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6.8 Earthquake Hits Tokyo

Hanshin Earthquake

It seems like Neo-Edo got a wake up call when an earthquake struck off the Japanese coast and shook Tokyo early Wednesday.  So far there are no immediate reports of injuries or damage and no fears of a tsunami. Power lines and communications are running normally

The epicenter of the 6.8 earthquake that struck at 01:45 (16:45 GMT) was offshore, 160 kilometers (100 miles) northeast of Tokyo and at a depth of 40 kilometers underwater, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. NHK reported that a second quake hit in the same area about half an hour later with a magnitude of 5.3 in the Richter scale.  Tokyo had an earlier quake this month the rattled a few in the city.

As you know, Japan is one of the most earthquake-prone countries in the world.  Tokyo has not been hit with a major earthquake since the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake killed 140,000 people. An earthquake of that size, about a magnitude 8, occurs once every 200 to 300 years.

I had the unpleasant experience of being tossed around during the Great Hanshin Earthquake that claimed the lives of 6,434 people, about 4,600 of them were citizens of Kobe, and caused approximately ten trillion yen or $200 billion USD in damage, 2.5% of Japan’s GDP at the time. Luckily for me, I had only minor property damage and a newfound respect for the unexpected hiccups from Mother Nature. The sad part for me was that the earthquake hit the day I moved into my new apartment filled with new purchases from my trip to the US. Oh well, I least I’m still kickin’!

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