3/11/2011

On a slightly more sober note

Watching the footage, live, from Japan: scary stuff, especially when you see a car belting down a highway away from the surge of junk and water spreading across fields on that country's East coast. After a couple of years in Taiwan, I'd only rarely experienced tremors, but one of the things that I remember is the eerie silence of it all. Things shake, but more or less soundlessly. '70's epics like 'Earthquake' on some subliminal level caused me to believe the air would be filled with a constant RRAARRRR but it's not so.

If you want to get some idea what it feels like, stand on a table and get four people to stand around you, jerking the thing from side to side. That's pretty much what it feels like.

At some point, some of those waves are likely to hit Taiwan, but I don't expect them to have too many problems. People on the Japanese coast only had a few minutes warning before the waves hit, but Taiwan'll have hours to prepare before the waves reach their low-lying coastal areas.

UPDATE: According to someone reporting from Taipei (Taiwan), the time at which the waves were expected has come and passed with no significantly damaging coastal activity. They're not definitely in the clear just yet since this depends (according to the BBC News) on such things as sub-aquatic topography that might slow things down, but for the moment they've lifted their tsunami warning.
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