Japan Quake Raises Shaking Risk in whole Country

Japan Quake Raises Shaking Risk in whole Country

Sendai : Japan | May 27, 2011 at 10:55 AM PDT
Views: Pending
Earthquake claims Japan's economy [CNN: 5-19-2011]

The massive 9.0 magnitude earthquake that devastated Japan in March built up stress on other faults in the country, putting some areas, including Tokyo, at risk of aftershocks and even new main shocks over the next few years, scientists have found.

After studying data from Japan’s extensive seismic network, researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), Kyoto University and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) have identified several areas at risk from the quake, Japan's largest ever, which already has triggered a large number of aftershocks.

Data from the Tohoku earthquake on March 11 has brought scientists a small step closer to a better assessment of future seismic risk in specific regions, said Shinji Toda of Kyoto University, a lead author of the study.

Even though we cannot forecast precisely, we can explain the mechanisms involved in such quakes to the public," he said. Still, he added, the findings do bring scientists "a little bit closer" to being able to forecast aftershocks.

The earthquake relieved stress along the part of the fault where it ruptured, decreasing the likelihood of such a temblor happening in the future, but only in some areas. On neighboring portions of the fault or on nearby, different faults, the possibility of an earthquake may have risen, the scientists found.

The magnitude 9 quake appears to have influenced large portions of Honshu Island, Toda said. At particular risk, he said, are the Tokyo area, Mount Fuji and central Honshu, including Nagano.

The Kantu fragment, which is close to Tokyo, also experienced an increase in stress. Previous government estimates have put Tokyo at a 70 percent risk for a magnitude 7 earthquake over the next 30 years. The new data from the Tohoku quake increased those odds to "more than 70 percent," Toda said. "That is really high."

Using a model known as Coulomb stress triggering, Lin and his colleagues found measureable increases in stress along faults to the north at Sanriku-Hokobu, south at Off Boso and at the Outer Trench Slope faults east of the quake’s epicenter off the Japan coast near the city of Sendai.
"Based on our other studies, these stress increases are large enough to increase the likelihood of triggering significant aftershocks or subsequent main shocks," the researchers wrote in their study.

1 of 4
sahussain is based in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan, and is a Stringer on Allvoices.
Report Credibility
  • Clear
  • Share:
  • Share
  • Clear
  • Clear
  • Clear
  • Clear

News Stories

  • Japan should stop building skyscrapers after quake: Mori

      Japan Times
    Some people got dizzy and that experience will probably leave a scar in their mind." Mori, Japan's third-richest person, said the government should consider setting a standard height for new buildings at about 100 meters, a level for so-called base-...
  • S.Korea, Japan firms in cloud computing deal

      Channel NewsAsia
    South Korean telecom operator KT said Monday it would form a cloud computing venture with Japan's Softbank to help Japanese companies keep their data safe from natural disasters. South Korea's number two wireless operator will have a 51 per cent...



More From Allvoices

Related People

Report Your News Got a similar story?
Add it to the network!

Or add related content to this report

Most Commented Reports

Use of this site is governed by our Terms of Use Agreement and Privacy Policy.

© Allvoices, Inc. 2008-2014. All rights reserved. Powered by PulsePoint.