Research Division on Supercomputing Systems


One week has passed since the powerful magnitude 7.1 earthquake

Hi, there. This is Minglu, who felt really scared for the terrible earthquake even though it is my fifth year in Japan.

Around 13th 11pm, the powerful magnitude 7.1 earthquake jolts Tohoku area.
The next morning, Prof. Takizawa sent some photos of our lab after the earthquake via slack.

(upper photos) In the student room, books were fell off the shelf, monitors were fell off on the top of desks, and drawers were pulled out.
(lower photos) The experiment room was really chaotic. The keyboards were fell off the shelf that keycaps were coming apart, and even the server racks were moved.

It is hard that such a big earthquake happened near the graduation season, especially near the thesis’s deadline.
Fortunately, all of our servers are fine due to the anti-earthquake procedures that there is no data loss.

Take this occasion, I would like to introduce the main anti-earthquake procedures we have done so far.

(upper photos) Firstly, about our students’ room:
– The top two layers of the bookshelf have fall prevention rods that prevent books from falling off and hitting the students’ desks.
– Since the earthquake happened on a Saturday night, no one was in the lab. In case of being in the lab, we placed the helmets near everyone’s desk that students can wear them and run away.
– To prevent the fire, all electrical outlets are organized carefully.

(lower photos) Next is our experiment room.
– All shelves were fixed to the wall by furniture-wall-brackets so that shelves will not fall off to the floor.
– There are many servers in our experiment room. Also, to prevent fire, all outlets are managed carefully by numbering and calculating each current limitation.
– There are lots of equipment such as the USB-cables are stored on the shelf. The top layer of the shelf also has the anti-earthquake strap.

Besides, our lab uses both cloud storage and local NAS to store and manage all research data.
The NAS in our lab has the redundancy that all data could be repaired even one or two HDDs are broken.

The most significant damages by this earthquake are the monitors that were fell off the desk, and a few are broken. To prevent this problem, we plan to buy some anti-earthquake mats for fixing the monitors on each desk.

All in all, it is fortunate that no labmate got injured due to the earthquake.
Though one week has already passed and some aftershocks still come, our daily lives are coming back. Everyone is enjoying their campus lives.