Thursday, December 17, 2009

Earthquake again

We were awakened again this morning by an earthquake. And it was fairly large with the epicenter in our small prefecture. Since it was so close to getting up time anyway, Tetsu and I went downstairs wrapped in blankets and turned on the news. I guess there was an even larger earthquake in the central part of Japan too last night but no reported injuries etc. Maybe we are just jumpy.

I have felt two major earthquakes while I've lived in Japan. The first some 30 years ago when I was teaching in Northern Japan. A bunch of us were in the English office at the Christian Center where I worked when the earthquake hit and though the epicenter was in a far off city, our building really shook. As a Californian I had experienced a couple of earthquakes (nothing like the frequency in Japan!) so it was just hold onto the desk and wait. Some friends though from Michigan had never felt an earthquake and I remember the husband hanging onto the door frame with a terrified look on his face.

A few years later when I was living in a city on the Japan Sea side there was another large earthquake. In my house a birdcage sitting on a table came crashing down as well as a few dishes but no one considered it a terrible earthquake until a tidal wave hit the sea side a few minutes later. I think Japan (being an island country) fears tidal waves more than the earthquakes.

Well, Tetsu and I live in the center of Japan so no oceans around us. Of course a tree from the forest could come crashing down so we always hurry downstairs and away from the windows. Not a pleasant way to start the day but it did shock us awake very quickly!

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