You’ve probably heard of this before. No, this is not news. It is not hypothetical. There is a 70% chance that a devastating Magnitude 7 earthquake IS going to hit Tokyo some time between now and 2050 – it is just a question of when. I know, it’s scary to think about it even for just a second. But you might as well just do it now – because this disaster could happen sooner than you think.
Today, let me tell you about why you should take this threat seriously, why some people are adamant that it could happen within the next week, what you can do RIGHT NOW to help you prepare for its coming and lastly, how our family is trying to face this scary possibility head on.
Why Should You Take This Threat Seriously?
In a world where, just the other day, you saw fake news of a meteor about to hit the Earth or spaceships above New York City, why should this seemingly exaggerated information be taken seriously? Because it is so legit even the Japanese government has been racing against time preparing for it. You know those loudspeakers scattered across the city that chime every 5 o’clock? They’re not there just to tell you the time. They were placed there to serve as a central source of information in the event of emergencies and they are tested daily in the hopes that they would help save Tokyoites from what is anticipated to be one of the worst natural disasters in modern history. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has also taken to educating its populace about life-saving actions during this situation – in addition to yearly earthquake drills, they have published 338-page manual outlining what should be done in the event of an huge earthquake hitting the metropolis. They have even published and Earthquake Risk Assessment rating every city within the prefecture. Among other things such as improving infrastructures and designing a strategy for first responders, they have also designated evacuation areas and ‘disaster prevention parks’.
Yes, it seems like the government has it all covered but remember that Tokyo is THE most populous city in the world. When the ground shakes and breaks with wild violence, it will send more than 13 million people scurrying for survival. In the worst case scenario, it is estimated that about 23,000 people could die. We should all take it upon ourselves to not only rely on outside parties and make sure that we do what we personally can to mitigate its damages.
Why Are Some People Adamant That It Could Happen Within The Next Week?
Today is May 9, 2020 and as I am writing this article, talks are circulating the web that this Earthquake is going to be hitting very soon – in fact within the next week and these are the reasons why some people think so:
- The last great quake to hit Tokyo was in 1923 and experts predict that the next one will come roughly a century after. 2020 therefore, is right within the window of these estimates.
- During the last week, areas surrounding Tokyo has experienced earthquakes of about 5.0 magnitude. There was a 5.6 at Chiba 5 days ago, a 4.7 hitting Ibaraki also 5 days ago and another 5.0 at Chiba just 3 days ago. Granted, Japan is a very earthquake-prone country and tremors of this magnitude are no longer scary or even unusual for people who live here. However, some people note that this follows the pattern of other big earthquakes in the past. In the days leading up to that one big disastrous quake, there were less foreshocks recorded. The 9.1 magnitude Tohoku Earthquake was preceded by a 7.3 magnitude earthquake just two days before. The 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake which had a magnitude of 7.0 also had a foreshock of 6.2 two days before it happened.
- 911/311/511? Some people have gone as far as predicting the exact date of the big quake and say that it will happen on May 11, 2020. Yes, that is only 2 days from the day of writing. Their theory is that dates that follow the pattern shown above are ominous. The Twin Tower attacks were on September 11 and the Tohoku Earthquake happened on March 11, 2011 after all.
Okay, so maybe the last reasoning is not so logical. In any case, there is enough evidence to warrant vigilance and the time to prepare for this catastrophe is now.
What You Can Do RIGHT NOW To Prepare For This Earthquake
Right this very minute, without even looking away from your screen, you can take your initial steps towards getting ready for what can happen.
- Download the following PDF resources published by the Tokyo government as a disaster preparedness measure.
For a complete list of Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s Disaster Preparedness PDFs, you may click on this link.
- Of course, read and study the provided PDFs
- Know the evacuation area/s nearest you by searching for it on this website
- Once you get the chance to go out, make sure you know the way to said evacuation area/s
How Our Family Is Preparing
During the last couple of days, in addition to educating ourselves about disaster preparedness, we have focused on completing our go-bag in case of a big earthquake. We don’t have much furniture at home so checking the inside of our house, we did not really have a high-risk of falling objects. We are still in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic so in the event that staying at home would be better for us instead of evacuating, we already have food and water supply on storage.
Our first stop was the drug store where, in addition to first aid supply, we got provisions such as portable emergency toilet and blankets shown below.
Amazon has also been a very useful resource for our more technical needs like a solar-powered flashlight/radio and this power station.
With all my heart, I hope to never meet a tragedy this serious in my lifetime and I wish the same for you. But if it does come, being prepared would surely give us an edge.