Japanese earthquakes have stood their place in history as being some of the most dangerous natural disasters that our planet has witnessed. With over 140,000 people being killed by one single earthquake, the fear surrounding the quakes is completely understandable. These disastrous quakes are fairly rare and it is unlikely you would ever get caught in one.
However, this does not mean that earthquakes in Tokyo themselves are rare, it is the complete opposite in fact! Approximately 2000 earthquakes are felt every single year in Japan as a whole, but, how often are earthquakes actually felt in Tokyo?
Despite the exact yearly number of quakes and tremors in Japan each year being unknown, there are roughly around 2000 earthquakes per year that can actually be felt in Tokyo. However, there are hundreds of tremors every single day that are not felt due to their lower magnitude rating.
Since we now know how often earthquakes are actually felt in Tokyo, it’s important for me to do my best to inform you on what to do if the situation arises, and how you can keep yourself safe. I have spent many hours researching about previous quakes, safety precautions and what to do in the event of a disastrous earthquake if you are unlucky enough to be caught in one.
How Often Do Earthquakes Occur In Tokyo?
Earthquakes are undoubtedly a common occurrence in Japan. From tiny tremors that cannot be felt, to catastrophic quakes killing thousands of people; Japan has had its fair share in the past.
There is no exaggeration when people say that tremors can occur every 5 minutes beneath Japan. I am not going to go into how or why so many earthquakes happen on Japanese land. However, to put it simply, Japan is unlucky in terms of the country’s placement on the globe. This is because it is placed right on top of 4 tectonic plates, which is the cause for such frequent tremors and quakes.
Earthquakes themselves aren’t really news in Japan. However, once the earthquake is above a magnitude rating of 7, then it can be deemed unsafe and it is a much rarer situation that is occurring. We will get more in-depth on the more dangerous earthquakes shortly though…
To answer the question in simple terms though, simple tremors can be minutes, hours or days apart. Larger earthquakes that can actually be felt by the public, however, can make an appearance around 2000 times a year. This number spread out through the months of a year is around 166. Yep. Approximately 166 earthquakes or tremors can be felt every month in Tokyo.
Are There A Lot Of Earthquakes In Japan?
If you can’t tell by now, Japan has a lot of earthquakes. It has always been like that, and unfortunately, will always continue to be like that. Due to the location of the land and tectonic plates, there is no way to stop them from occurring. However, the disaster and catastrophes that they cause, can be prevented, which we will go over shortly or you can click here to skip straight to it!
The title for the country with the most earthquake occurrences goes to Japan. It is as simple as that. The sheer number of tremors that take place beneath the beloved country is astounding and fascinating, while also terrifying.
So, yes. Unfortunately, there are a lot of earthquakes in Japan and there is no possible way of changing that. However, there isn’t really a lot of earthquakes on the higher magnitude scale, which is the good news! Phew.
How To Stay Safe In An Earthquake
Earthquakes are undoubtedly one of the scariest natural disasters that can possibly occur. It can be difficult to stay level-headed or calm during a tremor, however, it is extremely important to try to do so.
Despite the most disastrous quakes being huge in scale, and seeming undefeatable; there are many things that you can do in order to keep you and your family safe in these situations, should they ever occur.
Let’s dive into how you can stay safe during an earthquake in Tokyo.
1. Cover Your Head & Body
If you know anything about earthquake safeguarding at all, then you will already know about this tip. It is probably the most well-known safety tip out there for preventing injury or even death when in an earthquake.
When we say cover your head and body, we simply mean for you to find a sturdy desk or table, and hide beneath it. When doing this, it is crucial to ensure that your head and all of your limbs are covered by the object as much as possible. Doing so, will prevent any large or heavy objects from falling onto you and causing serious injuries, or even worse in some circumstances.
2. Become Familiar With Earthquake Safety & Evacuation Drills
If you are someone who lives and works in Japan, then these drills will most likely already be quite common for you. It is natural in Japan for workplaces to take part in regularly scheduled, and unscheduled earthquake drills.
For each building or area you are in, they will most likely have a set evacuation route or safety routines that have been put in place. It is very important for you to know what these are, and to familiarise yourself with them. Doing this will keep you knowledgeable about the place you are in, and how to stay safe should an earthquake occur while you are there.
3. Try Not To Panic!
This tip may seem a bit…out there. However, it is just as important as the other tips on this list. When panicking, you do not think straight. When not thinking straight, you will forget all of the safety methods and precautions that you know, leading to possible catastrophic consequences.
Remember to stay as level-headed as possible, think rationally and reassure others if they are panicking.
4. If Inside, Stay Inside
In the event of an earthquake, the first thought of action may be to evacuate the building that you are currently in. This is actually much more dangerous than remaining exactly where you are.
Leaving the premises and going outside, leaves you open to many more risks.
To view more safety tips and precautions to take when in an earthquake in Japan, take a look at this video created by Swimmy Channel down below.
How Does Tokyo Cope With Earthquakes?
If there is one positive to come out of the sheer frequency of earthquakes in Japan, it is the knowledge and understanding that the country and even the world has gained from them. Japan is now one of the most advanced countries in terms of earthquake damage prevention.
This is due to the technology within their architectural structures. You may be wondering, what on earth does this mean?
To put it simply, over the past decades, architects and earthquake experts have spent loads of time and money on researching how to fortify buildings and structures, specifically for earthquake situations.
Read more about how earthquakes has affected Japanese architecture here.
Should I Be Worried About Earthquakes In Tokyo?
Taking everything from this article into account, you should be feeling less worried about earthquakes during your time in Tokyo. Yes, the country has had some of the most catastrophic quakes in the history of our planet. However, the citizens have done an immaculate job at attempting to fight back against the natural phenomenon.
The Japanese community in the 21st century are as prepared as can possibly be for any earthquakes that strike out. Although you shouldn’t be arrogant and dismissive of the fact that earthquakes could potentially break out, at the same time there is also no need to worry massively.