Posted by Hanako Tokita for Global Voices Online
On June 14, an inland earthquake reaching M7.2 on the Richter scale struck the Tohoku region of Japan. In Iwate and Miyagi, the hardest hit prefectures, 10 have been confirmed dead, about a dozen are missing, and more than 200 people have been injured. Although the death toll was relatively small, given that the areas in the vicinity of the epicenter are mostly mountainous, the ground acceleration level during Saturday’s earthquake was recorded at 4,022, the highest ever observed in Japan.
Video taken on June 16th from a helicopter of changes after landslide caused by Iwate-Miyagi Inland Earthquake (Mainichi)
Blogger mique writes:
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"My hometown was hit hard by an upper 6 tremor, but my parents and brothers are fine. The roads and railways were not working so it was good that I got a hold of them. I was actually on the phone with my parents when the earthquake happened. I could hear a rattling noise from the other end of the line and knew that things were falling. It feels strange to hear the name of the place I was born when watching TV. I heard that my grandma from my mum’s side got hurt, and I am really worried."
Blogger shinamon describes their experience of the earthquake:
"This morning a huge earthquake hit areas including Miyagi prefecture, where I live.
At that time, I was on the platform at Sendai Station, waiting for the Shinkansen bound for Tokyo.
The tremor was big and I was very scared."
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"It didn’t seem that the shinkansen [bullet train] would start running, so I gave up on going to Tokyo.
I decided to leave the station and go straight to my office. At my office, there are part-time student workers who come to work even on the weekend.
When I got to the taxi terminal, there were pieces of broken glass scattered around.
It looked to me like glass windows in the upper levels of a hotel had broken and fallen.
Fortunately, no one was hurt.
The building where my office is located was okay, as were the student workers."
"Miyagi prefecture is a place that gets hit by earthquakes frequently.
However, epicenters are usually located off the coast of Miyagi or Iwate.
There aren’t a lot of them happening inland, although I think there was an inland earthquake [that measured] lower 6 on the Seismic scale a couple of years ago."
"Also, it is said that there is a 90% chance of a huge earthquake in Miyagi within the next 30 years. But I don’t think today’s earthquake was it."
Blogger simatyu describes their reaction to the earthquake:
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"As time goes by, the magnitude of the damaged has become clear. I feel astonishment and fear that a whole mountain collapsed.
What I cannot help thinking about is what would happen if an earthquake of the same scale hit Tokyo.
Just the thought of it scares me. I can only pray that no epicentral earthquake will ever hit Tokyo.
Also, I hope that those people who were struck by the earthquake will be able to go back to their normal life soon."