[2chers respond] Earthquake in Washington D.C.? What was the shindo?

Posted on by Jin

2chan responds to the English-speaking internet

Yesterday, on August 23rd, an earthquake of magnitude 5.9 struck Washington D.C. The effects of the quake could be felt as far away as Ontario. The American reaction was mostly of confusion, causing temporary paralysis of Eastern cities. The 2chan response was mixed with mockery and legitimate concern.

The earthquake was a big surprise to Americans on the East Coast

The earthquake was a big surprise to Americans on the East Coast. Earthquakes are rare here. The cities’ infrastructures are not built to experience earthquakes and its residents are not prepared.

I experienced the earthquake on the 5th floor of an office building in Tribeca. The quake shook some loose papers off of a tall cabinet and caused my monitor to sway a little. After the short 5-10 second sway subsided, the people slowly evacuated the building using the stairs. Outside on the streets, displaced office workers were taking photos of the crowds using their Blackberry cameras. People eating a late lunch in outdoor cafes continued to do so without evacuating.

I observed the confused reaction of New Yorkers throughout the ordeal. People did not respond to the quake with safety precautions, such as open doors or hide under a desk. Rather, they sat in their chairs looking at the objects around them shake. Some sat there wondering if it were a terrorist attack, but still sat unreactive. The evacuation was slow. Once evacuated, displaced office workers paraded through the streets in excitement. My colleagues and I did not know when it was safe to reenter the building. Later in the day, I could hear a woman in the hallway singing “Happy Earthquake” to the tune of “Happy Birthday”.





2chan responded coldly

The 2chan response is mixed between mockery and legitimate concern. Given the lack of information from American news sources about the “shindo,” the unique Japanese measure of how violent the earthquake feels (which is different from the magnitude which is an absolute measure of the scale of the earthquake at the epicenter), and the fact that Japan suffers aftershocks of similar magnitudes on a regular basis since the magnitude 9.0 earthquake this March, the cold Japanese reception to the news is understandable.

#2: Meanwhile the Japanese tourists were unfazed.
#14: They’re stupid then. America’s buildings aren’t earthquake resistant.
#7: Don’t panic over a mere shindo 4 earthquake lol Are they stupid?
#17: They’re people who’ve rarely experienced earthquakes. Don’t be so harsh.
#193: So true. When I lived in a America for a short while, there was a tornado. I was put in a locked basement and I panicked. Americans were used to what to do during a tornado.
#8: No buildings collapsed? Must be around a 4.
#11: Panic at magnitude 5.9? lool Americans really have no tolerance towards earthquakes
#24: Even if the magnitude is low, if you’re close to the epicenter, it could shake like 3.11. We must be experiencing an active period in the Earth’s mantles.
#16: Shindo 5 isn’t that scary if it were in Japan. But if it were another country, it’s terrifying because the buildings weren’t designed to withstand earthquakes.
#26: And even if the building doesn’t collapse, it could lean. Even if it tilts only 1 degree, they say it could have bad effects on your body to live there. Though I hear they wouldn’t do a thing if that were to happen in China. But I hear skyscrapers in Hong Kong would collapse under a shindo 2 earthquake.
#27: New York has buildings over 100 years old. Isn’t it real bad if a shindo 5 class earthquake hits there?
#29: Even if the magnitude is small, the shindo could change depending on the distance to the epicenter. I run a shop so I can tell from how many products fall from shelves and the fact that you had to hold something to remain standing that it must have been shindo 5.
#30: It’d be okay if it were one earthquake. They should be careful of any aftershocks.
#32: After 3.11, they must be terrified of domestic terrorists. It must be burned into their memories. America is Japan’s “tomodachi.” We shouldn’t laugh at the fear of Americans who are unused to earthquakes.
#47:
Shindo – Japanese response – American response
1 – won’t notice – sensitive Americans notice
2 – sensitive Japanese notice – most Americans notice
3 – most people notice – Everyone notices and panic
4 – laughs at the shaking – houses start to collapse and reports of deaths and injuries
low 5 – watch TV for reports – Disaster, TV Asahi will begin cheating people for donations
high 5 – products fall off of shelves at convenience stores – cities are decimated, TBS and NTV begin donations
low 6 – cement walls collapse, reports of deaths and injured – unable to recover by themselves
high 6 – confirm that TV Tokyo is still broadcasting anime, relax, and go back to 2chan – the government collapses
#52: You can calculate the diameter of the shake by the fact that the tower of Red Bull cans in the back of the photo are still standing but the rolls of paper towels in the foreground have fallen.
#77: The most accurate measure of the severity is to count the number of Japanese people tweeting in the area about the earthquake.
#94: Magnitude (the scale of energy released by the earthquake) was M5.8, epicenter 6km. Shindo (the measure of the scale of shaking, which depends on where you are) wasn’t measured because there were no measuring equipment. They estimating now.
#153: They still don’t know the full impact of the earthquake. They haven’t seen any buildings collapse but they are finding cracks here and there. I guess it hasn’t been a full 12 hours yet. But it’s night now so I guess research will continue in the morning. But is it safe in America’s capitol without electricity? Don’t they drive to work in America? What about crime?
#168: In the magnitude scale, the Northeast Japan Earthquake was 3,000 times bigger than this one.
#169: You guys feel superiority over the dumbest things.
#228: Panic and mobs are the scariest. Americans are human weapons. If someone gets in their way, they forcibly remove them. If you fall down, they step on you to death. All order is lost and the world ends.
#232: I want to see Japanese with guts like that. In other countries, the strong survive. In Japanese, we all try to save each other and die together.
#235: I bet there was some American who was in Japan for business saying, “When I was in Japan, this was nothing, HAHAHA”
#246: Totally loooool
#311: Remember this guys:
Magnitude difference – Energy difference
2 – (by definition) 1000x
1 – (about) 32x
0.2 – (about) 2x
0.1 – (about) 1.414x (square root of 2)
So if the magnitude difference to the Northeastern Earthquake was 3.2, it was 64,000 times bigger. If it was 3.1, it was 45,000 times bigger.
#317: Stop judging the Americans. You guys would panic if you saw one of their L-sized cokes.

It will take a much larger disaster for 2chan to show genuine concern for the Americans.

2ch thread “[US] ‘I was reminded of the earthquake in Japan’ Cars jam as drivers jump out of their cars – Earthquake in Washington D.C. on the 23rd [11/08/24]“, Sankei News

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