Thursday, 14 March 2013

On Examining Ruins

And again this morning
I step into my white overalls
And pull them on.

I pull on my boots
And the heavy gloves.
I lower my goggles.

A buzzer sends us to work.
Now I flick the switch
On the portable box

Strapped to my chest.
It crackles with noise.
The noise reminds me

Of the rattle of teeth
In a plastic egg timer
Unwinding and

Returning to zero.
  Often I think
Of our baby Taniskai

Biting his favourite green key
On its clear plastic ring.
Maybe tomorrow

They will let me go home.


*Taniskai is a Japanese writer admired by Henry Miller for  Diary of a Mad Old Man and The Key.

Japan, as all the world knows, is a country prone to strong and frequent earthquakes. But how often do these occur? Can we predict when the strong quakes will happen? To answer these questions I consulted the Japan Quakes Live Map (it's in my LINKS) and examined their Daily Energy Release Chart.

The red line on the Japan Quakes Live graph shows the daily energy released by earthquakes in Japan for each day since the Fukushima disaster took place, that is since 11th March 2011.

For my starting point I took the date 8th June 2011. On this day there was no significant earthquake activity. By this date the aftershocks from 3rd March's 9.0 earthquake had ceased and the graph had settled into a wavy line of peaks and troughs.

I decided for the purpose of my exercise that a Daily Energy Release equivalent to a 6.5 Earthquake was the proper marker. I had read somewhere that nuclear power plants like Fukushima were built to withstand earthquakes of magnitude 7.0 and I thought that anything approaching this, i.e. 6.5 or stronger was of interest to me.

I then tabulated all the dates with a 6.5 or greater energy release. Here is the result:

Japan Earthquakes - 
Daily Energy Release of 6.5 or greater during the period 8th June 2011 to 14th March 2013.

23rd June 2011 - 6.71

10th July  2011 - 7.00

17th Sep  2011 - 6.78

01st Jan 2012  - 6.80

14th Mar 2012 - 6.93

20th May 2012 - 6.50

07th Dec 2012 - 7.31

02nd Feb 2013 - 6.90


  1. My Poet-in-Residence blog stands or falls on it own merit. I'm am very pleased to have several regular rearers in India. However I have to stress that I am not interested in generating income, extra or otherwise, or even gaining a mega-figure-blog-audience . Of course, you are free to follow the blog and I am pleased that you plan to do so. To some people the figure of 200 daily visitors may seem to be a relatively small number but as the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas once said: "they may be a few, but it's the few that matter". Thank you for the kind comment.


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