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August 16, 2005

Whole Lot of Shakin' Goin' On!

Last year, I had to contend with terrorism in Saudi Arabia, and every time something would happen, I'd alert my family that I was fine...Now, it looks like I'll be doing the same with earthquakes.

My interpreter and I were sitting in the office reviewing her trip up to Hokkaido last week when all of a sudden, she said..."Earthquake!" Sure enough, a fraction of a second later, I felt it too. It lasted for about a minute or so, and was just a little bit scary. Apparently, it was about a 7.2 magnitude at the epicenter, and around 4.5 in Zama where we were. The building creaked and the blinds swayed, but there was no damage or anything. There was damage farther north and closer to Tokyo, but we were fortunate.

Story is below...

36 Reported Injured in Japan Earthquake

By HIROKO TABUCHI, Associated Press Writer Tue Aug 16, 2:27 AM ET

TOKYO - A powerful magnitude-7.2 earthquake struck northeastern Japan on Tuesday, triggering two small tsunamis and shaking skyscrapers as far away as Tokyo, 185 miles to the south. At least 36 people were reportedly injured.

A caved-in roof at an indoor pool in the coastal city of Sendai injured 19 people, police spokesman Kazunori Abe said. Others in the quake zone were hurt by falling rocks and tumbling roof tiles.

Television footage showed a collapsed house outside Tokyo and landslides in the quake-hit area.

"The horizontal shaking was very strong, so much so that I almost couldn't remain standing," said Masami Oshima, an official with Miyagi state, which includes Sendai.

Authorities said they were still tallying injuries, but NHK said there were preliminary reports of 36 people injured.

The quake knocked out power to about 17,000 households, while bullet train services in northern Japan were suspended and flights were temporarily grounded at Tokyo's Haneda airport.

The quake hit around 11:46 a.m. and was centered 12 below the ocean floor about 50 miles off the coast of Miyagi in northeastern Japan, the Meteorological Agency said.

Two tsunamis that were originally forecast to be 20 inches in height hit the coast with 4-inch waves; officials expected little damage. Tsunami waves are often barely noticeable in the ocean but can rise to great heights once they arrive at shore.

The quake was followed by at least four aftershocks and additional quakes of up to magnitude 6 could follow, the agency said.

In 1995, a magnitude-7.3 quake in the western port city of Kobe killed 6,400 people. The depth and offshore location of Tuesday's quake helped limit the damage that might have occurred had the earthquake been centered under a city.

One person injured in the roof collapse was seriously hurt, NHK said. Separately, a 72-year-old man sustained a broken leg, news reports said, while a 7-year-old child was injured by falling rocks in the town of Zao, according to local official Mitsuharu Shishido.

The U.S. Geological Survey and Japan's Meteorological Agency both measured the quake at a magnitude of 7.2.

Japan sits at the juncture of four tectonic plates or moving slabs of the earth's outer crust and is one of the world's most quake-prone regions. A magnitude-6.0 quake shook the Tokyo area on July 23, injuring more than two dozen people and suspending flights and trains for hours. A magnitude-5 quake can damage homes and other buildings if it is centered in a heavily populated area.

A Dec. 26 earthquake with a magnitude estimated at 9.1 to 9.3 and the subsequent tsunami killed more than 131,000 people in Indonesia and left half a million homeless.

Posted by djf on August 16, 2005 02:34 PM
Category: Futureland (Japan)

Hey Melody:
Got your card yesterday - thanks a lot for the feedback on the pecans. I have actually been trying to figure out how to get in touch with you guys for a while - we had an addition to the family last October - A LITTLE GIRL. You sent this address to me a while back but I misplaced it and I couldn't find your parents number for the life of me. Anyway, she is now 10 months old and her name is Madeline Grace (we call her Maddie). Our web page is (not updated very well). Anyway, email whenever you get a chance.

Posted by: Angela on August 16, 2005 06:24 PM
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