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    Temblor in Fukuoka

    Fukuoka (the city, not just somewhere in the prefecture) just had an earthquake of 4 M an hour ago. That level of quake doesn’t usually cause damage here in Japan, but I’m sure it did little to cheer the residents, who are still righting things after the earthquake last month. Atsushi probably felt it in city, too, where he’s probably already out with coworkers to welcome the new hires. (Because of Japan’s school year, they start in spring.)

    Of course, the Indian Ocean had yet another earthquake last week. Despite the high number of deaths, it looks as if the frame of mind that lingered after the December tsunami helped minimize losses. Still, there are fears of more disasters ahead:

    Seismologists are already sure that Monday’s magnitude 8.7 quake off Sumatra island was a direct result of raised stress levels in the earth’s crust caused by the Dec. 26 tremor.

    And they say there is now a heightened risk of further large quakes — not just aftershocks — in the area, although predicting them accurately remains impossible.

    “Unfortunately that is a real possibility — the world works that way,” Professor John McCloskey, head of environmental sciences at the University of Ulster, told Reuters by telephone.

    I don’t think it can ever be proved either way, but one explanation submitted by scholars for the rapid decline of Mycenean civilization is an “earthquake storm,” which is pretty much what it sounds like: a series of quakes resulting from a long period of built-up pressure. Not everyone accepts that explanation, of course; the traditional one involves invasions from the “Sea People.”

    4 Responses to “Temblor in Fukuoka”

    1. Mark Alger says:


      You may be surprised to find (I always am) that the correct spelling is temblor — without the “r”.

      I know, I know. It makes no sense. But… check it out.


    2. Sean Kinsell says:

      Darn. That’ll teach me for always being so smug about remembering how to spell supersede. Interesting how your brain just shoves that r in where it fits the meaning you’re expecting. Thanks for pointing it out. :)

    3. Marzo says:

      I am surprised, too, precisely because I find it familiar. As I should; “temblor” is originally Spanish.

      We have been known to do strange things to Latin r’s sometimes; for instance, we made “cocodrilo” out of “crocodylus”.

    4. Sean Kinsell says:

      Well, the French dropped all the ses and turned them into diacritics, so I suppose you can be allowed some maneuvering room, too.

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