Japan, which sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, has had some major earthquakes this week, including a colossal 8.9 jumbo quake a couple of hours ago that was centered in the Pacific close to Tokyo. Internet footage shows some frightful destruction in and around Tokyo. The Japanese capital was basically rebuilt from the ground up after World War II, with most buildings being carefully constructed to minimize earthquake damage - so the fact that there was so much havoc and destruction from the one today is extra concerning.
I was at work when the big one struck, and we felt nothing. Okinawa, a Japanese prefecture (state), is also known for its sturdy buildings. I live on the sixth floor of an eight-story apartment building that is so well made that I am confident that nothing short of a Bruce Willis disaster movie could bring it down.
(Since moving here last summer, I have felt two mild quakes - both in the morning while I was still in bed. If I had been up I might have not even noticed, but the minor earthquakes caused my bed to gently sway for five seconds or so.)
There is talk on television and radio about tsunami warnings across the Pacific and as far out as Hawaii. Estimates are for a wave anywhere between 20 inches and 20 feet to roll ashore here. The latest prediction is that it will hit Okinawa at 6:12 p.m. Current time is 5:29 p.m. My apartment faces the East China Sea, but I plan to be on the balcony with my new binoculars just in case.
Little cars with loudspeakers are in the streets. Unfortunately whatever they are blaring about is in Japanese. They are probably rattling on about the tsunami alert, but they could also be giving political speeches or talking of a big sale at the Jusco Department Store. Oh how I wish these Okinawans would do me the courtesy of speaking English - as God intended!
I have pumped up my large air mattress just in case. The Great Tsunami of 2011 might provide a great opportunity to visit Taiwan!