Japan Earthquake – From Kyoto

This week, I’m going to take a little break from writing about the JLPT to write about the Japan Earthquake.  I thought I wouldn’t be doing my part as a responsible blogger if I conducted business as usual.  Sorry for the small detour.  I’ll hopefully get back to blogging about the JLPT shortly.

Just a little background, the recent earthquake in Japan has been upgraded to a magnitude 9.0, which now makes it the 4th strongest earthquake in the world since accurate measurements were available (last 100 years or so).  It moved the main island of Japan 8 feet and shifted the Earth’s axis.  Some people are reporting that the land dropped by up to 70cm.

This was a huge earthquake that came out of nowhere.  Nobody was predicting this kind of an earthquake in this area.

I’ll try to keep adding to this blog post as I find more resources and information to share.  If you have anything to add, please comment! Any extra information will help!

General Resources

Here are some great places to catch the latest news as it happens about the quake:

Twitter – searching for the hashtag #jpquake will give you a lot of great news.  The hashtag #prayforjapan is also trending, but this is a mix of  genuine messages and about 10% spotlight hoggers and rumor mongers, so beware.

Japan Tribute – Jacob Cass has designed a symbol to show your support.  It is the featured image of this blog post.  You can get it at his website.

Google has a map of all the earthquake resources, if you are in the affected area, this will come in handy: https://maps.google.co.jp/maps/ms?hl=ja&ie=UTF8&brcurrent=3,0x34674e0fd77f192f:0xf54275d47c665244,0&msa=0&msid=216614052816461214939.00049e49594f07450fe63&z=8

The Japan Forum has a great stream of news about the quake as well: https://www.travel-trick.com/japan/

Nuclear Meltdown Headlines Sell Newspapers

There is a crisis that is slowly developing that involves 5 power plants in the Tohoku area (the area of Japan hit by the earthquake).    These nuclear reactors have automatic systems that trigger a cool-down/shutdown in the event of a major earthquake.  These systems failed to go on line due to the tsunami that knocked out the emergency power generators.  Although, this is a serious situation, it is only serious for those in the Fukushima area.

If you’d like more details into this aspect of the crisis in Japan, I encourage you to read some better researched and better written articles than I could ever write about the subject below:

BBC has a good article about the latest explosion: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12729138

Reuters article on the impact to the nuclear industry: https://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/14/us-japan-quake-nuclear-analysis-idUSTRE72C41W20110314

The important thing here is that this isn’t Chernobyl.  The reactors and cores are incredibly well protected and there is minimal risk of a widespread radiation contamination.  If you don’t believe me, you can read this long, detailed, incredibly well-written article about how you shouldn’t be worried about a nuclear disaster in Japan:



There have been numerous aftershocks since the initial earthquake.  It appears there were about 150+ aftershocks in the 48 hours following the quake.  These aftershocks will probably last for at least a month (which is about how long they lasted after the Hanshin earthquake of 1995).

There is a risk (50%) of another major earthquake (7.0+) to occur in the area over the next few days (until 3/17).  If you are anywhere near Tohoku or Tokyo be sure to stock up on water and canned goods.  Water is the most precious.  It only costs 600Y for 12 liters, so might as well buy a case.


If would like to help those in need, be sure to do your research.  Every time an international crisis like this happens, there seem to be a couple of scammers that pop up to pray on people’s charity.  Don’t be a victim of these con-people.  Be sure to donate to a well-known agency.  Mashable has a great article about 7 ways you can help out those in need:


Anyway, I have to go to work.  I’ll try to keep this updated with new resources as they come available or if you have resources to share that I’ve missed please don’t hesitate to comment.  By commenting you’ll be doing your part to help out!

Thanks everyone and stay safe! – Mac

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