A STRONG earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.9 has struck the north coast of Japan. It was then downgraded to M6.0 by the USGS and M6.2 by the Japan Meteorological Agency. Serious damage and casualties are unlikely. In some areas, tremors and moderate shaking have been felt and reported. No tsunami warnings have been issued. This is the first earthquake with a magnitude larger than 6.0 since a Japanese government panel said this week that the country is likely to see a major earthquake in the near future.
The earthquake which was located 114 miles southeast of the city of Nemuro struck at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles).
The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) put the original magnitude down to 6.2 from the initial estimate from the country’s Earthquake Early Warning System. USGS estimated the tremor @M6.0.
As the quake struck far from the coast, serious damage and casualties are unlikely. However, in some areas, tremors and moderate shaking have been reported on the USGS website.
No tsunami warnings have been issued.
Japan and the Pacific Ring of Fire
Japan sits on the deadly Pacific Ring of Fire which is known for its earthquakes and volcanoes.
The Ring of Fire is a major hotbed of seismic and volcanic activity stretching along the horseshoe-like basin of the Pacific Ocean, and housing about 75 percent of the world’s active and dormant volcanoes. About 90 percent of the world’s earthquakes strike along the Ring of Fire.
The incredible activity in Ring of Fire is the result of tectonic plate movements deep beneath the waves of the Pacific Ocean.
The future is DARK
A Japanese Government panel said on Tuesday, February 26, the risk of a major earthquake (M7.0 – M8.0) is ELEVATED. A magnitude-7 or
magnitude-8 quake is expected to strike the Japan Trench just off the northeast coast of Japan in the next 30 years.
The country’s Earthquake Research Committee said there is a 50 percent chance a magnitude 7 or 7.5 earthquake will take place in the Fukushima area.
Chances of another earthquake taking place in the area have increased by 10 percent since 2011.
In March 2011, northeast Japan experienced a massive 9.0-magnitude earthquake which caused a devastating tsunami, which killed at least 15,893 people with more than 2,500 others either still missing or presumed dead.
The Earthquake Research Committee also revealed the odds of a magnitude 7.9 quake in Miyagi Prefecture are up by 20 percent from zero percent in 2011.
The earthquake committee found another 80 percent chance of a major quake in Ibaraki Prefecture.
Northern Iwate Prefecture on the Island of Honshu was given a 90 percent chance of a magnitude 7 or 7.5 quake over the next three decades.
Southern Iwate Prefecture only faces a 30 percent chance of disaster.
Committee chairman Naoshi Hirata said residents need to be aware of the potential risk of cataclysm. He said: “Just because there was a major earthquake in recent years, we do not want people to assume that there will not be another major earthquake occurring for a while.”