Just had a strong earthquake here in Japan. Tokyo shook strongly, but everything looks fine now. The center of the earthquake was at sea, 340 kilometers down, but its effect was felt firmly on land.
In Shibuya, my apartment building was swaying for about 30 seconds. I turned the gas off and tried to find the news on TV, but all they were reporting was the news on Sakai Noriko being arrested. Immediately I felt relieved that it could not be a major earthquake. The Sakai Noriko news obviously created a bigger stir than a mere 6.9 magnitude strike.
Japan experiences many earthquakes every year and most are not too strong. The one everyone is worried about is if a huge earthquake were to hit the center of Tokyo.
Whilst most apartment buildings and office buildings have been constructed under some strict earthquake resistant guidelines, there are still many older structures which may not stand up so well under the ultimate stress test.
I hope that we don’t have to experience any major disaster that would cause loss of life to many.
There have been some notable earthquakes recently that have had a large casualty figure. The Hanshin (Osaka, Kobe) earthquake in 1995 was one that stands out. There have also been a number of quakes North of Tokyo in Niigata-ken and also in Hokkaido.
According to ReportingAsia.com in their recent July 2009 article:
The Pacific plate also descends under the Eurasian plate on which Tokyo sits. New work suggests that a chunk of 60 miles long and 15 miles thick has broken and got lodged between the two ocean slabs. This change might result into the most deep-thrust earthquake in Tokyo’s history since 1855, turning the city upside down. An estimated 7.3-magnitude earthquake will prove to be the most expensive calamity in the world history.