Fukuoka Earthquake, March 20

Yesterday was our first earthquake experience since coming to Japan more than a year-and-a-half ago. We were enjoying a lazy Sunday morning—Jarrod and I were playing Yu-Gi-Oh, a Japanese card duelling game. Lia joined us on Jarrod’s futon when the shaking started, since Jarrod’s room had the smallest shelves and was therefore the safest. We huddled together until the shaking stopped, and then waited a bit longer.

The quake shook some books off our shelves but there wasn’t any noticeable damage. The aftershocks, which continued into the evening, were quite disconcerting.

We tried calling Canada a number of times but were unable to get through. It seems that the phone networks were saturated. Luckily our internet access was still working so we were able to send out email and read the news reports as the story broke.

In the evening we ended up clearing out our bedroom and moving Jarrod’s futon in next to ours since he didn’t want to sleep alone.

Here’s a map showing the epicenter of the quake. We’re in Kitakyushu. Most of the damage reports are from around Fukuoka City, which is about 60km southwest of us. A lot of the photos making the newswires are from Genkaijima, which is between the epicenter and Fukuoka City.

map of northen Kyushu, showing Kitakyushu, Genkaijima and the earthquake epicenter

The map is based on one from Mapquest. There’s a decent map of Genkaijima on Mapfan. It’s all in Japanese but the navigation controls don’t need much translation. The line of numbers just below the map is the scale, as follows:

全国 = entire country
1/160万 = 1/1,600,000
1/80万 = 1/800,000
1/40万 = 1/400,000
1/20万 = 1/200,000
1/10万 = 1/100,000
1/5万 = 1/50,000

Here’s a link to earthquake photos at Yahoo News.

2 thoughts on “Fukuoka Earthquake, March 20

  1. We had another aftershock at about half an hour ago (around midnight, but I don’t know if that’s considered Monday or Tuesday), which shook the apartment for about 5 seconds. Lia and Jarrod slept through it. I was still up reading.

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