Monday, April 09, 2007

Earthquakes in JAPAN

The Japanese archipelago is located in an area where several continental and oceanic plates meet. This is the cause for frequent earthquakes and the presence of many volcanoes and hot springs across Japan. If earthquakes occur below or close to the ocean, they may trigger tidal waves (tsunami).

Historic earthquakes:

Many parts of the country have experienced devastating earthquakes and tidal waves in the past. The worst earthquake in Japanese history hit the Kanto plain around Tokyo in the year 1923, when over 100,000 people died in the Great Kanto Earthquake.

In January 1995 a strong earthquake hit the city of Kobe and surroundings. The Southern Hyogo Earthquake (also called Great Hanshin Earthquake) killed 6,000 and injured 415,000 people. 100,000 houses were completely and 185,000 partially destroyed.

Earthquake measurement:

The Japanese "shindo" scale for measuring earthquakes is more commonly used in Japan than the Richter scale. Shindo refers to the intensity of an earthquake at a given location, i.e. what people actually feel at a given location, while the Richter scale measures the magnitude of an earthquake, i.e. the energy an earthquake releases at the epicenter.

The shindo scale ranges from shindo one, a slight earthquake felt only by people who are not moving, to shindo seven, a severe earthquake. Shindo two to four are still minor earthquakes that do not cause damage, while objects start to fall at shindo five, and heavier damage occurs at shindo six and seven.


Every household should keep a survival kit consisting of water and food for a few days, a flashlight, a radio and a first aid kit. Avoid placing heavy objects into places where they could easily fall during an earthquake and cause injury or block exits. Have a fire extinguisher. Familiarize yourself with the designated evacuation area in your neighborhood.

During and after an earthquake:

Falling objects, toppling furniture and panic present the greatest dangers during an earthquake. Try to protect yourself under a table or doorway. Do not run outside, and try to remain as calm as possible. If you are in the streets, try to find protection from glass and other objects that may fall from surrounding buildings.

After a strong earthquake, turn off ovens, stoves and the main gas valve. Then, listen to the radio or television for news. In coastal areas beware of possible tidal waves (tsunami). In mountainous areas beware of possible land slides triggered by the earthquake.


Anonymous said...

That was a good information
every one wrote the plus of japan
but u have posted the negative issues in japan

Anonymous said...

Many of them posted the japanese culture and their technology but u only posted the problem faced by the japanese and that was a good post

Nihongo Bashi said...

this isnt a negative or a problem about Japan. Like all countries Japan also faces natural disasters.We just have to learn to understand that every country has its own constraints with which it lives.

Ankit Khattar said...

In the Kobe earth quake many people got killed and even more were injured. Not only did this happen but also some fly overs and rail tracks collapsed which weren't supposed to do so even at higher shindo scales.

Also this earthquake brought out the inherent flaws of the traditional japanese houses. A traditional style house has much heavier roof than the walls could bear in an earthquake.There also weren't enough parttions in the building to resist an earthquake. This was built so to encounter the effects of tsuyoi kaze and ame which seem like frequent fliers in japan. But the earthquake of kobe completely wiped out almost entire colonies of traditional houses.

So post-earthquake kobe has made some serious architectural improvements.

Anonymous said...

thanks so much!

i really needed some extra information for a geography project im doing at school, this helped so much. its finished now!

very good info, very helpful