Soil liquefaction in the March 2011 earthquake was more widespread than previously thought and not restricted to areas of reclaimed land, disaster risk research released Thursday shows.

Nearly 9,700 zones in 189 municipalities across 13 eastern and northeastern prefectures experienced soil liquefaction due to the Great East Japan Earthquake, researchers found.

While reclaimed land along coastlines was especially susceptible, liquefaction also occurred inland along rivers as well as on land developed for housing, according to the study by Kazue Wakamatsu, a professor at Kanto Gakuin University and an expert in disaster prevention, and Shigeki Senna, a researcher at the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention.