• KYODO

  • SHARE

Saturday’s magnitude 7.3 quake that struck off the Tohoku coast is believed to be an aftershock of the 2011 killer earthquake that triggered a massive tsunami in the area, a seismologist said.

“Because (the 2011 quake) was an enormous one with a magnitude of 9.0, it’s not surprising to have an aftershock of this scale 10 years later,” said Kenji Satake, a professor at the University of Tokyo’s Earthquake Research Institute.

Despite the relatively large size of the latest quake with the focus off Fukushima Prefecture, it was unlikely to have caused a tsunami because it had a deep epicenter of about 55 kilometers below the sea surface, Satake said.

The Meteorological Agency also said it believed the 11:07 p.m. quake was an aftershock of the megaquake that struck the area nearly 10 years ago to the date.

According to the agency, the quake’s seismic intensity — a strong 6 on the Japanese scale of 7 — was the strongest to occur off the country’s northeastern coast since April 7, 2011.

On March 11 that year, the magnitude 9.0 quake rocked the region, registering a 7 on the Japanese scale and triggering a massive tsunami. The disasters subsequently spurred the triple-meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

A quake with intensity of an strong 6 and 7 is defined by the agency as making it “impossible (for humans) to remain standing or move without crawling” and people may even be “thrown through the air.”

The difference between upper 6 and 7 is their impact on furniture, walls and windows. In the former, “most unreinforced concrete-block walls collapse,” but even “reinforced concrete-block walls may collapse” in the latter, the agency says.

Work begins Sunday morning to clear debris from a landslide caused a magnitude 7.3 quake that occurred late Sunday night. | KYODO
Work begins Sunday morning to clear debris from a landslide caused a magnitude 7.3 quake that occurred late Sunday night. | KYODO

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

PHOTO GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)