Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Japan might have better trains, funkier phones and bigger mountains than England, but there's one area where the UK beats Japan hands down - unless you happen to be a particularly crazed danger junkie. I'm talking earthquakes. Crazed danger junkies might scoff and ask where the fun is in living in a country that never wobbles or shakes, has no dangerous animals (except for football hooligans) and is in little danger of being destroyed by volcanoes or tidal waves. But in Japan people live with the niggling fear that one day the neon forests they live in could topple around their ears.

So, two nights ago there was a big quake in Japan. Not Big with a capital B, thank God(zilla) but from the way the newscaster was vibrating on the news report I saw, it was bigger than anything I experienced out there. (I think there were two, maybe three, small quakes during that year - enough to make a glass or water ripple and for Larae, a teacher at my school, to freak out. Which ain't saying much.) Anyway, here are the reactions from some of my friends in Tokyo:

Paul: The epicentre was up the coast near Sendai, so in tokyo just the usual wobbling and shaking. gave us a taster for the real thing though! My Dad and my Gran called me right away to check I was OK, I'm fine but I'm definitely getting an earthquake kit together now!

Tetsuya:I and my family are OK! I felt the earthquake in my office. It wasn`t so big because tokyo is far from the focus.

Keiji:There were a magnitude 7 quake in Tohoku region yesterday evening. It was a tremor with an intensity of 6 on the Japanese seven-stage seismic scale at Iwate Pref. It was an intensity of 3 at Tokyo. I felt an unpleasant rolling for about one minutes. I guess the Nova's teachers who don't become familiar with quake might be surprised.