Miscellaneous Blog Posts

One week since quake

It’s been a week since the Great Hokkaido Earthquake. We are still experiencing aftershocks on a daily basis, but at a way lower frequency and way less intensity, which should hopefully mean it’s all calming down. We are okay here, and would like to express our sincere sympathy to those who are suffering and pray for fast recovery of affected regions.

I guess my area had 5 or 6 on the seismic scale, which in other words was utter craziness. The lateral shake left all unlocked windows half open and the fridge about 20 centimeters off the original position.

Fallen materials shattered the glass window of the shower room door. Interior and exterior walls got cracked. But luckily, there was no soil liquefaction as in some other houses and roads in the same Kiyota Ward.

I’ve passed by a few areas where liquefaction occurred, including ones close by, reconfirming the effect of topographical features. Sapporo’s flat grounds are originally swampy terrains, and it’s only natural that reclaimed lands where creeks used to flow into swamps are subject to high risks. Put another way, disaster insusceptibility is apparently the intrinsic reason that Sapporo’s rich residential areas are located in places like Miyanomori and Yamanote on the western hillside.

Anyhow, timing played a grave role this time. Just 24 hours before the quake was the peak of the Typhoon 21. It was more of a “wind typhoon” than rain, but nevertheless dropped major amounts of water right before the quake.

This is what the wind did to a tree just behind my house. There also were streets that lost most of the trees planted in the median.

Things are more or less under control now, but there still are talks about planned power outage and inconveniences in daily grocery shopping. This is what a convenience store looked like when I dropped by early in the evening two days ago, five days after the earthquake:

And this is a store located just several blocks away from the TV Tower, downtown Sapporo, a 2 million city. Supermarkets are alike, especially in the dairy section. The next trend will be to keep a dairy cattle at home as a measure against natural disasters. No milk until then.

BTW, last but not least, and on an irrelevant note, congratulations, Naomi Osaka. We’re proud of you.