In a Perilous Position
It is common knowledge that the islands of Japan occupy a perilous position on the oceanic and continental plates. Natural disasters in the form of earthquakes, tidal waves, volcanic eruptions, and typhoons are frequent visitors.
Fortunately, most cities now have extensive response systems in place, should an emergency occur. Japanese school children practice escape routes and other emergency procedure routines on a monthly basis.
Earthquakes and Tidal Waves
The Japanese rank an earthquake according to the
In the past, the
Those living in coastal regions run the risk of having to deal with tidal waves that may follow an earthquake. In 1964, a
If you happen to experience an earthquake while in Japan and are living in an apartment or house, make sure you turn off the main gas valve to avoid potential fires and explosions. It is also a good idea to have an emergency kit packed with water, canned food, and other essentials.
Typhoons and Volcanic Eruptions
September is officially marked as typhoon season, but the typhoons do not always abide by the rule. Strong winds send villagers hurrying to tack boards across their windows. Farmers' wrinkles grow noticeably deeper as pelting rains shower rice stalks. Landslides and flooding rivers send students and teachers on long detours to get to school.
Volcanic eruptions are another threat in many regions of Japan. The view of the world's most famous volcano, Mt. Fujii, is visible from Tookyoo (Tokyo) on a clear day. The volcano last erupted in 1707. Twenty-six different volcanoes remain volatile around Japan. The University of Tookyoo has a Web site that monitors their activity, including the submarine volcano Fukutoku Okanoba.