Life in the Land of the Rising Sun

Monday, July 16, 2007

For all concerned...

A strong earthquake struck at a little after 10 a.m. this morning just off the coast of Kashiwazaki in Niigata Prefecture. It caused a lot of damage, and apparently there were some deaths as well.

Fortunately for myself, my family, and my various friends and acquaintances in this area (including Pandabonium), the earthquake was fairly far away, and the effects here were minimal. In fact, I was brushing my teeth at the time, and I suddenly felt a strange sensation. I thought to myself, "Either I'm dizzy, or that was one of the strangest, little earthquakes I've ever felt!" My daughter, who was also brushing her teeth at the time, apparently didn't notice it at all.

We're alright. No worries for us. I wish I could say the same for the people of Niigata. They've been getting quite a number of serious earthquakes over the past few years. I hope the tectonic plates here calm down soon.


  • Hi The Moody Minstrel.

    Wow a blinking earthquake. I’ve been through Hurricanes, Typhoons, sandstorms, snow storms but never experienced an earthquake but from what I’ve seen on films and TV they must be pretty scary. Good to hear you and yours are A OK. Any Damage?. Any news from Pandabonium yet?.

    By Blogger Mick's Page, at 11:58 PM  

  • Hello, Mick!

    Earthquakes happen a lot here. Most of the time they are small ones that are just enough to rattle the windows and shelves a bit and make everyone say, "Ooh! An earthquake!" Here in the Kashima area we get a few of them every month. They can be pretty scary at first, but one soon comes to realize they are a part of life just like mosquitoes and people who run red lights. Besides, my area has never had a serious quake.

    For some reason Niigata Prefecture (spans from the Japan Alps to the western coast) has been getting larger earthquakes in waves from a year or two ago. The problem is they don't always hit in the same area. Last year one town got shaken to pieces by a series of large quakes and a long wave of aftershocks. This morning's was in another part of the same prefecture, so it was a new target, so to speak. That made things even worse because they weren't as prepared.

    As I said, here on the eastern coast we hardly felt it. It was just a little shake that made me lose my balance briefly, nothing more. Actually, we just had a stronger shake about an hour ago (around 11:20 p.m. or so Japan time) that was actually based HERE! (But it was a minor quake, so no damage.)

    I haven't heard from Pandabonium, but I'm sure he's fine. The typhoon that skidded past us yesterday was far more dangerous in this area than the quake.

    By Blogger The Moody Minstrel, at 12:12 AM  

  • I heard about the earthquake in Japan on the evening news.
    There seemed to be a few deaths and a lot of people being hurt... :/

    I'm happy you and yr family+friends are doing alright.

    Take care

    By Anonymous angele, at 4:09 AM  

  • Wow. Lots of activity there this week. I hope our crust and atmosphere remains calmer here. I am glad you are all safe. (I got your IM this morning, but not before you left the site.)

    By Blogger Don Snabulus, at 4:17 AM  

  • Fahrvergnügen!! (I don't know why I just said that, but I've been using that word quite a lot these days). Glad to hear that your teeth survived the shaking. In fact, the minor shaking might have helped to dislodge some extra plaque.

    Seriously though, I hope those plates settle down too. Being a resident of Southern California, I can appreciate the concern!!

    By Blogger DewKid, at 7:44 AM  

  • Land of the Rising Sun
    Land of the quaking earth

    I thought most of Japan
    was built quake proof nowdays
    Glad everything is ok

    By Blogger QUASAR9, at 8:20 AM  

  • I predict...oh never mind.

    Glad to hear you are ok.

    By Blogger Pa've, at 8:37 AM  

  • Glad to know that the earthquake didn't effect your area.... I don't like earthquakes... it really scares me.

    By Blogger Selba, at 12:44 PM  

  • When I heard the news I wondered about you guys in Japan.
    I've only ever been in one earthquake - in Labasa - I was teaching and suddenly felt very strange and the students started running out of the room. Then I twigged that it wasn't just me.

    By Blogger Peceli and Wendy's Blog, at 4:35 PM  

  • Indeed, we are fine. Didn't even feel the bugger. Learned about it when we were out running errands in the afternoon and happened by a TV display in a store that was showing the news of the day. We did feel an aftershock late last night that was kind of "weird" and got Momo to barking.

    Niigata is the same prefecture that go hit rather badly right after I arrived in 2004. My heart goes out to those people.

    By Blogger Pandabonium, at 5:11 PM  

  • Well, yeah, I was barking my head off last night. Pandabonium and K sleep through everything. And thanks to Mick for asking about us.

    word verification: fxmax - special effects to the MAX!

    By Blogger Momo the Wonder Dog, at 5:15 PM  

  • When I attended school in Santa Clara, Ca...I got used to the little morning quakes that seemed to happen once a year.

    They just would rock you awake w/a little shaking.

    But I'm sure a real one would not be fun! Glad to know everyone's ok!

    By Blogger ladybug, at 9:43 PM  

  • Speaking of earthshock, I got a doozy today. I went to the administrative office to ask the Vice Principal a question. There, on his desk, was a very thick stack of new-looking paper with fresh-looking print...

    ...of this blog. ALL of it.

    I asked him what it was about, and all he would say was that he'd "found" it. He then reiterated to me (pointing out a couple of examples, both from last year) that it was against school policy for me to post photos showing clear, full-face views of students. He also reminded me not to use real names of faculty or students without their permission.

    At least I seem to be in the clear...for now. He said he hadn't read it yet...since it's all in English and would be a huge task. But I still need to be careful. Ye Olde Academy is by far the best school I've ever taught at, and I can't imagine being anywhere else, but I do tend to vent a lot of work-related stress on this site. Some people might take things very personally...or accuse me of wrecking the school's reputation, which is not my intent at all.

    This blog has never really been secret, and I know at least a few teachers at the Academy that have visited here at least once if not regularly. However, this comes as a shock, and I wonder about the timing. Literally the day after the group from our sister-school arrived back in Australia last week this blog suddenly got an explosion of hits from Australia...all in the vicinity of Brisbane (i.e. our sister-school's area). But if students from our sister-school were behind that burst, that means students from MY school tipped them off (uh, oh!). It's also highly possible that they then sent the info back to my school. (After all, there is an awful lot of communication between our schools, and lately I've only been made privy to a tiny fraction of it. Who knows what's going on?)

    I apparently wasn't supposed to know that he knows about this blog. I stumbled onto it quite by accident. I don't know what's up with that, and it's probably not worth worrying about, but I do know I need to be more careful. I've been skunked, and now I'm under surveillance.

    By Blogger The Moody Minstrel, at 12:54 AM  

  • Whoa, that's unpleasant, and kinda creepy too. Is your blog going to vanish into a generic blue background, and a happy cake too? (aka bahrain and beyond)

    Guess you'll just have to watch your Mr. Ps and Mrs. Qs.

    By Blogger DewKid, at 6:25 AM  

  • But they'll never find your REAL blog. Bwwwaaaaahhhhaaaahhaaaahaaaa.

    By Blogger Pandabonium, at 7:11 AM  

  • Didn't I warn you about that?

    By Blogger Pa've, at 7:49 AM  

  • EEEAAAGGHH! I cross fingers for ya, and hope for the best! (But prepare for the worst, just in case).

    By Blogger ladybug, at 9:39 AM  

  • Dewkid
    No, this blog is NOT going to vanish. I haven't heard anything more about it, so maybe the VP was mainly just curious (I hope). At any rate, he didn't seem all that concerned; he only brought up the photo issue because I asked. I realize, however, that that doesn't mean that an issue won't come up later. I am willing to edit if so requested, but I have no intention of taking this down.

    Which one?

    The thing is, Pa've, you've tended to warn people so often about so many different things that it's very hard to take any of it seriously!

    Since some teachers at my school were already visiting this blog anyway, I figured it was only a matter of time before someone up top took serious notice (if they hadn't already. Remember, I thought they already knew last year).

    I'm not going to worry about it too much. I'll just be a little more careful from now on...and hope no one tries to make a bigger issue out of this.

    By Blogger The Moody Minstrel, at 12:50 PM  

  • when i heard about this, my mind immediately went to you and your family. altho i'm late here, i'm glad to know that everything is ok and you guys weren't hurt in any way... nor any family.

    By Blogger Um Naief, at 1:52 AM  

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