Earthquake Honshu Japan : Tokyo had a narrow escape ... again

UPDATE March 13, 2011
This article has been written by on January 25, before the Christchurch earthquakes. We wrote it because we had commented on a number of moderate earthquakes in the direct vicinity of Tokyo. The text we have written in January is still valid today after the teriible earthquake and tsunami

Original article
Tokyo is at war !

Tokyo is at war against an invisible enemy who can be very cruel and murderous.
Today the missiles hit 60 km from the greater Tokyo coastline.
And the shooting goes on ....
At least 5 times since we started in September 2010.
And .... the shooting will go on forever, even after a direct hit will strike the city.
87 years ago, the enemy struck twice in the same day, the first hit was a direct hit causing many buildings and houses to go down, the second hit, a couple of minutes later threw huge masses of water on the coastal area.
The combined hits killed around 143,000 people and made a minimum 1,900,000 homeless, with the highest economic loss (2011 dollar adjusted) of all time! Astonishing numbers.
Tokyo is only one of the possible high casualty and infrastructure targets in the world where the shooting will go on and on and on ....

Tokyo Kanto 1923 earthquake - Wikipedia image

Why all this fuzz today ?
@, our heartbeat always beats faster when a message of an earthquake "near the east coast of Honshu" with a magnitude of 5.5 or higher arrives on our smartphones.
This happened again today.
Since some of us have travelled to Tokyo, the blood pumps even faster then before.
We know what a direct hit could mean in this beautiful city of 32 million people (Tokyo metropolitan area).

Tokyo is prepared, Chile was prepared too!
I know what a lot of you will be telling us. The Japanese are amongst the best earthquake prepared people in the world and also the authorities will be in the top rankings of the best organized to cope with a major earthquake.
Nevertheless, a direct hit would be Catastrophic and would create Chaos. It would most likely be the first trillion-dollar loss earthquake!
Tokyo has not only modern earthquake proof buildings, but also old narrow wooden houses in narrow streets, where roofs are touching almost each other.
Today, everybody has a fresh mind of the Haiti, Port-au-Prince pictures.
A major hit on Tokyo would print the same Haiti-like pictures in our newspapers. Maybe the comparison is not a good one, but misery in Haiti and misery elsewhere is still Misery.
Chile for example, a well organized and highly earthquake-resistant nation (also ranking in our top 5 worldwide) may have got a lot less aid and attention than Haiti, but what happened in Chile left also a scar in everybody mind and heart in Chile.

Tokyo today - image

Other world cities at risk ?
For those who are living in other big cities in the world, here are (only) a few examples of possible other multi-million or high targets in the world :
Asia : Kathmandu (Nepal), Tehran and Shiraz (Iran), Taipei (Taiwan), Tbilisi (Georgia), Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan), Almaty (Kazakhstan), Delhi, Mumbai (India), Lahore, Karachi (Pakistan) , Dhaka (Bangladesh), Yangon (Myanmar), Manila (Philippines),  Jakarta and Bandung (Indonesia), Bangkok (Thailand), Amman (Jordan), Many cities (China), Osaka (Japan), Damascus (Syria), Kabul (Afghanistan)
Africa : Cairo (Egypt), Algiers (Algeria), Addis Abeba (Ethiopia), Djibouti

Europe : Istanbul, Ankara (Turkey), Naples, Rome, Milan (Italy), Cologne area (Germany), Athens (Greece), Skopje (Macedonia), Belgrade (Serbia), Bucharest (Romania), Grenoble (France), Barcelona (Spain), Montenegro.

Oceania : Christchurch, Wellington (New Zealand), Sydney, Perth and Adelaide (Australia)
Americas : Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Boston (USA), Vancouver (Canada), San Juan (Puerto Rico), Port-au-Prince (Haiti), Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic), San Salvador, Guatemala City, La Paz (Bolivia), Santago de Chile, Quito (Ecuador), Lima (Peru), Mexico City (Mexico), Bogota (Colombia), Caracas (Venezuela), Quito (Ecuador), Buenos Aires (Argentina).

It can be seen that we are waiting for a major urban center hit on a developed economy - we just don't know where.... all we know is that the statistics show, that it has not happened yet as seen by the diagram on Page 20 of the CATDAT 2010 report. We are still waiting for that trillion dollar earthquake, given the massive increase in world wealth and infrastructure or a even larger hit on a city than the 92000-225000 deaths seen in Port-au-Prince, Haiti last year.


For all those living in these cities : BE PREPARED AS MUCH AS YOU CAN !.

Read about earthquake secure building methods, always keep earthquakes in your mind when redesigning your interior (fix many appliances and furniture to walls etc.).
Know what to do if the shaking starts (Do not run out of your house when the shaking is still going on!).
Ask your local authorities for more information, as they are usually aware of the risk and will have a lot of material in coping with all these issues.

QuakeSOS+ is an iPhone application developed by Armand Vervaeck, the creator and main contributor to Earthquake Report. The Application simplifies immediate group communication to friends and family members (with your exact GPS location) and is constantly feeding the users with œEarthquake Report news. Together with your own family and friends, QuakeSOS+ will be your closest earthquake friend. Buying QuakeSOS+ will support the activities of SOS Earthquakes.

a was also created by SOS Earthquakes. makes it easy to let the world know which shaking people have experienced during the earthquake. gives also the opportunity to write some additional text. Filling up the form takes only 1 minute. gives an overview of all the resent earthquakes and let you even go back in time and retrieve earthquakes of a certain date in the past.

a headlines on twitter
@OnlyQuakeNews : Get all the headlines of our articles + regular updates on ongoing events
@QuakeSOS : news + automatic earthquake notifications of USGS earthquakes of M 4.0 or higher with emphasis to earthquakes in the America's and the Pacific Ocean sphere (4 and up) and a lot of the rest of the world (5 and up). This account was created for our QuakeSOS and QuakeSOS+ iPhone applications
@ShakingEarth : news + automatic earthquake notifications of EMSC earthquakes of M 4.0 or higher with emphasis to earthquakes in European and Asian / Middle East sphere (4 and up) and a lot of the rest of the world (5 and up). This account was originally created to stimulate our Facebook account
@QuakeMaps : news with mapping notifications of ALL earthquakes M 3.0 and higher from all over the world via EMSC and USGS. This account was created for our website


  1. Yes here in Istanbul in 1999 i lived trough a major earthquake 7.8
    and thank God i survived !!!
    Still very afraid for it but I hope to survive it when it hits again...