavalier attitude toward natural disasters from living in a part of Florida that never gets hit by hurricanes.

mrcharisma
April 13th, 2015, 09:34
Got an earthquake at Tokyo Orientation the year I came, gently shook the hotel but nothing more.

Since then they've been pretty infrequent. Sirens went off once bur never had stuff fall out the shelves.

Cbill1
April 13th, 2015, 09:53
Really, I think when you go to prefectural orientation, your PA's will inform you how prepared for earthquakes you need to be.

People are speculating "the big one," aka the nankai, is going to hit within the next 50 years and cause a lot of damage. I think the guesstimate for how likely it is to hit in the next ten years is 20%?

Regardless, that's probably the biggest thing you'll need to worry about, and how much you have to worry will depend on your prefecture. The prefecture I'm in is probably going to be one of the biggest ones hit (southern Shikoku + poor transportation/infrastructure), so our PAs go over emergency procedures to great length. The area I'm in has something like <5 minutes between the quake and tsunami, but this is not the norm. It is very much not the norm. Most people I've talked to in other prefectures have barely touched on the quake.

If it's something you need to be concerned about, your PAs will let you know.

yingyangryder
April 13th, 2015, 10:56
Get them here in Tohoku every week. Usually ones big enough to feel are about once a month. The scariest one I personally experienced was last July but that was more because I was sleeping and was really incoherent at the time.

Apollo87
April 13th, 2015, 11:02
Speaking of preparedness, I think it might be worth considering keeping your emergency bag, or at least SOME supplies in the trunk of your car (if you have one). That way you KNOW its just always there and its one less thing you have to think about if you suddenly need to book it from your place.

Gizmotech
April 13th, 2015, 11:05
I live for the moment and don't care about emergency bags. If the world is gonna end, I'm the first one goin!

Zolrak 22
April 13th, 2015, 13:50
I live for the moment and don't care about emergency bags. If the world is gonna end, I'm the first one goin!

https://youtu.be/Z0GFRcFm-aY

?

Gizmotech
April 13th, 2015, 14:00
Pretty much. I mean I just got an emergency announcement that there'S volcanic activity near by and I was all like... well it was a good run :)

Ananasboat
April 13th, 2015, 14:04
Bye Giz, can I have your porn collection when you die?

Jiggit
April 13th, 2015, 14:10
Bye Giz, can I have your porn collection when you die?

Wow, OK.

uthinkimlost?
April 13th, 2015, 14:31
Wow, OK.

Yeah, assbutt, you really jumped the line. Everyone knows that Jiggit gets first dibs on the pornography of the deceased.

johnny
April 13th, 2015, 14:39
Yeah, assbutt, you really jumped the line. Everyone knows that Jiggit gets first dibs on the pornography of the deceased.

Oh dude, I'm glad you told me. The esoteric knowledge of who gets the wank material of someone's estate is truly arcane knowledge. I'm glad there is a sempai to help out.

Ananasboat
April 13th, 2015, 14:40
Yeah, assbutt, you really jumped the line. Everyone knows that Jiggit gets first dibs on the pornography of the deceased.

I thought I beat Jiggit to the punch though... I didn't realize it was an established rule.

Fine, I got nothing.

johnny
April 13th, 2015, 14:43
I thought I beat Jiggit to the punch though... I didn't realize it was an established rule.

Fine, I got nothing.

No one dips into Jigga's personal ink well.

uthinkimlost?
April 13th, 2015, 14:44
Oh dude, I'm glad you told me. The esoteric knowledge of who gets the wank material of someone's estate is truly arcane knowledge. I'm glad there is a sempai to help out.

I hear he's watching your maple syrup folder very closely.

Gizmotech
April 13th, 2015, 15:22
I tell no lies, there is no porn on my computer.

Jiggit
April 13th, 2015, 15:30
Well now with mothy gone we have a new vacancy spot for the forum's most prominent alcoholic, so you can claim all his left over strong zeros if you like.

Ananasboat
April 13th, 2015, 15:37
I think I fit that bill pretty nicely. But, is he gone for good? I wouldn't want him resurrected and see me taking his place.

uthinkimlost?
April 13th, 2015, 15:39
I think I fit that bill pretty nicely. But, is he gone for good? I wouldn't want him resurrected and see me taking his place.

If you can mspaint a self-portrait with bear arms, you're in.

johnny
April 13th, 2015, 20:01
I hear he's watching your maple syrup folder very closely.

:'( I'm not ready to die though!

johnny
April 14th, 2015, 11:33
Gah! My Facebook feed is filled with people who believe that the beached dolphins are a sign of the end of days. Good grief.

uthinkimlost?
April 14th, 2015, 11:36
Good grief.

I demand you change your avatar to this:

http://i.ytimg.com/vi/UBnANaOrlaw/hqdefault.jpg

johnny
April 14th, 2015, 11:40
So I could have nightmares eventually leading to me jumping off a building?

word
April 14th, 2015, 15:59
Gah! My Facebook feed is filled with people who believe that the beached dolphins are a sign of the end of days. Good grief.

word

This sorta crap annoys me to no end. I hope they're right, though.

johnny
April 14th, 2015, 17:07
word

This sorta crap annoys me to no end. I hope they're right, though.

Because I gather that, as much as you seem to enjoy the internet that you really at heart want to live as a survivalist in the forest?

EDIT: I ask because our previous zombie apocalypse discussions.

word
April 14th, 2015, 21:09
Because I gather that, as much as you seem to enjoy the internet that you really at heart want to live as a survivalist in the forest?

EDIT: I ask because our previous zombie apocalypse discussions.
Pretty much. While I feel it might be initially stressful and annoying, I would probably be a lot happier in the long run.



I'm a realist, though; I play the odds. I'll probably die in the early days of said apocalypse... if not on the first.

Ebi
April 18th, 2015, 09:45
It's so frustrating because the unscientific bullshit about disasters gets so much more attention than the real stuff. It was impossible for me to find any solid information via English-language sources about my local area in the aftermath of 3/11.

I learned first hand how "news" organizations manipulate data to make stories too. According to all of the news broadcasts at that time, my entire city was practically wiped off the map. So when CNN asked for email interviews, I volunteered and gave a realistic description of my situation on the ground: my apartment was fine, I had electricity but no gas or water, there was no major earthquake damage in my immediate area, everyone had been standing in line patiently to buy food, I even got drinks from vending machines, etc. Basically things were pretty darn good considering. I also explained that most of the city is actually quite far from the ocean since the map spans from the coast to the mountains.

What did she report? I was a brave American struggling to survive and had resorted to scavenging from vending machines for sustenance. It was disgusting and I refused to do a followup interview. And the sad thing is, people kept angrily saying that the Japanese news couldn't be trusted because they downplayed "how bad things really were". Which is true, to some extent, but I think I prefer that over a deluge of fear-mongering bullshit. There are still people who are afraid that Japan, especially northern Japan, has become a radioactive wasteland. It's such a shame.

But to answer your question: earthquakes happen every day, but I usually only notice them every few months or so. I've been through "the big one" in very close proximity and I came out fine because I wasn't near the coast. Take tsunami warnings very seriously and pack an emergency kit for your home. But don't freak out if your apartment shakes since Japanese buildings are built with earthquakes in mind. My apartment would rumble if even a big truck drove by, but after the 3/11 earthquake and hundreds of aftershocks, I couldn't find a single sign of structural damage. Two of my glasses chipped, but that was it.

BifCarbet
April 18th, 2015, 10:41
It's so frustrating
I was misrepresented too, and given some sort of distinction of valor by my university, even after I told them I didn't deserve it. A university near my hometown demanded some guy doing a semester abroad way down in Kyushu come home immediately. There was so much knee-jerk stupidity.

Earthquakes like that are not something you can really worry too much about. Don't put a TV on the wall over your bed, and don't leave candles burning when you're not home, but there's no real point in worrying too much about earthquakes. If there's one big enough to cause problems for you, you'll just deal with them.

CUPS
April 18th, 2015, 10:48
I live for the moment and don't care about emergency bags. If the world is gonna end, I'm the first one goin!

Yup, me too. Also the Tokai Earthquake "theory" has been disproved, hasn't it? So yeah. Whatever.

Penguee
April 18th, 2015, 17:37
Yeah, earthquakes happens a lot around here. News is that the seismic activity is due to the fact that Mount Zao is going to blow soon. So take care fellow Tohoku-ers! No hiking or skiing on Okama this winter.
The most important thing you can do is be prepared. Make yourself a small disaster kit. Know where your evacuation area is (usually an elementary school near your house, but sometimes other buildings) and make sure you have water! As long as the pipes for your sewers aren't busted if you have a 2 liter bottle of water you can flush the toilet.
Yeah, so any advice that people would like, also feel free to PM me.

weepinbell
April 21st, 2015, 23:18
Yeah, earthquakes happens a lot around here. News is that the seismic activity is due to the fact that Mount Zao is going to blow soon.

Oh boy if there's one thing that freaks me out more than earthquakes, it's probably volcanoes. Fear of the unknown, I'm sure it comes from living in the flatlands of the prarie state lol. I guess I'm just as worse off in the US as I'd be in Japan though... if Yellowstone doesn't get me, it'll be Fuji. :P

Maybe a little better off in Japan... pretty sure the Yellowstone supervolcano would put the entire country in a critical state if it errupted, so... ya know, pros and cons.

greyjoy
April 21st, 2015, 23:33
pretty sure the Yellowstone supervolcano would put the entire country in a critical state if it errupted, so... ya know, pros and cons.
I don't know if ripping out a swath of Middle of Nowhere, America would cause anyone to more than sigh into their coffee.

weepinbell
April 21st, 2015, 23:44
I don't know if ripping out a swath of Middle of Nowhere, America would cause anyone to more than sigh into their coffee.

I guess that's only if you consider everywhere that's not the East or West coast Middle of Nowhere, America....

Well eh Idk that's probably about right.

Zolrak 22
April 21st, 2015, 23:53
Oh boy if there's one thing that freaks me out more than earthquakes, it's probably volcanoes.

Pfft darling, I live on top of a volcano, you don't see me screaming to the heavens. [emoji14]

weepinbell
April 22nd, 2015, 00:00
Pfft darling, I live on top of a volcano, you don't see me screaming to the heavens. [emoji14]

Yeah exactly you're used to it! Drive 30miles south and all I've got is corn fields for literally the rest of the state lol. We barely have hills! I'm not used to mountainous terrain and everything that comes with it. :(

Zolrak 22
April 22nd, 2015, 00:21
Yeah exactly you're used to it! Drive 30miles south and all I've got is corn fields for literally the rest of the state lol. We barely have hills! I'm not used to mountainous terrain and everything that comes with it. :(
Mountains are fun, you'll see.

Though a corn field sounds like something I'd like to go through at least once. [emoji6]

BifCarbet
April 22nd, 2015, 02:39
At least Japanese earthquakes give you jinari (地鳴り), or ground sound. You'll know they're coming because your windows will start buzzing (sometimes).

gibbity
April 22nd, 2015, 05:28
Mountains are fun, you'll see.

Though a corn field sounds like something I'd like to go through at least once. [emoji6]

Once would be enough. Corn is surprising horrible, the leaves can cut you as you walk through the rows, and you have to resist the urge to just karate chop the stalks down and pretend they are actually trees and you are an unstoppable ninja.