A magnitude 8.5, Shindo 5+ earthquake this evening with an epicenter in Ogasawara was strong enough (Shindo 4 to 5-) in northern Saitama to motivate me to gather my passport and wallet, and prepare to grab my emergency kit if needed. It was fairly long, too, allowing plenty of time for reflection.
That wouldn't ordinarily be remarkable in quake-prone Japan, except that Ogasawara is over 1000 kilometers from here.
Coming after a quake early this morning, and after some other quakes--including one with an epicenter about 20 kilometers from here--and volcanic eruptions lately, I'm a bit concerned that there may be a much more substantial and damaging one on its way.
I haven't forgotten the 3/11 disaster, and even this San Francisco native and long-time Japan resident finds his equanimity slipping a bit.
Home Truths column for February
1 week ago