At about a quarter past ten this morning, there was a major earthquake in Niigata Prefecture. Niigata Prefecture is some way north of here, on the Japan Sea coast of Japan, and we didn’t even feel it; I found out from the new headlines on my cell phone. It was an upper 6 on the Japanese scale, which is very strong; if there are no deaths, we will have been very lucky indeed. It seems to have been magnitude 6.8 on the Richter scale.
It’s not been a good weekend, all told. Typhoon 4 was, apparently, the strongest on record for this time of year. It killed at least three people, injured seventy, destroyed or severely damaged a couple of dozen homes, and flooded a lot of areas, causing transport chaos across the whole country.
It’s ironic that this is a holiday weekend. Today is Sea Day, and a national holiday.
Of course, just here we’ve not really had any problems. The earthquake was too far away to have any impact, and the typhoon caused nothing worse than a couple of wet days. It even stopped in time for the summer festival at the local shrine to go ahead.