Monday, November 14, 2005

Earthquake Info on Japan


My grandmother, whose ninetieth birthday is coming up soon, watches TV a lot, and calls my mom whenever there's an earthquake reported in Japan.

When there is an earthquake here, I check with tenki.jp, which is the government weather agency's website. Just above and to the right of the map is a pull-down menu of recent quake dates and times. The color-coded dots are the Japanese subjective shaking scale, which goes something like this:


  • shindo 1: felt by sensitive people
  • shindo 2: felt by many people
  • shindo 3: wakeup call!
  • shindo 4: pick up items previously precariously perched at higher levels
  • shindo 5: call a handyman
  • shindo 6: call a contractor
  • shindo 7: call the army


Note that, although the numbers are similar, this is not the same as the magnitude of the earthquake; these numbers are what a person feels locally.

That info is filtered and takes a few (6-10) minutes to get posted. Hi-net is the direct access to the seismographic network.

Unfortunately, neither of those seems to have a decent English presence. I like tenki.jp because it has an i-mode interface, so when a quake hits in the middle of the night, I roll over, check my cell phone, then go back to sleep.

It does seem that we are having a lot of magnitude 4.0-5.3-ish quakes lately, mostly just north of us in Ibaraki-ken.

1 Comments:

At 11:17 PM, Blogger coherence * said...

— I'm usually a sound sleeper, but when I was in Japan there were three different occasions when, following an unusually vivid dream, I would awaken in the middle of the night to a feeling of heightened alertness. Just like clockwork, within a minute or so an earthquake would rumble through the area. I guess this puts me at shindo -1 ? My host mother used to joke that I was their personal earthquake detector ...

:-)

 

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