It only took a couple days of living in Japan to experience an earthquake. I was so surprised at the feeling of my first that I wrote a blog post about it. Little did I know then that my first quake would actually be one of the strongest of the summer. I was so excited that I decided to keep a Facebook log for my time in Japan, accumulating data from Japan’s meteorological agency for my local city of Tsukuba. Each entry included the date, time, local seismic intensity, and overall magnitude of the quake, and also a little information on my whereabouts and activities at the time of shaking. Sometimes I offer a description of my experience. It is unedited for the most part and is now being permanently archived in blog format.
Below are all of my updates. In just 74 days in Japan, I experienced (or sometimes just Tsukuba experienced) 28 quakes, which is about one every two to three days. A magnitude 3-6 is basically an everyday event in Japan, and I was only close enough to feel two 6+ quakes.
1. Friday, June 1, 2012 @5:49pm JST, SI: 3/4, Magnitude 5.2. Standing in my apartment.
2. Wednesday, June 6, 2012 @4:36am JST, SI: 2, Magnitude 6.3. Slept through it.
3. Friday, June 8, 2012 @2:26pm JST, SI: 1, Magnitude 4.9. In the seventh floor office with my labmates. Felt and sounded as though your were standing on a city street and the subway passed below you.
4. Friday, June 15, 2012 @2:14pm JST, SI: 1, Magnitude 4.4. Didn’t even notice. I’m getting better at this!
5. Sunday, June 17, 2012 @4:13pm JST, SI: 2(in Tsukuba) 2/1(in Tokyo, where I was), Magnitude 4.6. Also didn’t notice.
6. Monday, June 18, 2012 @5:32am, JST, SI:2, Magnitude 6.1. No wonder I couldn’t stay asleep last night. The earth was too busy shaking beneath me.
7. Tuesday, June 19, 2012 @5:29am, JST, SI:1, Magnitude 3.9. Slept through it.
8. Thursday, June 21, 2012 @1:47am JST, SI: 1, Magnitude 4.2. Another sleeper.
And in late June, the faults near Tsukuba sure became active: six within about 48 hours.
9. Thursday, June 28, 2012 @1:55pm JST, SI: 1, Magnitude 4.4. In the office, didn’t notice.
10. Thursday, June 28, 2012 @ 2:52pm JST, SI: 2, Magnitude 5.2. In the seventh floor office feeling the building sway for about 30 seconds! My labmate, Jo, pointed this one out before I noticed.
11. Thursday, June 28, 2012 @ 3:17pm JST, SI: 2, Magnitude, 4.1. Getting coffee from Ogawa downstairs. This one was rather loud. Like a train nearby.
12. Friday, June 29, 2012 @ 7:01am JST, SI: 1, Magnitude 4.3. Sleeping.
13. Friday, June 29, 2012 @ 4:02pm JST, SI: 1, Magnitude 3.9. In the office. Didn’t notice.
14. Saturday, June 30, 2012 @ 3:34pm JST, SI: 1, Magnitude 4.2. I was in Hiroshima, so I missed it…
So half in 30 days. June was a busy month, I guess. At this point I was getting bored and actually wanted to experience something with a stronger seismic intensity in my area again. I had to wait a while.
15. Tuesday, July 3, 2012 @ 11:31am JST, SI: 2, Magnitude 5.4. Hanging out in the seventh floor office again…feel that building sway…for like 30 sec after the earthquake is over…
If you wander around NIMS, it doesn’t take long to find webs of small cracks, or even large cracks, from earthquakes, including the 9.0 last year.
16. Friday, July 9, 2012 @ 2:04am JST, SI: 1, Magnitude 4.3. Sleeping…
17. Wednesday, July 10, 2012 @ 7:54pm JST, SI: 1, Magnitude 4.3. I was at the Tsukuba mall, baffled by the early closing time of 8pm.
18. Thursday, July 12, 2012 @ 1:54pm JST, SI: 2, Magnitude: 4.2. Analyzing some data in the seventh floor office. This epicenter was rather close to us. A somewhat biggie.
19. Monday, July 16, 2012 @ 4:31am JST, SI: 3, Magnitude: 4.8. Not in Tsukuba, but rather sleeping soundly in Osaka.
20. Saturday, July 21, 2012 @ 12:01pm JST, SI: 1, Magnitude: 4.9. Not in Tsukuba, but rather hiking up Fuji!
21. Sunday, July 22, 2012 @ 7:13pm JST, SI: 1, Magnitude: 3.6. Just chillin’ in my apartment.
22. Monday, July 23, 2012 @ 8:14pm JST, SI: 1, Magnitude: 2.9. Working in my apartment. This one didn’t make the official recordings (SI~<1), but I for sure felt and heard it while sitting in my apartment just a bit ago.
23. Thursday, July 26, 2012 @7:30pm JST, SI: 2, Magnitude: 4.1. On the ninth floor studio of Ninomiya House for yukata class.
24. Friday, July 27, 2012 @ 11:40pm JST, SI: 2, Magnitude: 3.9. Sleeping…zzz…
25. Tuesday, July 31, 2012 @6:16am JST, SI: 1, Magnitude: 4.1. Sleeping…again…
26. Friday, August 3, 2012 @10:19pm JST, SI: 3, Magnitude 4.5. Chillin’ in my apartment after a long week of work, presentations, and our farewell party. A BIG’N mostly because we were close to the epicenter. Ties for strongest with the first earthquake I experienced (first a SI 4 then later a relisted as a 3), but this one lasted a little longer. I heard and felt a sharp rumble/shake of my apartment building (so we were close to the epicenter). First reaction: “Woah, an earthquake.” (heart beat quickens) Then I calmly move to door of my apartment and open to secure an exit if it gets worse. (forget hardhat at desk) Laugh as I hear my Lord of the Rings sound track playing in the background for the whole hallway to hear. Yeah, I’m getting pretty pro at this.
27. Saturday, August 4, 2012 @12:18am JST, SI: 1, Magnitude 3.0. Sleeping…A late night aftershock to the bigger earthquake last night.
28. Sunday, August 5, 2012 @5:44am JST, SI: 1, Magnitude 3.4. Left Ninomiya at ~5:45am to go to Tokyo SkyTree, the tallest tower in the world! Felt this little quake right before departing.
I am sure glad I was awake to feel that one. I bet on at least one more, but it never happened.