Friday, April 15, 2016

Magnitude 7.4 Quake Hits Japan

by JASmius

I read stories like this and grind my teeth because I had just managed to tamp down my anxiety over a Cascadia Subduction Zone doomsday seismic event.  Oh, yes, we're stocking up on water and batteries for the radio (assuming it didn't get smashed) and food and my family and I know about finding "void spaces" and not to try to get outside (you'll most likely be cut down by falling debris) and certainly not stand in a doorway (it'd cleave you in two like a guillotine).

All I know is that our clock is still ticking, while that of Kumamoto, Japan ran out:

A magnitude 7.4 earthquake struck southern Japan early on Saturday morning, triggering a tsunami advisory.

The quake's epicentre was near the city of Kumamoto and measured at a depth of forty kilometers (24.4 miles), the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The USGS minutes earlier reported a 7.1 quake with a depth of seven kilometers (4.3 miles) close to the same location.

The Japan Meteorological Agency issued a tsunami advisory, which identifies the presence of a marine threat and asks people to leave coastal regions, for the Ariake and Yatsushiro seas.

This one is several hundred times weaker than the monster 9.0 quake that devastated Japan five years ago, and the tsunami risk should be must more localized.  There are no reports yet on casualties, though in a country as advanced and prepared for seismic events as Japan is, they should be at a minimum.



UPDATE (4/16): Forty-one dead, nearly two thousand injured:

The death toll from earthquakes in southern Japan reached forty-one after a series of temblors struck Kyushu island overnight, including one more powerful than the quake that hit Kumamoto a day earlier.

A magnitude-7.3 quake occurred at a depth of 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) at 1:25 a.m. local time Saturday in Kumamoto, causing strong vibrations across the island with a population of 13 million people. Almost two thousand people were injured in the most recent quake, according to Japanese broadcaster NHK.

The temblor on Saturday was followed by a series of aftershocks that were almost at the the top of Japan's intensity scale. The shaking was most powerful close to Mt. Aso, an active volcano and popular tourist site. A small eruption was spotted at Mt. Aso after the quake, NHK reported.

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