Sunday, October 24, 2004

What next?

What sort of idiot chooses to live in a place that gets earthquakes and typhoons every other week, anyway?

Three of the earthquakes tonight (which were not in my area, and I didn't feel them) measured a strong Shindo 6. And they're having a lot of aftershocks, including a weak 6, four or five 5s, and a lot of 3s and 4s.

For those who don't want to click on the link, here is a description of a strong 6 on the Shindo scale, which measures how earthquakes are experienced rather than how much power is released. (In other words, it's a people scale, not a geologic scale.)

Impossible to keep standing and to move without crawling.
Most heavy and unfixed furniture moves and falls.
Occasionally, sliding doors are thrown from their groove.
In many buildings, wall tiles and windowpanes are damaged and fall.
Most unreinforced concrete-block walls collapse.
Many,less earthquake-resistant houses collapse.
In some cases, even walls and pillars of highly earthquake-resistant houses are heavy damaged Occasionally, less earthquake-resistant buildings collapse.
In some cases, even highly earthquake-resistant buildings suffer damage to walls and pillars. Occasionally, gas mains and / or water mains are damaged. (Electrical service is interrupted in some regions. Occasionally, gas service and / or water service are interrupted over a large area.)

To see a record of current quakes in Japan, you can check out this page. Unfortunately it's all in Japanese, but even if you don't have Japanese fonts installed, you can probably (if you scroll down) still see the times, and the numbers on the right, which are the Shindo measurements. As I write this, I see that the last aftershock was about 10 minutes ago, magnitude 3.9, and was a 3 on the Shindo scale at its centre and a 1 in several other places.

A lot of people will not be sleeping well tonight.

On a lighter note:

One reason to live in Japan is the flea markets. I'm going to one tomorrow, early.

Good night.