2008/05/08

Whole Lot Of Shakin'

Twenty percent of the world's earthquakes of magnitude 6.0 or greater occur in the Japan archipelago. Last night must have been "catch up" night. Either that or the Kanameishi stone at Kashima Jingu shrine, which holds down the giant catfish that is said to cause earthquakes, slipped out of position.

Normally, when we experience a quake here in Kashima City it is fairly mild and the house just shakes a bit for ten or fifteen seconds. On the JMA scale (Japan's linear quake scale that measures local effects) we experience a 1 or a 2 out of a possible 7.

Last night was different. Just after 1 am we were awakened by a growing rumbling and then shaking of the house. It felt like a JMA "2" or "3". OK. No big deal. Reassure Momo that all is well and go back to sleep. Nope. Another quake started up then another and another every few minutes - some 12 in all - over the next 45 minutes. And the last two were strongest of all, feeling like a "4" on the JMA scale. Pictures in frames fell over as did wine glasses in a cabinet as the house shook from side to side for what seemed like a long time (sorry, I didn't time it).


Map from Japan Meteorological Agency website: http://www.jma.go.jp/jma/indexe.html

The initial quake was 6.3 on the Richter scale and the epicenter was located under the seabed about 50 miles offshore from Kashima. The last quake was a magnitude 6.7 emanating from the same location.

Happily, there was no tsunami generated and there have been no reports of damage.

3 comments:

K & S said...

scary stuff, I always freak no matter what magnitude it is. stay safe.

ladybug said...

Wow, that's alot of shakin' goin' on!

When I lived in Santa Clara, seemed like we had one a year...I grew to mildly enjoy them...gently shaking awake in my dorm (usually happened in the morning hours..)...says alot for the "nothing can happen to me!" feeling youngsters have

But a real earthquake, now, probably not so much!

The Moody Minstrel said...

Fortunately, it was a little bit weaker in Namegata than it was in Kashima. It was still bloody scary, though. Luckily our only casualty was a cracked bottle of old, high-quality whiskey that my FIL gave me right after the wedding.

I'm glad you came through okay, too.