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    We’re all gonna die! III

    There was an earthquake this morning. I think I felt it, but I may be dreaming…or something. Anyway, its epicenter wasn’t far from Tokyo, in the southern part of Ibaraki Prefecture. Magnitude 5.4, not much below that of some of the severe quakes Niigata Prefecture had last autumn. It looks as if about 37 people were seriously injured, which is a higher figure than I can remember for any earthquake besides the Chuetsu Earthquake (that’s what the seismologists call the Niigata quakes, after the village under which the biggest quakes were centered) in recent memory. Luckily, the Tokyo area hasn’t come off a summer’s worth of poundings by typhoons, which was the case in Niigata; there was lots of liquefaction that led to mudslides and cliffslides. It also is called the Kanto Plain for a reason: it’s not as mountainous as most of Japan, so the number of rocks higher than your head is a lot lower. On the other hand, Tokyo has plenty of reclaimed land, which proved to be a real menace in the Great Hanshin Earthquake ten years ago.

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