Friday, April 8, 2011

giant catfish on the loose

just as I was drifting off to sleep last night my iphone suddenly went ring-ring, ring-ring.
it wasn't the "nice" ring for an incoming call but that horrible pre-earthquake ring (if you live in japan) that you hear on tv followed by an announcement that says "there is gonna be a strong earthquake, take cover, strong earthquake, take cover immediately!" and then wham, the whole apartment starts creaking and swaying as if it were perched high-up on a tree top, which happens to be rotten….

naturally sleep was now out of the questions so I sat in front of the tv for the next 30 min watching the news readers warn of yet another possible tsunami and for all people in the area to take cover to high ground. turned out to be a M7.1 aftershock just north of fukushima (again) which has caused widespread power cuts up north.
i really feel for the people up there as i'm sure this jolt bought back horrible memories of the march 11 quake.

so back to my phone.
most mobile phones here in japan (pre 1998 I think) have early warning earthquake software pre-installed, which like the name suggests warns you of a possible earthquake a few seconds before it's felt; just enough time to take cover if you're lucky.
we've had some pretty strong aftershocks during the last 3 weeks here in tokyo and I was kinda disappointed that my iphone didn't warn me of any incoming earthquake while all my colleagues phones were busy going ring-ring, ring-ring in unison.

well well well, turns out there is a japanese app for iphones! yippie!
i installed it 2 days ago and as you can see it worked.
the pre-warning alarm woke me up and warned me about 5 seconds before the earthquake was actually felt in tokyo.

for those of you in japan with an iphone, just search for 「ゆれくる」(yurekuru); it's a free app with a picture of the oonamazu (大鯰); the giant catfish which is said to live deep down under the earth and cause earthquakes.
charming.

if you don't understand japanese but want this on your phone, let me know and I'll tell you how to set it up; it's easy peasy.

14 comments:

MK said...

I'm back in my home country now. Part of me is happy to be at home now with my family...but another part of me feel so sad & helpless everytime I read about the situation in Japan now. I quit my job last Dec and planned to leave Japan in March and my planned flight home was 3 days after the quake...

Luuworld said...

i heard about the tsunami warning on the news last night. i really do hope things calm down in japan soon. you've had enough of earthquakes and tsunamis! i can't really imagine how scary it must be when buildings are shaking.

when i lived in nagoya, i once woke up by the sound of my bedroom windows shaking, but it passed so quickly and was very undramatic.

take care and keep your iphone next to u at night! :)

world of sekimachihato said...

* MK
I didn't realize that you had already left japan. where are you now? it's always nice being close to family but it can be pretty tough leaving a second home; I've been there before. are you working now?

world of sekimachihato said...

* luuworld
god I know, we have so had enough of that blimmin giant catfish swimming around under ground.

don't worry, I always sleep close (not quite with) my iPhone. wouldn't wanna miss any of those late night messages.
are iPhones popular in Norway too?

shellie said...

someone needs to catch that giant catfish....we need that app here but i dont think we have a system like that in california....there is actually a city in california that actually shakes ALL the time.I suppose it might not be so nerve wracking after a while.

Luuworld said...

iphones are all the rage over here too. ipads are also very happening right now. i would love to have one, but instead, all my extra income very mysteriously seems to be spent on eating/drinking/traveling.....

have a nice weekend! :)

Lavender Playground said...

Does it work for other countries? I think California is pretty prone to quakes and Taiwan shakes all the time, so I'm really interested in this app...

Make it Easy said...

im hope youre doing well in japan my friend
<3

Life for Beginners said...

That's a mighty useful app to have. And as with the rest, I am praying for things to calm down in Japan.

Hope you and your family are doing well, bro. :)

world of sekimachihato said...

* Shellie
it is a great app and you can actually set a location within japan and a "anything above magnitude xx" so you only get relative information.
since this post we have had 2 pretty big jolts in Tokyo. thought I would have to walk home yesterday as it stopped all train lines. not a nice feeling on the one month anniversary of last months big quake.

world of sekimachihato said...

* luuworld
iPhones are great but I would choose eating, drinking and travel any day too.

world of sekimachihato said...

* lavender playground
mmm, I think this app was designed just for japan, but I don't see why there wouldn't be one for Taiwan as apparently they have a similar early warning system in place like japan.
I think any country that is prone to earthquakes should have an app like this. it's a free app too!

world of sekimachihato said...

* make it easy
thanks Aron.

world of sekimachihato said...

* life for beginners
I know I'm gonna sound likevan old fart but isn't technology amazing. I so don't know how I got by without the Internet. I guess what you don't know doesn't hurt you. and them along comes an app like this one.

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