Welcome again to JJNN for Tuesday June 17th, 2008. Today I want to talk about the earthquake that happened in Japan over the weekend.
On June 14th at 8:43AM there was a major earthquake in the northern part of Japan. The name given to the earthquake was "The Iwate-Miyagi Nairiku Earthquake in 2008." 10 peopled died and 12 more people are missing and suspected dead. The strength of the earthquake was 7.2 on the Richter scale. To give you another earthquake to compare it to, the 1989 California earthquake that occurred during the world series was a 7.1 on the Richter scale. I am sure most of the people that read this blog remember that earthquake and all the destruction that came with it.
You may be thinking that only 10 people dead is a miracle when compared to the 67 people that died in the California earthquake. Well, I am not one to believe in miracles so I decided to look into it. The epicenter of the California earthquake was located in the Santa Cruz mountains, only 10 miles from the city of Santa Cruz which has a population of about 54000 people. On the other hand, the epicenter of the Iwate earthquake was located in literally in the middle of nowhere. The closest city is Oushuu city with a population of 120000 people. There are a lot more people, but the city was further from the epicenter and all buildings in Japan are built strictly to resist earthquakes, something that could not be said for those old Californian buildings.
Earthquakes that big really play havoc of almost everything manmade and natural. Soil actually becomes very liquid and starts to flow during large earthquakes. This leads to landslides, sinkholes and other such affects. In the case of this latest earthquake a lot of soil was moved around. Take a look at the picture below.
The picture shows a map overlaying an new picture of the area around the epicenter of the earthquake. The map, in white, shows the way a road was before the earthquake. The map and the picture do not match in the middle. The reason for this is the earthquake caused the road to move over 300 meters with a large part of the ground around the road. It is going to be a long time before they are going to be able to build up this area again, but I hope everything goes back to normal for the people that lived there.
Any way, it is now time for the word of the day. Today's word is 地震(じしん). It is pronounced jishin and means earthquake. I have been in two major earthquakes in Japan already. They were both almost 7s on the Richter scale. I can tell you that I don't want to experience another earthquake.
That's it for today. See you next time at JJNN.