Brown trouser time.

Yes, I’m fine. Thank you for asking. I was lying in bed on Sunday, 20th March, 2005 at 10:53am (as I’ve still got the last pieces of the flu to deal with) and everything started wobbling. Not just my stomach, but everything. This is the second earthquake I’ve been in. The first was in Sydney, when the Newcastle Earthquake happened (10.27 am on Thursday, 28 December, 1989) and wobbled it’s way down the East coast of Australia. I was also lying in bed at the time, but it (the earthquake, not my stomach or the bed) wasn’t as wobbly as this one.

I threw some clothes over my PJs and stuffed a bag with a few things like passport and so on, and went outside. Everyone seemed to be just continuing life as normal. Well, no one else rushed outside. There have been lots of little wobbly aftershocks that rattle the windows and my nerves though. I suppose NOVA’s policy would be to keep working, but today is my day off, so I’ll check with the others soon.

Digging around, I’ve found a site which seems to be pretty much the most accurate, up to date seismic activity in and around Kyushu region.

And for your reading please (and hopefully to increase web hits on the puny server) there’s this, one of the first articles to come in.

Powerful quake rattles southern Japan
March 19, 2005
TOKYO — A powerful earthquake rattled southern Japanese on Sunday, swaying buildings and prompting warnings of tsunami. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The magnitude-7 temblor, which hit west of Kyushu Island at 10:53 a.m., was centered at an “extremely shallow” depth below the ocean floor, the Meteorological Agency said.

The agency warned of the possibility of 20-inch tsunami waves triggered by the seismic activity, and cautioned residents near the water to move to higher ground.

Police said there no reports of injuries.

Local officials in the southern state of Fukuoka reported water main breaks. Utility operators reported some blackouts.

The shaking, which lasted several seconds, was strong enough to topple desks and knock books off shelves, an official in Fukuoka told public broadcaster NHK TV.

NHK showed tall office buildings and street lamps in the center of Fukuoka, nearest the epicenter, shaking violently. In residential areas, cracks appeared in sidewalks and parts of retainer walls flaked off.

Kyushu Island is separated from South Korea by a narrow strait of water, and the quake was felt in South Korea’s port city of Busan, where it was registered at between magnitudes 4 and 6 and briefly shook buildings. No damage was immediately reported, a police spokesman in Busan said on condition of anonymity.

A magnitude-7 quake can cause widespread damage if it is centered in a populated area.

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