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Powerful Earthquake Hits Japan, Devastates Famous Ebisu Drift Track

If you're familiar with the world of drifting, you might have heard about the famous Ebisu Race track in Northern Japan. Ebisu is to drifting what Mecca is to people of the Muslim belief. It is a place where people from all over the world aspire to drive at least once in their lives, a place where many of Japan's pro and amateur drifters have been training for the past few decades on a regular basis.
Ebisu Damaged in Powerful Earthquake 10 photos
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On the 13th of February 2021, just a few days ago, Japan was struck by a powerful earthquake, which had a magnitude of 7.1 on the Richter scale. The epicenter was situated offshore, east of Tohoku, 7 minutes past 11 PM JST (6 AM PST). Believe it or not, this is an actual aftershock of the 2011 earthquake, which was the strongest recorded one in Japan's history.

The epicenter hit about 46 miles (74 km) northeast of Namie, which puts Ebisu Circuit at just 92 miles (148 km) away. Photos of the current condition of the racetrack, which is the home venue for the famous Team Orange, consisting of Nobushige Kumakubo and Naoto Suenaga, show a very sad, desolate landscape. Some portions of it look completely unrecognizable in the aftermath of the disaster.

It seems that some 950,000 homes lost power due to the shake, and even though about 100 people were injured due to the disaster, so far, it seems that no deaths have occurred.

Everyone at the racetrack is also safe, although heavily shaken and broken-hearted, as they currently don't know how they will deal with the damages and how long it will take for track action to be resumed.  A lot of people keep their drift cars in storage at Ebisu, and we've seen some garages that were completely destroyed by the ensuing landslides.

Talking about the situation, Naoto Suenaga stated: "I think you know it from the press, but Ebisu Circuit is very damaged, so it has been closed for a while. The facility is damaged, but all the staff is safe. There was a lot of damage in the East Japan earthquake 10 years ago, but this time I feel like it's worse." Thousands of people from across the globe, drifters, or drift enthusiasts have shown their support to the people at the racetrack, and we also hope they will manage to recover from this disaster soon.


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