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12 August 2009

M6.6 Quake in the middle of a Typhoon...

I guess God has it out for us over here in the Land of Cup Ramen. I was already complaining how Typhoon #9 (they don't name storms here like we do in the States) was puttin' a hurtin' on my plans... I had planned on watchigng some summer fireworks on the river that separates Gifu and Aichi prefectures in a town called Inuyama. But due to the horrendous flood-inducing, Noah-needs-to-build-another-Ark-inspiring rainfall, My plans got washed out-- pun very intentional.

Then to make matters worse, at 5:07am, I was woken up to the worse quake I've felt since growing up in Los Angeles. A 6.5 on the Richter scale. It was centered in the bay off of Shizuoka prefecture, but it was deep-- 15 miles (20km) below the earth's surface. It was a surreal feeling. During the initial wave, I knew from instinct that it was a quake, but it didn't seem that bad at first. About 5 seconds into it though, the surface waves hit, and violent shaking started. I wanted to run or hide under something, but just as quickly as it started, it ended.

Well needless to say, any major quake in Japan is treated with the upmost attention, thanks in part to the Hanshin Quake of 1994. Lessons learned from the past have made a routine checking of everything from the railway system and highway structures, to utilities and buildings, a through process. Oh and just so you know, they shut down EVERYTHING while this is happening. So no train service, and no freeway for you until its checked out. It's a minor inconvenience maybe, but I can handle it-- make sure it safe BEFORE I ride!!
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