Chances of 8-magnitude quake in Sagami Trough edges up to 5%


The chance of an 8-magnitude or greater earthquake occurring in the Sagami Trough off the Kanto region including Tokyo over the next three decades has climbed to between nearly zero and 5 percent from a range of nearly zero to 2 percent a decade ago, a government panel said Friday.

But the chance of a quake in the 7-magnitude range taking place in the Pacific trough remains unchanged at some 70 percent, according to the new estimates from the Earthquake Research Committee.

The 70 percent figure is “very high,” Yoshimori Honkura, chair of the panel, said. He stressed the need to promote disaster prevention measures in areas that may be affected.

The undersea area was the site of a 7.9-magnitude quake in 1923 and an 8.2-magnitude quake in 1703. Japan has invested a lot of money in earthquake prediction research but has a miserable prediction rate.