Was The Earthquake That Hit Japan On June 25th Related To The 2011 Tohoku Earthquake?

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  • On the morning of June 25, 2020, a 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck eastern Japan, including Tokyo. The earthquake took place at 4:47 a.m., waking people up due to the prolonged shaking. There was no risk of a tsunami.

    by Martin Danker

    Using the Japan Meteorological Agency’s (JMA) seismic intensity scale, the earthquake was registered under 5 Lower. JMA’s intensity scale ranges from 0 to 7, and it indicates how humans would perceive an earthquake and react to it, and how situations would be both indoors and outdoors. Intensities 5 and 6 are the only divided into two categories: 5 Lower and 5 Upper, and 6 Lower and 6 Upper.

    According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, a 5 Lower-intensity earthquake means that many people would be frightened and feel the need to hold onto something stable. Additionally, objects that are hanging, such as lamps, will swing violently; items located in cupboards and on bookshelves could fall; and unsecured furniture could move while unstable furniture could topple over. Outside, roads could sustain damage and windows could break. Ergo, an earthquake with a seismic intensity of Lower 5 like the one experienced on June 25, 2020 is quite strong.

    Fortunately, there were no major reports of injuries and damages besides JR East suspending some services, and a woman in her eighties who fell from her bead due to the surprise caused by the shaking, breaking her leg.

    However, something interesting happened a few hours later. The Japan Meteorological Agency announced it was considering the earthquake to have been an aftershock from the magnitude-9 earthquake that struck the Tohoku area in 2011, known in Japan as the Great East Japan Earthquake, and which triggered a devastating tsunami that ravaged the region.

    The Japan Meteorological Agency shared a video on YouTube as a way to broadcast their news conference, this being the first time the agency takes to YouTube to do so. This is part of an initiative in which the Japan Meteorological Agency aims to facilitate communication and the release of information. Therefore, all future press conferences will be made available on YouTube.

    There has been recent seismic activity in Chiba and Ibaraki, and the Japan Meteorological Agency has warned that earthquakes of similar intensity could take place in the following week.

    Japan is one of the most seismic countries in the world and has very sophisticated alert systems to let citizens know that an earthquake is hitting or that a tsunami is approaching. The 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and the tsunami it triggered remains one of the most tragic natural disasters to have ever struck the Japanese archipelago.

    Due to the high risk of earthquakes, it is recommended that people are always prepared. Knowing evacuation exits, routes, and meeting points located around one’s work and home is essential, and it’s advised that people keep a supply of water and nonperishable food at home in case of an emergency. Recent reports have also suggested that if a very strong earthquake were to hit Tokyo, the capital would could become paralyzed.

    *Featured Image by japan_meteorological_agency (気象庁) on Instagram