Tag Archives: 関東大震災

The biggest earthquake in Japan’s history

11 Mar

Today at about 2:45PM I was outside and I noticed the telephone wires overheard begin to swing wildly. It was a nice sunny day and not windy at all, so I was wondering why the wires would suddenly be moving like that.

And then as soon as it dawned on me that it was probably due to an 地震 (earthquake)…I felt the ground shake. I’ve been in a number of earthquakes here in Japan but this was the strongest I’ve felt the ground move. It gave me a queasy feeling.
It lasted a few minutes…which is quite enough time for an earthquake to do a lot of damage…and it got stronger. The buildings in front of me began to sway.

For the next few hours there were many aftershocks. Some of them quite strong.
It’s now 7:00PM and the most recent aftershock was about thirty minutes ago.
Maybe it’s finally over. I hope so! It was quite scary.

Actually though, we were lucky. A lot of things fell over in our house…but no serious damage—and most importantly, none of us were hurt.

Unfortunately, many people weren’t so lucky. At least nineteen people have been confirmed dead.
This earthquake, which has already been named—「2011年東北地方太平洋沖地震」 (“2011 Tohoku-Region Pacific Earthquake”), registered a 7 on Japan’s 震度 (Shindo) earthquake scale at the epicenter in Sendai, Japan!
“7” is the highest rating on that scale!
In Tokyo, it was rated as “5” in parts of the city and “6” in others.
On the western “Richter” earthquake scale, it was rated at “8.9“.

 

Tsunami warning map of Japan

A 津波 (“Tsunami” tidal wave) caused by the earthquake hit Sendai and swept up cars and boats and caused casualties and damage.

Boats upturned by the Tsunami. (photo ©Yahoo News)

In the Tokyo area, the earthquake caused a couple large fires.

A building in Odaiba, Tokyo caught fire in the earthquake (photo ©Yahoo News)

An oil refinery in Chiba, Japan near Tokyo caught ablaze in the earthquake (photo ©Yahoo News)

The 「2011年東北地方太平洋沖地震」 (“2011 Tohoku-Region Pacific Earthquake”) is officially the biggest earthquake on record in Japan’s history. And it’s in the top ten of the world’s biggest.
The said on the TV news that today’s earthquake was 180 times more powerful at it’s epicenter in Sendai, Japan than the 「関東大震災」 (Great Kanto Earthquake) that flattened Tokyo in 1923!

Disaster Prevention in Tokyo

1 Sep

Today is 2010 September 1. The 87th anniversary of the 「関東大震災」 (“Great Kanto Earthquake“) that destroyed the Tokyo area on 1923 September 1.

So every year on September 1st in Japan, it’s called 「防災の日」 (“Disaster Prevention Day”).

On this day, fire departments give fire and earthquake safety tips to people, schools hold earthquake drills, and people are encouraged to check and maintain their “earthquake kits” that are recommended to be in every home.

It is said that in Japan’s history, a major earthquake has struck on average every eighty years. So it is expected that Tokyo is due for another one.
I really hope not!

No major earthquakes have struck Tokyo in a long while (“knock on wood”), but a different disaster has hit Tokyo this summer.
A heat wave.

It was reported on the news today that the temperature this summer in Tokyo has been the hottest in 113 years!
The temperature reached 35°C a number of times this summer.
Over a hundred people died from heat stroke and thousands were hospitalized.

It has been brutally hot in Tokyo this summer…and the forecast for the rest of this week says the heat and humidity will continue.

"Uchimizu" is a traditional Japanese custom of throwing water onto the streets to lower the temperature in the city a bit.

85 Years Ago

1 Sep

On September 1, 1923, the 関東大震災 (Great Kanto Earthquake) struck the Tokyo area and flattened the city. It registered about 8.4 (out of 10) on the Richter Scale!

It struck at noon, when people were preparing lunch with gas stoves, so many fires broke out. Over 100,000 people died. And most of the deaths were from the fires.

(This photo was taken of the earthquake’s aftermath by August Kengelbacher).

Every year on September 1, the 自衛隊 (Japanese Self-Defense Forces) hold an earthquake drill with the public to help prepare for another major earthquake.
This year’s drill was held yesterday (Sunday) so that more of the public could participate. About 15,000 people were a part of this year’s drill.
Also, American military stationed in Japan and Korean and Taiwanese rescue teams helped with the drill.