Jan. 8, 2019– Mary Greeley News – A large 6.4-magnitude tremor has struck off the coast of Japan today. USGS Downgraded it to a M6.3.
The earthquake with an estimated magnitude of 6.3 has struck off the coast of south east Japan.
The U.S. Geological Survey reported the quake south, southeast of Kagoshima today.
There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties. The quake was 21 miles (35km) deep and centred 116 km off Kagoshima Island.
Earthquakes are common in Japan, one of the world’s most seismically active areas.
Japan accounts for about 20 per cent of the world’s earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater.
Several quakes have been hitting the country in recent months. In November 2014 a 5.5 hit locally. The quake was one mile from Moriya. It was four miles from Mitsukaido and six miles from Toride. The quake also started six miles from Abiko and twenty-five miles from Tokyo.
In July a Japan earthquake occured twenty-seven miles east of Tokyo. The quake was only one mile south of Yotsukaido. It was also six miles south of Sakura and seven miles west of Yachimata. The quake also began three miles east of Chiba-shi. And in July 2017 another quake hit roughly 73 miles east of Takahagi, 73 miles east of Hitachi, 75 miles east of Hasaki, and 83 miles east of Mito.
Could there be bigger quakes? USGS tell news that “While there are no instances of an earthquake M>8 in the modern record,
Taiwan and its surrounding region have experienced eight M>7.5 events between 1900 and 2014.
The dominance of shallow M<8 earthquakes suggests fairly weak plate boundary coupling, with most earthquakes caused by internal plate deformation. "They add "The 1935 M 7.1 Hsinchu-Taichung earthquake and the 1999 M 7.6 Chi-Chi Earthquake both exemplify the shallow continental crust thrust faulting that dominates regional seismicity across the island.
A major tectonic feature of the island is the Longitudinal Valley Fault, which ruptures frequently in small, shallow earthquakes. In 1951, the Longitudinal Valley Fault hosted twelve M6+ events known as the Hualien-Taitung earthquake sequence after a M7.3 earthquake. It is believed an earthquake is M7.6 is possible in this area.
Stronger quakes are very common across this Ring of Fire. Officials tell news “Large earthquakes in the vicinity of Japan and Taiwan have been both destructive and deadly. The regions high population density makes shallow earthquakes especially dangerous.
Since 1900 there have been 13 earthquakes (9 in Japan, 4 in Taiwan) that have each caused over 1000 fatalities, leading to a total of nearly 200,000 earthquake related deaths.”