On the evening of July 6, New Zealander John Gillespie was relaxing in his house in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, drinking a few beers and watching the FIFA World Cup on TV with his 8-year-old son. Upstairs, his 6-year-old daughter was asleep and his wife, Nagisa, was watching TV in the living room.

Outside it was raining heavily, but Gillespie wasn't too concerned. He'd received countless disaster warnings before on his cellphone that had turned out to be nothing significant.

At around 11 p.m. he heard a very loud boom and felt a shock wave.