Sunday, May 31, 2015

Earthquake trivia

For once this has nothing to do with my quilting unless I can count it as an interruption.

Some of my blogging friends have asked me about the quake that occurred on Saturday. (it must have made a bit of news elsewhere)

Considering the quake took place about 630 miles south of Tokyo and at a depth of about 678 km, (about as deep as the
pacific tectonic plate reaches), at a magnitude of 8.1 it was felt over the whole of the Japan archipelago.

No tsunami were triggered by such a deep quake and no life-threatening injuries. In Saitama, a woman in her 70s got a head injury when a ceramic plate fell from a cupboard, and in Kawasaki a 56 year old office worker fell and injured his ribs. In Roppongi Hills shopping and business complex, the elevators stopped and about 200 people who were viewing the Star Wars exhibit in the Mori Tower, had to climb down the stairs from the 52nd floor. Of course trains were stopped for some time, causing inconvenience and confusion for travelers who rely heavily on trains.

Paul was in the kitchen when I felt the beginning tremors. "Looks like we are having a quake" ... but he didn't feel anything. It took a bit of time for the shaking to build.
In the Fukuda household, we usually judge the size of a quake by the clock.  Our grandfather clock that stands by the east garden door seemed to be still swinging but my husband came into the room and turned on the main Japanese TV channel to get the rundown. They instantly have a running bit telling the epicenter and magnitude in various parts of the country and tsunami warning if any. If it is a "big" one, they stop the usual broadcast to show reports from various locations and report on train stoppages and the like. Judging from our clock, things were OK. But then again on second glance, the clock had stopped.

Meanwhile, as the news report ran on and on showing videos of shaking buildings and offices downtown, there was a sudden bonging from a second clock hanging high on the north wall.

This old clock had kept stopping during the 2011 quake and aftershocks. Finally, instead of climbing up and re-starting it, we just gave up and left it quiet.

We had a good laugh that the quake that had stopped one clock, had started another. AND, it is still happily going. I shall have to climb up there and set it at the proper time.

So ... does the clock that started cancel out the report from the one that stopped?

Does all the recent activity from volcano eruptions and earthquakes mean the "big one" is coming ... or does it have more to do with the geographic location of Japan and the quiet we experienced leading up to the 2011 event?

Well, just in case, Nikko thinks it is a good idea to sleep under the table.


  1. Nikko dear, I know how you feel! Friends in Kimitsu reported they got a short sharp sideways shake after an initial rumble.

  2. Glad it wasn't the big one and hopefully there won't be one.
    Even here in New England we have had quakes and I never remember any when I was little, but then again, we didn't get the news like we do now.


    1. I have never experienced an earthquake, at least not one that did any damages. We occasionally have very slight tremors that for the most part go unnoticed. So glad you are ok. Just watched a special on TV about the tsumani that hit Japan a few years ago. That is interesting about your clocks.

  3. I just get the jitters when thinking about earthquakes. We were in the Good Friday earthquake in Alaska in 1964 - talk about scary - and then several big ones in California Glad everything is ok at your house. That is a funny story about the two clocks. We've never had any problem with clocks durig earthquakes.

  4. Glad to hear you didn't get any trouble from the earthquake. I never experienced big one. Hope things calm down.

  5. Thank you for the update. I only heard about this quake from a friend on Facebook who has many friends in Japan and follows the Japanese news. I am glad you are safe. I always think it interesting what is deemed newsworthy and we get very little follow-up news once any emergency has stopped making headlines.

  6. It's very interesting to hear about living with earthquakes. We had one a little over 20 years ago, and are expected to have more. I guess it's just a reality of life on the planet. I'm glad everyone there is OK. I like to think that the quakes that have happened are making the needed shifts, so there won't be any more. One can always hope.

  7. HI Julie, we are so glad to hear that you and your family are safe and did not incur any damage. That's funny to hear that one clock stopped and the other one started up again. I hope that the one that stopped can be easily fixed.
    We love the photo of Nikko. He is so photogenic -- what a beautiful dog.
    Best wishes, and happy quilting, from Marina and Daryl

  8. You know, Tetsu and I hardly felt this last one... We were out at a revolving sushi place and I doubt if the sushi "chefs" even noticed it. A few other people looked up but it was over quickly for us. We were surprised when Tetsu's friend called from Aomori a few minutes later because he was worried about us.

  9. Interesting to see the ways you can use to judge the severity of a quake in your own way. Interesting to see how the different clocks behave. I think Nikko is probably the best judge.

  10. I've never experienced an earthquake Julie and I hope I never do! blessings, marlene