I was sitting in the sofa writing my last blog post when the TV gave a loud warning tone. On the screen was an early earthquake warning in Japanese and English. An earthquake was about to happen. The epicenter was in Nagano, the mountainous prefecture famous for skiing and the 1998 Winter Olympics.
The ground didn’t start shaking, though. The laundry and the lights were swinging a lot, but I didn’t feel any shaking and there were no creaking sounds I usually hear during an earthquake. I sat as still as possible. There it was. A very slow but significant rocking movement. Imagine being on a big boat that was gently rocking and you’d understand the feeling.
This wasn’t a small earthquake. Far from it. It was strong, magnitude 6.8. The depth was 10 km. I didn’t hear about any damage or casualties last night, but from what little I’ve seen through Facebook this morning, there have been some collapsed buildings and 22 people injured.
Yes, it was a pretty significant earthquake. The slow rocking movement was very deceptive. We were actually moving a lot, just not in sharp jolts. Very strange feeling. I wouldn’t have known if I were standing up.