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Home » Archives » October 2004 » Did You Experience the Niigata Chuetsu Earthquake?

Did You Experience the Niigata Chuetsu Earthquake?

Tuesday, October 26, 2004 Posted: 12:01 PM JST [PHOTOS]

Have you been affected by the Niigata Chuetsu Earthquake? Are you nearby? If so, tell us about your experience. Even Tokyo was shaken by this series of quakes. We want to hear from anyone who felt the quake. Click on 'Comments' below.

Have photos? Send them to us (e-mail address at bottom of page).

Keywords: national_news

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10 comments so far post your own

1 | At 12:04pm on Oct 26 2004, Niigata wrote:
I was watching TV when the first tremor came. There was a jolt that knocked things to the floor. We ran out into the street where neighbours were gathering. The ground continued to sway like a cross channel ferry on a rough day. My friend was in a public bath when the quake hit. Everyone rushed out with towels on. One old lady remained in the tub, saying "it'll be ok".
2 | At 02:22pm on Oct 26 2004, Matt Malcomson wrote:
I was staying in a mountain lodge on the border of Niigata and Fukushima prefectures. The wooden building shook strongly for about one minute, then then it subsided, but the quake didn't completely stop for 5 minutes. There aftershocks continued throughout the evening and into the night. It was the longest earthquake I have experienced so far.
3 | At 02:40pm on Oct 26 2004, jenny elsby wrote:


What a week! In the space of 3 days I feel like I have experienced everything Mother Nature could throw at me! In the midst of clearing up after the worst typhoon to hit Japan in ages we get hit by the worst earthquake to hit in god knows how long! Coming from the UK where the most we have to worry about is rain, it is a completely new experience to have to deal with the power of the elements and realize that they control you not the other way round.
In Toyama, which is adjacent to Niigata ken, (the quake epicenter) we got some fairly strong tremors several times! I am surprised nothing was broken in my apartment as it shook quite badly and was very noisy. Its very disconcerting to realize that you are at the mercy of the earth and that unlike a ride you can not get off when the shaking gets too bad and you start feeling seasick its the closest I can come to describing it! Where do you go when the earth literally moves?
4 | At 02:53pm on Oct 26 2004, Theresa wrote:
I was at home in my 8th floor apartment on Yokosuka Naval Base. We were shaken quite hard, but had no damage. It was still rather scary.
5 | At 04:28pm on Oct 26 2004, Elbert Lin wrote:
I live in Niigata city, and was just sitting down to dinner with my boys, and we got hit with the first quake. It was pretty bad, and the building was swaying. OK, now back to dinner. Then we got hit with the second a few minutes later, then the third, and stuff was falling off shelves, and we were out the door. The most unnerving thing is that aftershocks continued until yesterday, and they say there is still a chance a big one will hit again. But, we didn't get hit as hard as Nagaoka or Ojiya, where friends are currently in the local school gym because their building is unsafe.

The biggest thing is that Niigata is suddently isolated. The Shinkansen derailed, and won't be fixed for maybe a month. The Kannetsu highway is heavily damaged. And, local roads that lead directly to Tokyo over the mountains are for the most part a mess. Funny how jumping to Tokyo on business was so easy, and how quickly that was cut off.
6 | At 12:37pm on Oct 27 2004, Phil Ono wrote:
We in Tokyo have been on edge this year due to numerous earthquakes. I didn't feel the big one in Niigata (Oct. 23) since I was not at home. But when I got home, I saw that a few picture frames on my computer monitor fell over so I knew something had happened. Later that evening, we felt more minor tremors. Finally, I turned on the TV at around 11 pm to watch the news and was shocked to see that those little shakes were huge in Niigata. And about 2 hours ago at 10:40 am, we felt another relatively big one. Book shelves swayed back and forth. It's been a scary year. I have to stock up on emergency supplies and get a hard hat.
7 | At 03:46pm on Nov 08 2004, Aimee Garcia wrote:
I live in Kawanishi-machi in Niigata, about 20 minutes from Ojiya. I was at home watching the news when the Earthquake happend. At first I thought my upstairs neighbor was doing extreme exercises until about 5 seconds later my T.V. fell off the table and the lights went off. It became one of the most scary things I have ever experienced and it seemed like it lasted forever. I remember hearing a really loud noises as the whole building shook violently. I thought it might have actually split in half. As soon as it was over I ran outside and waited with the rest of the neighborhood as three more large aftershocks made the telephone poles sway and the streets crack. We all slept in our cars that night and in evacuation shelters for the next couple days. I am reminded of my experience everyday as the aftershocks continue to shake the area.
8 | At 01:03am on Nov 24 2004, SEBA wrote:
Sorry to be late to post this, but i hope u would understand its too tough and hard time for us.

on 23th Oct 2004 we got big earthquakes here in chuetu, nigata. M6.8 and the eathquakes were not only 1 hitting, 3 huge ones and other several middle ones within 2 or 3 hours. there were no detailed news on the radio about my town=ojiya city which was one of the seismic center, at the night of the earthquakes. we all left our own homes and spent the night in cars. i was not sure when the goverment or city hall would send rescue, i was just watching the dark sky to watchout big fire. it was so terrible and miserable night.

the first week, a lot of supports had arrived, even though those things didnt go to each families. the second week, things got organized. the third week, ppl in japan had started to forget about the disaster here, now 1 month has passed. i dont blame that ppl has started to forget and stopped to talk about the earthquakes hitted our town. all ppl has own lives. and we also have to re-construct our lives ourselves.

i just want to mention about a few things.
1) the misunderstanding of the spirits of "volunteer" in japan. 2) the invisible wall between urban ppl and country-side ppl.

we will have snow soon here, another prb will be coming for the earthquakes of the last month. the disaster has not finished yet.i dunt know u still remember the earthquakes of chuetu or not...
9 | At 11:44am on Nov 24 2004, Kjeld Duits wrote:
Thank you very much for your long message, Seba. I can feel your hardships from your message. I survived the earthquake in Kobe in 1995 so I understand your feelings very well. At the time I was very angry at people in Osaka. They were neighbors of the quake area, but seemed very cold towards the problems in Kobe.

I guess it is difficult for people to understand the pain of others if you have not experienced it yourself. That is why there is still so much war and suffering in this world.

You are right, the news agencies do not write much about you anymore. That is why it is important to post messages about the current situation in Niigata on sites like iKjeld.com. We can show the world what is really happening.

Your last two sentence made me very curious:

1) the misunderstanding of the spirits of "volunteer" in japan.
2) the invisible wall between urban ppl and country-side ppl.

Especially number 1. What do you mean exactly? Please tell us a little more, if that is fine with you.
10 | At 11:14am on Sep 17 2005, Paty wrote:
I was watching tv with my host family!!
It was crazy!
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