A massive 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of central Japan on Monday, triggering tsunami warnings along the country’s western coast. While major damage was reported in the quake’s epicenter, Japan’s capital of Tokyo was largely unaffected.
The powerful temblor occurred around 4:10pm local time near the Noto Peninsula, about 300 miles from Tokyo. Extensive damage was seen in Ishikawa Prefecture, with buildings collapsing, fires breaking out, and residents becoming trapped in debris.
However, in Tokyo, located on the opposite coast, the earthquake was barely felt by most residents. On the Japanese seismic scale, Tokyo only registered a 3 out of 7 in intensity. Many residents on upper floors of high-rise buildings reported feeling minor swaying for a few seconds. But at ground level, the quake went largely unnoticed across the sprawling metropolis.
“I felt the quakes at the 16th floor in Tokyo and it was like getting instantly drunk. I got sent right and left so that the first thing I wondered was if I was having some seizure,” Reddit commenter. “Now everyone is panicking in all Japan and writing right and left, let’s hope to have limited damages and no consequences on people.”
Other Tokyo residents described the shaking as subtle, comparable to the gentle rocking of a boat. Most only realized an earthquake had occurred after seeing news alerts or friends posting on social media about the tsunami warnings elsewhere in Japan.
“Also in Tokyo and didn’t feel a thing. If you’re worried about family visiting Tokyo and reading this, everything is totally fine here. And no panic.” from a Tokyo resident.
On the Japanese seismic scale of 1 to 7, a measurement of 3 indicates that many people will notice minor shaking but it causes no real concern or disruption. A 3 is considered common in Tokyo, a sprawling metropolis built with strict earthquake resistance standards.
By comparison, Ishikawa Prefecture near the quake’s epicenter registered a 7, defined as violent shaking making it impossible to stand and likely to damage infrastructure. Videos showed collapsed buildings and cracked roads in cities across the impacted coastal regions.
While tsunami warnings were issued along Japan’s northwest coastline, experts confirmed no related tsunami threat exists on the east coast where Tokyo is located. Overall, the capital city reported zero damage, injuries or disruption related to Monday’s earthquake off the Noto Peninsula.
“Here in Tokyo, we’re used to moderate tremors. This one barely registered,” said one local resident . “Our thoughts and concerns are with those experiencing the brunt of this disaster in Ishikawa and nearby prefectures.”
Quotes from Reddit