One of Fukuoka’s big selling points is that, despite being in a seismically active part of the world, it gets very few quakes. And by very few, I mean next to none. The last tremblor of any significance (7.0) was almost 10 years ago. Prior to that, the last big quake (5.0) was over 100 years before, and it had been literally centuries since the last big one when the 2005 quake hit.
I was actually in the Tokyo area a few weeks back for the 6+ quake that hit Niigata, but didn’t feel it or any of the many aftershocks, just sat on the train as it stopped twice for a track check as we made our way north. I rarely notice quakes below 4, particularly if I’m in a moving vehicle. Those that hit when I’m trying to fall asleep? Those I notice.
This afternoon was my first actual quake in Fukuoka since moving here. It was a small thing, as quakes go — 4.0 on the Richter, 2.0 on the Japanese scale — but it was right here in Fukuoka, so while short, it felt pretty, well, rumbly. None of us even made a move to take cover, though, just chuckled. I guess if it had been more than a few seconds, we might’ve been a little less sanguine. I joked with my boss, who’d just gotten back to Beijing from London, that we’d had a quake just to welcome him home.
Anyhow, rite of passage for living in Japan achieved. And now, no more of that, Mother Nature. I expect it in Tokyo, not here!