Maya McNamara / Staff reporter 

On October 23, 2004, an earthquake hit northern Japan, Ojiya City, Niigata prefecture, killing less than 100 people, injuring 2,200 and leaving 85,000 people homeless.   

The magnitude-6.8 quake caused mountainous areas in around Nagaoka to have mudslides, damaging 120,000 homes in Niigata as well as four different prefectures. 

The quake caused minor tsunamis, buckled roads and bridges which led to power, water, natural gas supplies to get cut off.  

The nuclear reactors at power plants were shut down although still managed to cause a small fire. Images of flames and smoke billowing from the nuclear plant, the world’s largest, were shown from Japanese television stations. After shocks were felt as far away as to Tokyo, it lasted for few hours after the morning quake. 

Ojiya mayor, Yasuo Yatsui said, “reviewing the past decade, we wish for a bright future.” Governor of Niigata Prefecture, Hirohiku Izumida said, “we must convey the lessons from the disaster to the next generation.” 

This event marks as the most significant earthquake to affect Japan since the Kobe earthquake in 1995. Japanese immigrants that originally come from Japan but live that in British Columbia can be affected from this event long ago due to family connections or areas they call on to time to time. People that live in BC who travel to Japan to visit can be affected.  

Tamara Hackett, a grade 10 student, mentions that from the quake, “the exports would have slowed down as well as the management styles in Japan would’ve changed. Many Japanese companies and stores could take months or years to repair and jobs would be lost. This event gives us an idea of the circumstances in what to do under these disasters we face.” 

The destruction of the architectures and have no security can take an effect on people. It can influence chaos or deregulations to occur. It affects people in different types of emotion considering the conflicting events that are involved.  

Neeka Yazdani, a grade 10 student, states that “it’s very saddening in seeing the numbers of people affected. This event informs people today what to do in preparation for earthquakes.” 

These eye-catching material grab people’s attention into the solemnity and what reality can be like for other countries.  

Communities nearby the event could be touched from this event in various ways. Security precautions could be taken from earthquakes happening. 

Anna Herr, a grade 10 student, said “this incident can affect others around Ojiya city, by creating awareness and guides to find ways to yourself in such situations. 

Residents in Niigata district during the quake, from all the disturbances, it has left a remarkable impact onto the area.  

Lauren Tuck, a grade 10 student, said “the citizens and families living in Niigata are greatly affected as the earthquake happened there, and it left a huge amount of people homeless, which can be hard when the city is an unsafe state.” 

In witnessing an issue that has taken a great affect upon others, it could make them wonder what it could look like for people left homeless in they’re homes. 

The occurrence significantly impacted Japanese residents in Ojiya city and people around the world, informing others today of the natural disasters that can come up unexpected. Security can be improved from this event happening in informing what to do in preparation for when an disaster such as an earthquake. It can raise awareness to countries of what is going on in other places that can affect not only that single country but as well as people through Japanese decent, human interest, families from Japan and foreigners/visitors.