Saturday, June 14, 2008

First Earthquake

So I felt my first earthquake today--not that this is the first earthquake to happen since I've been in Japan, but it's the first one I know that I felt.

We were all at the sports complex in Tohoku Machi for the junior high school sports meet (Towada, Misawa, Tohoku Machi and other nearby cities) watching the students practicing, when suddenly things started going "wobbly." It took about half a minute before I realized that it was an earthquake. By that time, one of the organizers had started making the announcement for all the students to stop practicing and to sit down to wait for the earthquake to stop.

After a minute or two, the tremors stopped and I didn't think anything of it until I got home and found an email from the Canadian Embassy in Japan, asking me to please reply and inform the embassy of my status.

Apparently it was a pretty big one (about 7.2 on the Richter scale), and it happened in Iwate, the prefecture immediately south (on the east side) of Aomori Prefecture. As I am writing this, the news is that 3 have died and between 65-100 people have been injured. There are also some guests at an onsen (hot spring) resort who have been trapped by a landslide.

You can read more about the earthquake here: http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5gJansrmqtUW8rGrjDrV5wcggd-tw

I guess this is a warning for me that I do actually need to prepare an earthquake kit (water, canned food, first aid supplies, photocopies of important documents, etc.).

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