SHIZUOKA - If a magnitude 8 or greater earthquake hits along the Nankai Trough off central and western Japan, it and its tsunami could claim more than 300,000 lives, trigger an eruption of Mount Fuji and turn millions of people into refugees, prefectural and local governments predict.
Shizuoka Prefecture issued a forecast Friday that such a horrendous event would cause up to ¥29 trillion in economic damage, render 1.31 million of its 3.75 million people homeless and leave 600,000 of them short of food, water and medicine.
A powerful Nankai quake would trigger massive tsunami, cause landslides and lead to ground deformation that could severely cripple the transportation network, including the Tokaido Shinkansen Line that connects Tokyo and Osaka.
The ¥29 trillion in economic damage Shizuoka would suffer would be just part of the ¥220 trillion that the Cabinet Office warns the nation as a whole would sustain.
Shizuoka projects that up to 105,000 people could be killed in the prefecture, while the Cabinet Office said in August last year the nationwide death toll could hit 323,000.