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    Ready for the big one

    The Nikkei editorials included one that opened thus this morning:

    The occurrence of a severe earthquake makes the blood run cold and always makes it hit home that, anywhere at any time in Japan, there is the danger of a catastrophic earthquake. We all have the memory of times when we were jolted into fear by the shaking of the earth–that memory gives us an opportunity to review point by point our earthquake preparations both at work and at home.

    Yesterday, a fairly serious earthquake struck; its focus was off the coast of Miyagi Prefecture. Its highest surface intensity was a weak 6 JMA, recorded in southern Miyagi Prefecture. Its magnitude is estimated at M7.2. There were serious injuries and damage to buildings. The shaking was registered over a large range of the Japanese Archipelago, and the rattled feeling it produced was registered by a correspondingly large number of people.

    The Japanese expression used here isn’t “makes the blood run cold,” actually–it’s 肝を冷やす (himo wo hiyasu: “chills the liver”). If there’s anyone reading from Japan, this might be a good time to plug once again the US Embassy’s earthquake preparedness checklist.

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