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

Friday, 7 December 2012

12/12/07 Earthquake

Which turned out not to be so serious, but it was a good jolt about 17:30.  Same fault as the bad one a year and a half ago, off the Pacific coast.  And we'd just had a good jolt at 5:30 this morning.

My train came to a stop in a station after everyone's cell phones had gone off with the warning, which I have long turned off: it never rings early enough to allow me any time, and it goes off far too often to be taken seriously.  Gave the train and station on the elevated platform a good roughing up, but we eat quakes like this 'for breakfast and shit them out before lunch'.  All I learned from the big one was to get a message home before the lines were swamped, and to start thinking about how I would walk home from where I was.  Trains started again.

If you are new or coming to Japan, do not live near the coast or on landfill, or in a place more than thirty years old (new codes since).  In Kobe '95 people died in collapsed buildings and fires from kerosene space heaters; in Tohoku '11 from the tsunami.  Other than collapsible buildings or the sea side, your survival odds are high.  You will face infrastructure fragility.  Figure out your own food and water, and how you are going to get around in case of the worst.  And never buy real estate here!  Besides the fact it is already depreciating, and the bust is yet to come, Tokyo will get flattened yet.  If you live, there is no good reason to still owe money to the bank.

6 comments:

  1. In the US so many people are afraid of California because of the big bad earthquakes. We don't nearly get them as often or as strong as across the ocean. I think even I would probably pee my pants a little in Japan given a strong enough jolt. I have USGS email me notifications of anything bigger than 6.0, so I got an email while I was sleeping. Glad to see it wasn't anything that caused too much damage.

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  2. I work on my roof...actually walk all over it building decorations and the roofs are heavy as fuck. The load bearing walls gotta be under stress and the quake toll in Kobe was conected to this structure flaw. Lateral motion is magnified by elevated weight. Physics....is making me launch kids out the fucking window if a big one hits. Broken bones and glass cuts beats death by blunt force trauma anyday.

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    1. Never did understand heavy tiled roofs on wood-framed walls, until I learned that the tile was protection against fires, which were more frequent than quakes... Charming. Of course the Japanese did find a way to build properly to protect their rice, but never bothered to do so for their population.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kura_%28storehouse%29

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  3. Absolutely not worried about earthquake survival here. Shit, Tokyo was the friendliest I've ever seen it for about a month after the 3/11 quake...

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    1. That's true enough. How many times did you get the shocked, 'you didn't go home?!', and 'thank you for staying' (not that my staying did them any good).

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