Kumamoto, a place that I consider to be my second home, has been hit by a barrage of earthquakes. It is one thing to go through one major earthquake, but Kumamoto was hit by four earthquakes measuring higher than magnitude 5.5 over two days. Just over a week on, and the frequency of earthquakes has diminished. There has been over 1000 earthquakes that were measurable in the Japanese shindo (shaking) scale (1-7) since the first one on the evening of April 14th. Both the the first earthquake and the major magnitude 7 earthquake had a peak shindo rating of 7. Only a handful of earthquakes in Japan have reached this quantification since they started using it in 1923.
I have to admit, as someone who has spent a lot of time studying geophysics, including earthquake seismology, I did want to experience what a big earthquake is like. After the first one, I found out. It was like being in the box of a mosh pit. It feels like people are pushing you around in all different directions. We were on the second floor of an apartment, which may have amplified this kind of feeling. I’ll admit, it was kind of exciting. After the second big earthquake (about half an hour later), I was kind of thinking that I could do without feeling more earthquakes. By the time that one came, we were outdoors in an open parking lot. Continue reading