Saturday, March 24, 2007

An effective alarm clock...

I need one of these at home.

Having ignored my earlier alarm clocks (why do I bother setting them on Sundays anyway?), I had no sooner fallen back asleep and was having a dream in which I was fleeing some now-unremembered foe in a car, which was rocking back and a dreamlike sway.

I woke up, instantly wide-awake, to realize that no, it was my apartment that was swaying. And it was no dream. I quickly put my glasses on, and made a mental note of the location of my earthquake kit (about four feet away, under my makeshift desk. Then I sat in bed, and listened to my dishes chink in time with the gentle rocking.

It lasted maybe 5-10 seconds at the most. Not as long as the last time and perhaps as intense (which is to say, not very intense at all, as far as these things go).

I see the JMA doesn't have its final results up yet, but it looks like a strong(ish) (5.0) earthquake in the Japan Sea north of here, which means we really only got the tail end of it. My end of Gifu Prefecture is marked at about a 2.0, which seems about right. They are showing two, at 9:47 (I remember it being a touch earlier, but it's possible) and 9:57, same intensity; I wonder if this will updated and consolidated into one earthquake as they get more information. I certainly didn't feel a second one here.

As soon as it seemed everything was going to remain stable and not shake any more, I called Randal. He'd also been woken up by it, and was diligent enough to get up to turn the gas off (I don't have a gas stove, so I don't need to worry about that in a disaster, thank god), but the earthquake stopped before he actually got there. Anyway, he has no internet at the moment (down all weekend), so let me tell you here that he's fine and in one piece. As am I. For now at least.

Update (10:27 a.m.): Huh. I just clicked my picture of the quake above to see what the most recent info was, and it turns out there was just an earthquake, at about 9:40 this morning, north of New Zealand, of 7.3. (The JMA displays distant earthquake info when the quake is of magnitude 7.0 or above, but this is the first time I've seen that function in action.)

Update (10:43 a.m.): OK, so I can't read maps. The earthquake (at 9:42, which is the time I thought - the two times I reported above is just the times they got different reports at, though they don't usually list them like that, I don't think)was a 3.0 seismic intensity in Gifu area, not 2.0 as reported above. And, it was a whopper of a quake - a 7.1 just off the Noto peninsula which is a little stick of land a couple hundred kilometres due north of here. If you don't believe me, full deets are here.


Daddy-Pooh said...

I heard the news about the eartquake on the radio last night while dropping. I looked it up on the map of Japan [I had to do a lot of searching on the internet to find a decent map that showed the "Ishikawa and Toyama prefectures"] and noticed that it occurred not too far north of Gifu. As it was reported in the news to have a magnitude of 7.1 at the epicentre, it was reassuring to learn that it was only 3.0 in Gifu. I'm relieved to hear that you and Randal are okay and having a rocking good time!

By the way, I get to play with Waterlilly's computer while she is away in Montreal until next Thursday. It's mine, all mine for almost a week!

Mark Reynolds said...

What confuses me is why it is that the meteorology people are the ones handling earthquakes. They aren't exactly atmospheric phenomena, as implied by their name. Of course by that logic it would be the department of agriculture handling it.

Stuart said...

EEEK! I'm not sure how I would like to have to deal with these earthquakes! Good to hear that you are taking it all in your stride, though. Is this a semi-regular event in Gifu?