Monday, August 22, 2005

7.2 earthquake that does very little damage!

A little before noon on August 16, Tokyo shook from an earthquake of magnitude 7.2 that hit about 200 miles away. In Tokyo, even though buildings swayed side to side, it only measured about 5 on the Richter scale. However, it felt quite intense so I grabbed my cell phone and purse and ran from my house.

Amazingly, this earthquake did very little damage in Saitama Prefecture, its epicenter, located in northeastern Japan. Although some 80 people sustained injuries, no one was killed, and there was very little property damage. The worst damage was a collapsed ceiling at a newly-opened swimming center where most of the injuries occurred. There was also a collapsed house with an 80-year-old woman trapped inside who was pulled out uninjured.

The magnitude 7.4 Kobe earthquake in 1995 killed more than 6,400 people and did significant property damage when entire blocks burned to the ground.

Kanto Prefecture (Tokyo is one of its 23 wards) had a 6.0 earthquake on July 24. According to The Yomiuri Shimbun, the "Geographical Survey Institute said it rated the earthquake an 'A-level'--the highest alert level set by the administrative organization." Even so, no one was killed, and very little damage was sustained.

People in Saitama and Kanto Prefectures are feeling very lucky these days. Very lucky indeed.

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