The islands of Japan are located in an area known as the ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’. This area is where most of the world’s earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and subsequent tsunamis occur, making earthquake drills very common for travelers before entering Japan.
There is a long history of earthquakes within Japan, the earliest officially documented as far back as 599 AD. The most recent is the well known 2011 and 2013 disasters, which involved the nuclear plant in Fukushima and the resulting radiation.
Earthquakes are devastating and leave nothing but destruction in their wake. Over time, houses and buildings in Japan have been built to withstand the tremors, but obviously cannot combat serious disaster striking. Understand that an earthquake can occur at any time and can be at any magnitude.
If you’re involved in an earthquake in Japan
– You may be often told that a doorway is the safest place to be during an earthquake. Only do this if you know that is it strongly secure, as most doorways aren’t built to support that kind of strain.
– Stay away from things that can cause you severe damage, like glass (windows), heavy objects that may fall, or walls that may collapse.
– Cover yourself! Get under a table or some sturdy furniture. Hold onto this until the ground is no longer shaking.
– Do not exit the building you are in until the shaking has stopped. Most injuries occur when a person is trying to flee to a “safer” location.
– It may not even need saying, but do not use the elevators.
– Stay put, but be aware of and stay away from dangers like; overhead wires, streetlights and falling rubble from buildings.
– Try to stay in open areas. More injuries can occur when entering or leaving buildings.
If you become trapped
– Try not to panic!
– Attempt to keep still so as not to dislodge anything that may cause more injury.
– Whistle when possible so someone can find you. Shout only if you feel it is a necessity, as shouting can cause you to inhale dangerous amounts of dust.
You might feel the ground shake and see the earth move around you, but then again you may only experience slight tremors, or nothing whatsoever. Depending on your length of travel while over in Japan, you may not need this information at all. In my travels I have never once experienced any form of earthquake. I call this lucky!
Just stay safe, wherever you go.