The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Tremors and tremblings

Feeling tremors of the seismic kind is very unnerving, especially after experiencing one of the two major earthquakes to hit Japan last year in the Noto Earthquake. Very early this morning, several tremors shook our whole apartment between 1:06am and and 1:49am. I could not sleep for 2 hours after the first one, which wasn't that big at Magnitude 3, but it was enough for dread to wash over me as I wonder if the tremblings and shakings would get more violent as it did last year in the Noto. The final one at 1:49am was at Magnitude 4, and I panicked (albeit quietly) and my heart was thumping crazily. Rob jumped awake from the shaking of this last tremor, and comforted a frightened me by holding my hand.

My student in this morning's lesson told me that this morning's Magnitude 4 tremor is probably the worst that this area has experienced in recent years. It has been more than 100 years since a major earthquake had affected the Tokai segment (just southwest of Tokyo) and Japan has been preparing for over 25 years for the one touted as the great Tokai Earthquake of the 21st century. I love living in Japan, and earthquakes and tremors are a part of life in Japan, but after witnessing first hand the destruction of a major earthquake in a countryside region, I hope that we won't be in Tokyo when the predicted big one hits.

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