fall foliage forecast for 2017

Fall color is at peak in the Taisetsu Mountain Range, Hokkaido. (September 24, 2017)

when and where to see fall foliage (Japanese version only):

Current foliage reports (Japanese version only):

seasonal flowers:

Saturday, April 16, 2016

2016 Kumamoto earthquakes

Real time media distribution (Japan TV stations):

My sisiter's husband is from Kumamoto City. His family are safe but not all his relatives are confirmed as safe. His sister is a nurse and has been working at her hospital since the first quake.

Most foreign media such as BBC refer only to magnitude. Most of them have yet to experience an earthquake. Seismic damage depends on many factors including the length of the fault, magnitude, the depth of the quake, the distance from the epicentre, the duration, the frequency of the quake, and foundation strength.

Seismic intensity scales vary in different countries or areas. The Japan Meteorological Agency seismic intensity scale runs from 0 to 7, with 7 being the strongest.  When an earthquake with a seismic intensity of a lower 5 or greater on the seven-point Japanese scale is predicted, a warning is given to the affected areas.

5-lower  Most unstable items fall
5-upper  heavy furniture fall
6-lower  Less earthquake-resistant buildings easily receive heavy damage
6-upper  Many walls collapse, or at least are severely damaged
7           Most or all buildings (even earthquake-resistant ones) suffer severe damage

Seismic intensity 3 or upper earthquakes hit Kumamoto area 105 times.

Earthquakes have caused massive damage to roads, an airport, railroad. Thirty four people are confirmed dead and more than 1,000 injured.  A lot of buildings collapsed. Mudslides were triggered by the earthquakes. A bridge collapsed. Kumamoto Castle, Aso Shrine suffered severe damage.

In the area heavy rain and wind gusts are expected later tonight.

date(Japan time)        area                                                      magnitude     seismic intensity(lower 5 or greater)

April 14, 2016 21:26 Kumamoto area, Kumamoto Prefecure 6.4      7
April 14, 2016 22:07 Kumamoto area, Kumamoto Prefecure 5.7      6-lower
April 14, 2016 22:38 Kumamoto area, Kumamoto Prefecure 5.0      5-lower
April 15, 2016 0:03 Kumamoto area, Kumamoto Prefecure 6.4      6-upper
April 15, 2016 1:53       Kumamoto area, Kumamoto Prefecure 4.8      5-lower
April 16, 2016 1:25 Kumamoto area, Kumamoto Prefecure 7.1      6-upper
April 16, 2016 1:44 Kumamoto area, Kumamoto Prefecure 5.3      6-lower
April 16, 2016 1:46 Kumamoto area, Kumamoto Prefecure 6.0      6-lower
April 16, 2016 3:03 Aso area, Kumamoto Prefecure             5.8      5-upper
April 16, 2016 3:55 Aso area, Kumamoto Prefecure             5.8      6-upper
April 16, 2016 7:11      central Oita Prefecture                         5.3      5-lower
April 16, 2016 7:23 Kumamoto area, Kumamoto Prefecure 4.8      5-lower
April 16, 2016 9:48 Kumamoto area, Kumamoto Prefecure 5.4      6-lower
April 16, 2016 16:02 Kumamoto area, Kumamoto Prefecure 5.3      5-lower