There are actually well-documented geological reasons why Japan is so earthquake-prone. An earthquake occurs due to the stresses caused by the movements of tectonic plates that comprise the earth. Japan and earthquakes go hand in hand due to the country’s position along the “Pacific Ring of Fire,” where it lies across three tectonic plates, including the Pacific Plate under the Pacific Ocean and the Philippine Sea Plate. As earthquakes can also occur within a tectonic plate, thus occurring on land rather than in the sea and radiating outwards, it is it is foreseeable that a major quake may strike directly under Tokyo or another large urban city that is not accustomed to earthquakes or seismically retrofitted.
Fortunately, though, many buildings are outfitted to better withstand earthquakes. Some are actually designed with the top part able to move with a given earthquake as it happens, while others are meant to actually absorb it and stay steadfastly grounded. Such innovative technology shows that the relationship between Japan and earthquakes, although certainly frightening at times has produced some useful technology that can help save lives The intensity of an earthquake is measured using the term “magnitude”, while the impact of the earthquake that can be felt is measured on the “seismic intensity scale.” Japan earthquake information differs from other countries in that there, tremors are typically measured on a 10-step seismic intensity scale of 0 through 7, with lower and upper levels in between.
Of course, as you will see below, seismic activity in Japan has been known to go above even the highest level on the scale. Actual effects vary depending on various factors including distance from the epicenter and the geological condition of the area. With a magnitude of 9, the 2011 Great Tohoku Earthquake that originated off the coast of Japan was the most powerful earthquake ever to have struck the country and the fourth strongest earthquake in the world since record-keeping began in 1900. As Japan earthquake information available through smartphone apps, the internet and other media will tell you, however, many much smaller tremors and quakes occur daily and even hourly without any destructive effects. In fact, constant seismic activity in Japan is simply part of life for many locals and expatriates alike. You must be thinking that how do people live there, the connection between Japan and earthquakes is an old one, no more so to the people who live there.
Learning from past disasters, Japan is now one of the most earthquake-ready societies in the world, and training starts from young as school children are regularly put through earthquake drills, where the alarm is sound and the students hide under their desks. In fact, you may have seen a You tube video where the March 11 Great Tohoku Earthquake occurred during such a school rehearsal. Children are also made familiar with the sensation of an earthquake so that they will not be too alarmed when a real one strikes.
Local fire departments take the children on earthquake expeditions to experience simulations at disaster centres that have machines or facilities where people can experience quakes of various magnitudes and learn about the correct responses to take. Such preparation continues in the workplace, where regular emergency drills are held; this is especially true in department stores where staff may have to handle crowds of customers during an emergency. Many homes are also disaster-ready, with large furniture and shelves secured in the event of strong quakes.
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