Tokyo hit by quake measuring 5 on the scale… Experts warn of aftershocks and tsunami that could paralyze the Tokyo metropolitan area | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Tokyo hit by quake measuring 5 on the scale… Experts warn of aftershocks and tsunami that could paralyze the Tokyo metropolitan area

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An earthquake on the night of October 7 ruptured a water pipe in Meguro Ward, Tokyo. A large amount of water flowed out onto the street (Image: Kyodo News)

Oh, my God, am I drunk?

I was on my way home when I felt my body shake violently. At first I thought it was because I was drunk, but things were different. The people around me were also standing around with surprised expressions on their faces.

Gyuin! Squeal!

The alarm on my smartphone started ringing loudly. At 10:41 p.m. on October 7, the Tokyo metropolitan area was struck by an earthquake with a maximum intensity of 5.0 on the Japanese scale.

The epicenter was in the northwestern part of Chiba Prefecture, and the magnitude of the quake was 6.1 on the Richter scale. According to the Metropolitan Police Department, several water pipes burst in Tokyo. In Kakinokizaka, Meguro Ward, a large amount of water flowed into Route 7 and residential areas, and in Kohoku, Adachi Ward, muddy water overflowed from a manhole.

“On the day of the earthquake, I was working at my office until late at night when I was startled by the sudden earthquake. I was on the seventh floor. I was in a state of panic because of the violent horizontal shaking, and hurriedly took refuge under my desk. The tremor lasted for a few dozen seconds. Documents and books that I had placed on the shelves began to fall.

Even after the shaking stopped, I was hit by a series of problems. The elevator stopped. I had no choice but to take the stairs from the 7th floor and walk to the entrance. The train was also cancelled, so I waited for more than half an hour to catch an empty cab to go home. Even though I was scheduled to work early in the morning the next day, I did not arrive home until after 2 a.m.” (Company employee working in Tokyo)

At least 51 people, including four seriously injured, were injured in the earthquake. In Kisarazu City, Chiba Prefecture, a woman in her 80s fell out of bed and suffered a bone in her left leg. Also, the first car of the Nippori-Toneri Liner, which runs mainly in Adachi Ward, derailed and three passengers were injured.

Even a 10cm tsunami can’t get you out of the underground mall

This is the first time since March 11, 2011, the day of the Great East Japan Earthquake, that an intensity of 5+ was recorded in the 23 wards of Tokyo. According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, we need to be careful of aftershocks for the next week. What can we expect in the future? Manabu Takahashi, a special professor at Ritsumeikan University who specializes in disaster forecasting and urban planning, explains.

“The epicenter of the earthquake was about 75km deep, so it was probably caused by either the Pacific Plate or the Philippine Sea underneath Tokyo. As the Japan Meteorological Agency warned, we need to pay close attention to aftershocks, as the second quake tends to be larger and cause more damage than the first, whether it is the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 or the Kumamoto Earthquake in 2004.

If an aftershock bigger than this one occurs near the ocean, there is a risk of a tsunami. Even if the tsunami is only 10cm or 30cm high, we should not underestimate it. A tsunami travels about 100 meters per 10 seconds even on the ground. This is as fast as an Olympic athlete. The strong current would make it difficult for even adults to stand still.

In addition, Tokyo is a big city with its own dangers. Mr. Takahashi continues.

“There are many underground malls in Tokyo. According to my measurements, the slope of the stairs is about 30 degrees, which is quite steep. Even a 10cm tsunami would send water flowing in so fast that children and the elderly would not be able to climb to the surface even with the help of handrails. There is a possibility that Ginza, Yurakucho and other downtown areas will be flooded.

Downtown areas such as Adachi Ward are built on soft soil that flowed in from the sea 6,000 to 7,000 years ago. This soft soil is spread over a wide area from Saitama Prefecture to Gunma Prefecture. If the tsunami is massive, it will cause tremendous damage in a wide area from Tokyo to the northern Kanto region.”

A huge earthquake struck the Tokyo metropolitan area in the middle of the night. The huge earthquake that struck the Tokyo metropolitan area in the middle of the night, and the possibility of aftershocks means that we cannot rest easy yet.

  • Photo Kyodo News

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