A nasty earthquake hit Niigata on October 23, 2004. At the time, I made a number of posts during the night and into the next day. I have decided to recompile them into a single post for the current site just so you can see what was going through my warped mind during that period.
October 23, 2004 :: 18:02 JST
Main quake hits
A weak 6 hit Niigata area (magnitude 6.8 according to the TV) about five minutes ago – could feel it in Tokyo.
October 23, 2004 :: 18:06 JST
Another quake is rocking my apartment in Tokyo. Looks like another weak 6 in Fukui/Niigata area. It was big enough to wake one of the ferrets, but still only a four where we live.
October 23, 2004 :: 18:13 JST
Just got another quake sluicing through. This is becoming a habit. Looks like it was a strong five. Probably a three in Tokyo.
October 23, 2004 :: 18:35 JST
Quakes have been rolling for the last half hour or so. I’m just sitting here waiting for the next one. Another weak six (this is the Japanese system where a weak six is bigger than a strong five and it’s more of how the quake is felt on the ground rather than the magnitude) probably around Niigata way. This one would have been a four in northern Tokyo/Saitama way. Another smaller quake came as I wrote this entry. Looks like it will be a shaky night. No reports of damage or warnings…. yet.
October 23, 2004 :: 18:57
News appears on Google
Well, the stories are now being sucked up into Google’s news aggregator – Noogle earthquake news. Some of these articles are a little dramatic – Powerful earthquake rocks Tokyo. Well, I guess it is technically true, there were several strong earthquakes and yes, they did rock Tokyo somewhat, but since Tokyo is a long way from the epicenter it’s kind of misleading and will needlessly scare my mum when she sees it on the news tonight. What’s wrong with putting Niigata in the headline? After all this is where the quake occurred, not Tokyo which is about 250 km away. Sheesh, talk about encouraging fear. Oh, and there’s been another 5 on the Japanese system – didn’t feel it in Tokyo.
October 24, 2004 :: 13:36 JST
While I was working last night, I just kept seeing aftershock after aftershock being reported on the TV – over 200 aftershocks apparently. Usually you see little text messages at the top of the screen and they kept popping up. Today it looks as though at least 17 people have died around 1,000 injured and quite a bit of damage – houses collapsing, a village hit by a landslide, damage to rail and road, power knocked out for a quarter million homes and other utilities and communications affected. Even a shinkansen was derailed (looks like it had already stopped and no injuries). I actually got pretty angry with some foreign news services that initially focused on buildings rocking a bit in Tokyo (rather than Niigata, which is where the quake and damage took place) and even sent a couple of complaints out. Although there was not much rumbling in Tokyo, it makes you think how bad things will be when a big one hits the capital.
October 26, 2004 :: 19:57 JST
Note on inital dramatic coverage
On Saturday, Igor wrote:
Some of these [news] articles are a little dramatic – Powerful earthquake rocks Tokyo. Well, I guess it is technically true, there were several strong earthquakes and yes, they did rock Tokyo somewhat, but since Tokyo is a long way from the epicenter it’s kind of misleading and will needlessly scare my mum when she sees it on the news tonight.
Guess what? She called.