*to Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
Κυνόσαργες

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Earthquake Post

Not much to say, as I am glad my afternoon and evening was not too dramatic in Tokyo.  It was like a disaster movie last night (without much damage in Tokyo): everyone walking, cars stuck in jams, loudspeakers giving updates, and helicopters flying north.  I had a 12km walk, but many had a lot worse, or had to stay downtown until train service started limited resumption at 7a.m.  I suppose the tracks had to be checked by eye.

There'll be a lot of children still at schools with the staff, until a guardian can get to them.  Have to give kudos to the Japanese at times like this.  They may not be able to improvise, but they do have a 'stiff upper lip'.  Seems they learned from the debacle of the Hyogo governor not calling on the army soon enough in the '95 Kobe earthquake.  The army starting rolling, and flying, north immediately.

When it comes to surviving an earthquake, the ground quality makes as much difference as the building.  Well, being out of the path of tsunami makes the most difference.  I was here during '95, watching the Kobe earthquake from Saitama: about the only time I was glad to be in Saitama. All of the 'reclaimed land' along the harbour had 'subsidence' due to 'liquefaction': two words this Torontonian never had to understand before. If there's one country you want people to consider these words in a literal, not metaphorical sense:
Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.
- Matthew 7:24-27
My wife and child were tossed about in the eighth floor of our building, but unharmed along with the building, because it's on decent ground 10km from Tokyo Bay. I found the earthquake unexceptional, but I was on the third floor of a post-earthquake code building near Kiyosumi-Shirakawa Stationn, which is not on 'reclaimed land'. Well, in fact most of Kanto is reclaimed land. It was all swamp before Mr. Tokugawa got his bright idea.

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