Monday, December 10, 2007

Another Earthquake

After almost five months I experienced my first earthquake in Japan, I was hit by another one last weekend.
The confusion on the Malaysian faces back then.
It was not much different from the first one in mid-July. In fact, it was registered at 6 on the seismic intensity scale this time. But this time, instead of the earthquake which came and find me, it was me who went to find it. Confused?
Well, I went for my weekend shopping the other day, where I took a detour after I took the wrong bus and ended up to the wrong place instead. So, while walking to where I was supposed to go, I went into a hall called Hive Nagaoka which was along the way. Apparently, there was a housing fair on earthquake recovery and I thought of taking a look if there were any interesting stuff there. My first instinct proved that I was right. The moment I step into the hall, I took a right turn and there was something which I was quite familiar with.
Yes, an earthquake simulator.
Being in a country like Japan, where earthquake happens everyday, it is no wonder that extra considerations have to be taken in every construction. I was actually impressed when I looked at the technology they have it here. Take this model for example.
The foundation of a house is fixed with some mechanism, which allows the building moves together with the tremor during an earthquake. Hence, it significantly decreases the possibility of the building from collapsing. There are springs connected to each corner of the base, which allows the building to sway to any several directions, depending on the quake. Here is another model.
Like a toy nia hor?
My first thought when I saw the simulator was I somehow have to try it. So, I went closer to the booth when one guy approached me, asking if I would like to try the simulator. I took me less than a thousand of a second before replying him a big YES. But of course, I avoid acting like a jakun.
Me: You mean, I can try on the simulator?
Guy: Yes, you can.
Me: Great!
I asked him another time to confirm if visitors can actually try on that simulator. After signing some contracts and agreements simple form, I boarded the simulator and was given some explanations by another guy. The table was fixed to the floor, but the chairs weren't. So, there was a possibility that the sway may be too strong that I could easily fell backwards and injured myself.
Knowing that, I immediately grab both my hands onto the table the moment he signalled to his colleague to start the shaking experience. Bearing in mind that it was not a real earthquake, I didn't have even a single worrying thought in my mind. I was just merely enjoying it. There was two types of quake I went through. First was the normal quake, where else the second one was called 免震 (menshin) or isolation, a follow-up quake in which the building hardly shake and the tremor almost could not be felt.
After trying the simulator, I felt almost exactly like what I went through during the real earthquake. It was something like a trauma. I felt my heart beating fast, and hands shivering. But fortunately, it did not last long; just a few minutes and it was gone. And as a token of appreciation for trying their simulator, I was given a bag - full of pamphlets inside it. It was like those bags that you see the Japanese students bring to their class very often.


But I still think that it looks like a bag where elderly aunty a.ka. makcik uses when doing their marketing. Beg to differ?


stevelee67 said...

Just that the one u got looks like a makcik bag !!

calvin said...

@ stevelee67:
i shall send it back home for my makcik to use it =)

mg said...

haha, u use lar for ur next grocery shopping :P

k0k s3n w4i said...

The closest thing I ever felt to an earthquake was back when I was studying in Subang, during the 2004 earthquake and tsunami tragedy. I could feel the tremble in my girlfriend's apartment and the power went off for a bit.

I might be returning to steal a bit of ur cbox emotes xD

calvin said...

@ michelleg:
you are indirectly calling me an aunty already, aren't you?

calvin said...

@ k0k s3n w4i:
i thought only those in malacca felt the tremor, and not until kl. i guess i'm wrong here.

i know you will return for some smilies in the future =D