(Later -- The earthquake was upgraded to 9.0.)
The recent earthquake in Japan dwarfs all the worlds other unsettling events. This catastrophes devastating human element is beyond comprehension. We cannot know the anguish of concern for the welfare of loved ones unless we’ve ever been in a similar situation of comparable uncertainty. The inability to establish contact with those we care for, or be able to provide them any needed assistance, must be an almost unbearable situation.
These circumstances are being felt most acutely by so many individuals in the United States, around the world and certainly specifically in Japan. A blogger, Bob Brady, whose writing I greatly admire, has been coping with just such unknowns. He lives in Japan, writes at "Pure Land Mountain," and is sharing his family experience. He has finally had phone contact with some of his family who live in an earthquake affected area. I can only imagine the relief he and his wife must have felt upon finally hearing their daughter’s voice. The account of his son-in-law’s hours long trek home on foot in the midst of this disaster is a heroic story. The family is still faced with much uncertainty. Bob says he will write on his blog as he is able.
These events have certainly given me pause to attend to earthquake information as also usually occurs any time after we experience these tremblors in So. Cal. Japan’s five minutes of shaking seems interminable compared with the seconds to little more than a minute’s duration of any shaking I’ve experienced. I hope quake experts’ reports are accurate that due to the smaller fault size, our San Andreas Fault could never register an 8.9 quake as in Japan. Our long predicted “Big One” has the potential for destruction enough in our populated areas.
The same experts say Northern California, Oregon and Washington are much more susceptible to a strong quake. I certainly don’t wish such a tremblor on those areas, or any others, now or in the future.
U.S. Earthquakes are often most associated with California, but the reality is they occur in various areas across our country. See USGS map.
Earthquake preparedness will be of interest to those who live in or might be affected by a nearby tremor.