Friday, December 21, 2007

Putting Fukui on the map...

...with my first Japanese earthquake. Yup, that's Fukui Prefecture on the map above, and that big red X shows the epicenter, which seems to be right under Sakai Town. The quake was a 4 (out of 10) on the Richter Scale, which makes it "light" with "noticeable shaking of indoor items, rattling noises," according to good ol' U.S. Geological Survey.

But apparently the U.S. Geological Survey doesn't apply in Japan. There was no "noticeable shaking." There was no "rattling." There was no rolling (sorry, I had to...). Actually, we didn't even feel it.

The earthquake happened this afternoon, while I was at school, smack dab in the middle of cleaning time. When the principal made an announcement in rapid-fire Japanese over the school's PA, a few students paused to listen, but didn't even bat an eyelash. For all I knew, cleaning time was ending early - now that would be exciting! So I asked for a translation.

"Oh, that? We just had an earthquake."

No big deal in a place where there are 100,000 quakes each year.

So thanks, Japan, for going easy on this Illinois-raised earthquake virgin. I'll consider it an early Christmas present.

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