Massive 9.1 Earthquake Hit Japan! ….NOT!

Magnutyde 9.1 Japan Earthquake

Japan is known for earthquakes and they have technology in place to give them early warning. On Monday, an alert that a magnitude 9.1 earthquake struck Japan was sent out by the Japan Meteorological Agency at 5PM Japan time which triggered the alert to be televised immediately nationwide to notify the public, interrupting normal programming.

People were in a panic and in shock to see that a quake the same magnitude of the devastating 2011 Tohoku earthquake, which killed more than 18,000 people and triggered a massive tsunami, was about to hit the center of Tokyo. Luckily it turned out to be a false alarm as the agency cancelled the alert just seconds later. Unfortunately the notification was already sent out which caused some train stations to shut down temporarily.

Yurekuru Earthquake App

The alert was also sent by an app called Yurekuru (which literally translated means “shake is coming”) to millions of people’s phones. It’s a mobile app that sends push notifications to your phone minutes to seconds before the earthquake reaches you so you have enough time to take cover. They later apologized for the mess up.

Yurekuru App Apology

Social media was being flooded with screenshots of the app displaying the potential disaster, counting down the seconds on the app which quickly went viral as people took cover. Fortunately the quake never hit but it’s a good reminder to always be prepared. Remember an earthquake can strike anytime so get an earthquake kit and know what to do during an earthquake.

Similar Earthquake Early Warning systems are being developed in Canada and the US which would provide citizens time to take cover but an app has not been officially launched.

Are you prepared?

Here’s 10 Ways to Help Earthquake Proof Your Home



  1. Deedee Anderson

    Oh my — I can’t even imagine the fear and chaos that those false warnings must have caused! But I think it’s great that there are finally some early warning systems at work. I live in California in the US, so we, too, need to be always be prepared for earthquakes. Although the big ones are few and far between (27 years since the last big one in my part of the state), when they hit its just sheer devastation with no warning, and sometimes it takes weeks for services to be restored. Having an earthquake prepared home and an emergency kit is crucial. Thanks for sharing this important info!

    1. Andy (Post author)

      Yes, people living on the west coast of Canada and the US need to be prepared because there are major fault lines running along the coast. The sad truth is not many people are prepared. Their mentality is that “it won’t happen to me” or “I’ll do it later” and then eventually not get to it. They are reactionary and only will realize they should do something AFTER a major quake has happened. Unfortunately that may be too late so it’s very important to be prepared.

  2. Matt

    Haha wow! I can just imagine being the guy sending out that alert and just realizing instantly that he messed up. Seriously – Biggest ‘Uh oh’ of his entire life. Really unfortunate that Japan is so close to the ocean on all sides and gets these massive earthquakes. You are so right – ALWAYS be prepared!

    1. Andy (Post author)

      Yeah, Japan experiences a lot of earthquakes every year so they are one of the most prepared nations in the world. We are learning from them and are in the process of implementing an Early Warning System here in Canada and the US. Even if there are some false alarms I would much rather have some warning when the real one hits so it gives us time to take cover. Hopefully they’ll get it done soon.

  3. Sakayumi

    I just happened upon this article (since we’re following each other on twitter! haha) and my stomach dropped when I saw this. I was at work about 40 minutes outside Tokyo and when I looked at my phone going off I just froze. Well, I guess this is how I die. How do I not die? I could go outside. But then what if the building collapses? Never mind the fact that outside was fairly clear and inaka, so I didn’t have to worry about that…

    We have emergency kits at work, but I teach children, and am the sole caretaker for the hour to 2 hours that they’re with me. I know that living in Ibaraki it’s a matter of when, not if, but holy snap… It’s definitely important to be as prepared as you can. You can only be so prepared, but that extra little bit might just save your life.

    Just, uh, don’t freeze in place like I did. >.>

    1. Andy (Post author)

      Oh cool! You live in Ibaraki? My grandma is from there. I haven’t been back to Japan in about 15 years.
      It’s definitely important to be prepared. There’s hundreds of earthquakes worldwide every day and Japan is no stranger to that.
      Glad that it was just a false alarm and hopefully it’s a wake up call for many others that they should be prepared and know what to do during an earthquake.
      Thanks for the comment!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *