Japan Earthquakes Survival Guide

Last night (2016-04-14) around 21.26, the strongest earthquake of a magnitude-6.5 since 2011 strikes Kumamoto area. At least 9 people were killed and many injured.

There were many aftershocks  followed. Officials reported that more than 45,000 people have been evacuate. If you are in the area, we hope you all are safe!

Read more :

Japan times


Update : 2016-04-16


which bring us to today’s topic…

Japan is known for having many earthquakes so you may be worrying about if you are planning on visiting Japan, especially if your home country is not so earthquake prone. But rest assured, although an earthquake happening while you are here is a real possibility, most of them are very small.

Furthermore, with experience comes expertise and since the Japanese are no strangers to earthquakes, they know exactly what to do when one occurs.

But just in case, today’s post will be a handy earthquake survival guide for tourists in Japan.


Prepare emergency kits : Japanese households usually have these survival kits prepared


Although there is very little possibility that you will have to use these tips when you’re visiting in Japan, it’s always good to be prepared. You know what they say, better safe than sorry!

Currently, we are not able to predict the exact moment an earthquake will occur. However there are early notification warning systems for bigger earthquakes.


Before an earthquake

Safety Tips is an application specifically designed for foreign tourists by the Japan National Tourism Organization. It is available in English, Korean, Simplified and Traditional Chinese and it warns users of earthquakes, tsunamis and other natural disasters.





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It is also has many other useful features such as evacuation flow charts, communication cards and safety diagrams. This would be a good app to download when you first get here! (Available for iPhone and Android).

During an earthquake


Now that you will get some notice before a major earthquake happens, you need to know what to do.

The most important thing is protecting yourself from falling objects and debris.

Make sure you take note of places in your hotel room or wherever you are staying for potentially dangerous falling heavy objects and any desks or tables where you could hide under.


Protect yourself first! if you unconscious, you won’t be able to escape.


Remain calm and focus on protecting your body. Do not panic or try to run outside where it could potentially be even more dangerous. Avoid being near any windows and stay under a table or on the ground. If you are under a table, keep your head pointed inwards and hold onto one of the legs to keep yourself stable.

One of the most common and dangerous after effects of earthquakes are fires so all gas lines and other heat sources need to be turned off.

If you have time before the earthquake, turn off any stoves and gas lines. If you are not able to before the earthquake, you should do it as soon as you can after the trembling stops.


Tune off the gas to prevent after earthquake fire


If you are outside or in a public area, drop to the ground and cover your head and neck with something like a bag or your hands. Then wait and follow any instructions given by whoever is in charge.

Earthquakes do not last long; usually around 10-20 seconds. However there could be aftershocks and other loose falling objects so stay down and secure for at least a few minutes.


After an earthquake


Turn off the gas and heat sources if they are still on.


If you have a radio or cell phone, listen for any broadcasts about what to do and if necessary, where to evacuate to (yep, that’s what the radio is for). Call for help if needed and be wary of your surroundings and any falling objects or debris.

This is just a rough survival guide. There are many more detailed resources on the internet if you would like to learn more. Especially if you are staying in a coastal area, it would be wise to read about what to do in the case of a tsunami which can occur after a big earthquake.

Stay updated for tsunami warning


Hopefully, this information will never pertain to you while you are in Japan but in the off chance it does, I hope it helps and keeps you safe.

Thank you for reading and see you next blog!


Blog by Christine

Edit&Photos : MONTHLY





5 thoughts on “Japan Earthquakes Survival Guide

  1. The Safety Tips app by the Japan Tourism department is VERY cool. I looked for a similar app for tourists visiting the United States. I could not find one. I DID find a U.S. State Department app that is for AMERICANS to use when traveling to foreign countries.

    The next best thing is a U.S. government mobile-friendly web site called “Visit The USA”. If you go to http://www.visittheusa.com/info/about-usa on the left are categories for travelers to America, including Safety & Health, Emergencies, and Weather.

    Liked by 1 person

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