Japan was rocked by another powerful earthquake Friday, shaking the nerves of a Saskatoon family watching on this side of the world.
Barely 24 hours after the deadly 6.2 magnitude quake, the country was hit with a 7.1 tremor in the same region, near the city of Kumamoto.
Dean Pederson had no idea what had happened until his brother, Stan, called him early Thursday morning from Japan to let him know he was OK.
“Just nervous,” said Pederson, describing his brother’s demeanor during a 30-second video chat. Pederson said he just wanted to get word back home that they were all healthy.
Pederson’s brother has lived through his share of earthquakes since moving to the country in 1990, but Pederson said his brother, who lives in Kumamoto his wife and two children, was giving off a vibe this quake was “major.”
“While he is holding his iPad, you can see things in the background shaking and see the tension in his face,” Pederson said, following a second video chat Thursday.
Pederson said while their house wasn’t damaged, his brother was concerned about the aftershocks rupturing gas lines and starting fires.
“He’s still sitting on pins and needles, and he says the aftershocks are just about as bad as the initial.”
Pederson says his brother tells him they are fortunate the family is located in a well-built neighbourhood and still have electricity.
“Very minimal damage in their area; his worries are the aftershocks and if it causes any fire.”
At least nine people have died from the quake.
On Friday, aftershocks were hampering search efforts to find people trapped in the rubble of collapsed buildings.