We’re still getting some shakes here and there in Japan in the wake of the March 11th Tohoku earthquake. It’s been predicted that they’ll continue for the next year or so. There are lots of predictions about where the next big quake will be, and much to my chagrin, my home of Chiba prefecture is one of them.
If you look at the Chiba peninsula, it’s marked as a risk area for a 5 to 5.5 magnitude earthquake. Places marked for bigger earthquakes are Hokkaido, Kyushu and Fukui Prefecture. The area around Fukui has a number of nuclear reactors and also Lake Biwa, the source of drinking water for most of Kansai region. That’s a little scary to say the least.
For slightly more intuitive earthquake predictions, there’s also a blogger named Miyuki who can predict earthquakes by the ringing in her ears. At her blog she gives daily updates about her tinnitus and what kind of catastrophe it might predict.
Don’t worry; today’s alright. Monday she felt a little strange and didn’t know if maybe something terrible might happen, but nothing terrible did.
And before you dismiss her ear ringing as a bunch of hooey, consider this: The night before the Tohoku quake, she woke up at 2:27 in the morning unable to sleep. In her blog post written at that time in the morning, she said she thought something horrible was going to happen the next day, maybe an earthquake off the coast of Fukushima or Miyagi.
Needless to say, her blog is popular. My wife checks it every day.
While it’s certain that there will continue to be small aftershocks for the next year (‘small’ now means anything less than 5 magnitude!), it’s pretty disconcerting how so many people are predicting a ‘big one’ to hit the Tokai area. Japanese geologists have been watching the Phillipine plate slide under the Eurasian plate for about 25 years and they’re saying when it shakes things up, it’s really going to be bad. Tokai is the region just southwest of Tokyo and we’ll definitely feel it here.
I hate to sound gloomy, but I hope those 40 Olympic-sized swimming pool’s worth of dangerously radioactive water in Tohoku will be okay.