Around 5am this morning I was woken by the biggest earthquake I’ve felt in the 2 years that I’ve lived here.
I’m not sure if it was the growl of the incoming earthquake, the shaking or my cell phone’s ‘early’ earthquake alarm (that sounds like a horror film score) but when I woke up I really thought that was it, and the BIG Nankai earthquake we’ve been dreading had arrived.
It’s hard to describe what goes through your head when you groggily wake up in this situation. All the safety tips you’ve had drilled into you just evaporate and all you can think is SHITTT. I also remember thinking GET OFF OF THE LOFT BED!
The earthquake lasted around 20 seconds, which is pretty long. Usually I just feel shaking for a couple of seconds, and most of the time it just feels like the world tips to one side and then to the other, or a massive lorry is driving past.
Despite my flimsy apartment shaking violently I was glad to find there had been no damage and everything seemed normal when I looked out of the window. Trains in the Kansai area were stopped for a while so that safety checks could take place but that was the only evidence in my area. I think there have been a few serious injuries near the epi-centre, a small island just off of Kobe, which felt a magnitude of 6.3.
I was gratedul that my friend Miyuki from Osaka mailed me straight away to check I was OK, and I had a bit of banter about it with Amy. My boyfriend played it down by telling me to stop mailing him and let him get back to sleep, ha.
For me, it took a while to get back to sleep after I set up a floor bed.
Today it seems eerily quiet outside and I feel a weird connection with all of the people I see in the street because they experienced what I did this morning. I wonder what they were doing at that time and what went through their heads.
I’ve been a bit lax recently about my earthquake OCD which use to include wearing something to bed I can evacuate in, constantly searching for safety zones, leaving my bike key out on the table so that I can make a quick exit and securing my precious laptop so that it doesn’t fall off the desk. I was also putting off replenishing my earthquake kit because I’m only here for another 2 months (I ate the tinned food at a very low point a few months back). But this morning was a wake up call and I’m getting back into my earthquake OCD mode.
Also, anyone that says they want to feel an earthquake because they think it will be fun, YOU’RE A TOOL! Go to the Natural History museum.