Advertisement
Observations

Japan Earthquakes History: Navigating Japan’s Seismic Past

Amid the global New Year celebrations of 2024, Japan experienced a seismic upheaval with a 7.5 magnitude earthquake. As festivities resonated worldwide, this unexpected event in Japan triggered widespread apprehension. Across the globe, even amid New Year revelry, individuals turned their attention to Japan’s seismic history, actively seeking information on past earthquakes. The keyword “japan earthquakes history” has recently surged in popularity, drawing increased attention and curiosity on a global scale.

The metric for magnitude varies, encompassing Richter magnitude scale (ML), moment magnitude scale (Mw), or the antiquated surface wave magnitude scale (Ms). For earthquakes predating modern measurement instruments, precise magnitude data remains elusive, rendering this list non-exhaustive.

Japan Earthquakes History: Historical Insights

Though whispers of an earthquake in Yamato, now Nara Prefecture, date back to August 23, 416, the inaugural documented earthquake unfolded in Nara Prefecture on May 28, 599, during Empress Suiko’s reign, leaving devastation in its wake across Yamato province. Numerous historical accounts document Japanese earthquakes. In 1892, the Imperial Earthquake Investigation Committee emerged, systematically compiling historical data, later published in 1899 as the Catalogue of Historical Data on Japanese Earthquakes.

Post the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake, the Earthquake Research Institute superseded the Imperial Earthquake Investigation Committee in 1925. In contemporary times, Tatsuo Usami’s catalogues stand as the authoritative source for historic earthquakes, with the 2003 edition detailing 486 occurrences spanning 416 to 1888.

Quantifying Earthquakes

Japan employs the Shindo scale to gauge earthquakes based on seismic intensity rather than magnitude. Comparable to the Modified Mercalli intensity scale in the United States or China’s Liedu scale, the Shindo scale measures the quake’s intensity at a specific location. In contrast to the Richter scale, which gauges the energy released at the epicenter, Shindo’s ten levels range from zero, signifying a minimal tremor, to seven, indicating a severe earthquake.

For earthquakes at Shindo five and six, descriptions vary from “weak” to “strong,” depending on the resulting destruction. Quakes at Shindo four or lower are deemed mild, while those at five or above pose a threat to furniture, wall tiles, wooden structures, reinforced concrete buildings, roads, and utility pipes.

List of earthquakes in Japan

Date and time
Magnitude
Fatalities
Epicenter
Description
November 29, 684 (proleptic Gregorian calendar) November 26, 684 (Julian calendar)
8.4 MK (Kawasumi scale)
101-1,000
The earthquake, ranging from 8.0 to 8.4 in magnitude, caused severe damage. Conflicting dates of October 14 and November 24 were reported. This period marked the Japanese acknowledgment of the connection between earthquakes and tsunamis, leading to the commencement of detailed record-keeping. Geologists continue to study these tsunami records.
June 5, 745 (G) June 1, 745 (J)
7.9 MK
N/A
Certain sources mention the earthquake taking place on June 9.
July 13, 869 (G) July 9, 869 (J)
8.9 MK
1,000+
The tsunami resulting from the earthquake caused significant flooding in the Sendai plain, leading to the destruction of Tagajō town.
May 27, 1293 (G) May 20, 1293 (J)
7.1 Ms
23,024
The earthquake near Kamakura, Kanagawa, had a magnitude estimated between 7.1 and 7.5. It may have caused a disputed tsunami, and the death toll stands at 23,024.
August 3, 1361 (G) July 26, 1361 (J)
8.4 Ms
N/A
Triggered a tsunami.
September 20, 1498 (G) September 11, 1498 (J)
8.6 MK
31
The earthquake struck off the coast of Nankai, Japan, around 08:00 local time on September 20, 1498, with an estimated magnitude of 8.6. It caused a significant tsunami, and while the exact death toll remains uncertain, reports indicate around 31,000 casualties.
January 18, 1586
7.9 MK
N/A
N/A
Several islands in Ise Bay are said to have vanished.
February 3, 1605
7.9 MK
5,000+
The 1605 Keichō Nankaidō earthquake, around 20:00 local time on February 3, with a magnitude of 7.9, triggered a massive tsunami causing numerous deaths in Japan's Nankai and Tōkai regions. It's labeled a tsunami earthquake due to the disproportionately large tsunami relative to the earthquake magnitude. Uncertainty persists about whether it was a single event or two closely spaced earthquakes.
September 27, 1611
6.9 MK
3,700+ (Official estimate)
Aizu basin, (Present day of Fukushima Prefecture)
The official estimated report indicates over 3,700 human fatalities, along with the collapse of Aizuwakamatsu Castle, numerous temples, and 20,000 houses in the affected regions.
December 2, 1611
8.1
2,000+
On December 2, 1611, an earthquake occurred with an epicenter off the Sanriku coast in Iwate Prefecture, registering a magnitude of 8.1M.
June 16, 1662
7.25 - 7.6 M
700-900
Lake Biwa south
A significant tremor is affecting the Ōmi · Wakasa area, leading to crustal deformation, including a 4.5 m (15 ft) rise in the east of Lake Suigetsu.
1667
8.5 - 9.0 M
N/A
Offshore Tokachi region
An earthquake near Kushiro was deduced from tsunami deposits, likely linked to the rupture of the Kuril Trench. There are no records of the event, as the region was not yet under Japanese control at that time.
November 4, 1677
8.3-8.6 Mw
569
Offshore Bōsō Peninsula
The quake, though low in intensity, triggered a significant tsunami, claiming 569 lives. It is believed to have ruptured the Pacific Plate-Okhotsk Plate interface at the southern end of the Japan Trench.
December 31, 1703
8.0 ML
5,233
Edo
N/A
October 28, 1707
8.6 ML
5,000+
Off the Kii Peninsula
It hit Nankaidō and Tōkai regions, causing widespread damage in southwestern Honshu, Shikoku, and southeastern Kyūshū. This incident also marked Mount Fuji's most recent eruption.
April 24, 1771
7.4 MK
13,486
The 1771 Great Yaeyama Tsunami, triggered by the Yaeyama Great Earthquake on April 24 at 8 A.M., resulted in 13,486 confirmed dead or missing individuals. The devastation included 9,313 in Yaeyama Islands (8,815 in Ishigaki Island), 2,548 in Miyako Islands, and 1,625 in other areas, with over 3,000 houses destroyed. The tsunami reached over 40 m (130 ft) at Ishigaki Island and a maximum of 85.4 m (280 ft) in Miyara village. In Tarama, the estimated tsunami runup height was about 18 m (59 ft). "Tsunami stones," boulders propelled by the tsunami, can still be found in the northwestern highlands of Miyakojima. According to an unverified local legend, a small unnamed island in the area was engulfed by the tsunami and vanished.
May 21, 1792
6.4 MK
15,448
 Ariake Sea coastline
Changes to the Ariake Sea coastline, in the center of Mount Unzen, Kumamoto Prefecture (right) and the Amakusa Islands (see below) were affected by the tsunami
A volcanic earthquake from Mount Unzen in the Shimabara Peninsula, Nagasaki, Japan, claimed 15,000 lives. The disaster was exacerbated by a tsunami triggered by the collapse of Mount Mayuyama's southern flank into the bay. Known as 'Shimabara erupted, Higo affected,' the incident also caused casualties in Higo, Kumamoto, located 20 km (12 mi) away across the Ariake Sea, as the tsunami rebounded to strike Shimabara again.
December 18, 1828
6.9 MK
1,559 (official confirmed)
Sanjo, Niigata Prefecture (then Echigo Province)
As per the official report, 21,134 houses and buildings sustained damage, with 1,204 of them burning down. The affected area witnessed 1,559 human fatalities and 2,666 injuries.
December 7, 1833
7.5 MJMA
150
Shōnai, Yamagata Prefecture
A devastating tsunami, ranked among the largest in the Sea of Japan.
May 8, 1847
7.3 M
8,600+
Nagano Basin (then Shinano Province)
In Nagano's central area, numerous structures, including Zenkōji temple, collapsed due to a powerful earthquake. The quake led to a range of disasters, including fires, landslides, and flooding caused by a makeshift "dam" formed from debris. The official report confirmed a death toll of at least 8,600 across the region. Additionally, 21,000 houses were damaged, 3,400 burned, and 44,000 homes suffered damage from landslides.
July 9, 1854
7.25 MK
995 (official confirmed)
Iga, Mie Prefecture (then Iga Province)
As per the official confirmed report, the affected area experienced damage to 2,576 houses and buildings, resulting in 995 fatalities and 994 injuries.
December 23, 1854
8.4 MK
2,000 (estimated)
Suruga Bay
N/A
December 24, 1854
8.4 MK
10,000+
Nankai Trough
More than 10,000 people from the Tōkai region down to Kyushu lost their lives.
November 11, 1855
6.9 MK
6,641
Edo, near the mouth of the Arakawa River
Demo Image
The Edo earthquake occurred in 1855.
April 9, 1858
7.0
200-300
Atotsugawa Fault
N/A
March 18, 1872
7.1 MK
551 (official confirmed)
off coast Hamada, Shimane Prefecture
As per the official confirmed report, the earthquake at 16:40 local time damaged 4,506 houses, led to 230 house fires, claimed 551 lives, and caused landslides that destroyed 6,567 homes in the affected area.
February 22, 1880
5.5-6.0
0
Yokohama City
While the damage was minor, the Seismological Society of Japan was established in response to the quake.
July 28, 1889
6.3
20
Tatsuda fault
This earthquake marks the first major seismic event following the establishment of the Seismological Society of Japan in 1880.
October 28, 1891
8.0 ML
7,273
Neodani Fault
N/A
June 20, 1894
6.6 ML
31
Tokyo Bay
The death toll was 31, with 157 injured.
October 22, 1894
7.0 ML
726 (Official confirmed)
Sakata, Yamagata Prefecture
As per the official confirmed report, the affected area witnessed damage to 14,118 houses and buildings, with 2,148 of them burning down. The toll included 726 human fatalities and 8,403 injuries. Notably, a large-scale fire erupted in Sakata, and in the Shonai plain area, there were numerous instances of cracked earth, sinking ground, sand boils, and fountains.
June 15, 1896
8.5 ML
22,000+
N/A
This earthquake struck off the coast of Sanriku in Iwate Prefecture, triggering a 25-meter (82-foot) tsunami 35 minutes later. The tsunami devastated hundreds of houses and claimed over 22,000 lives. Its effects were also observed in Hawaii and California.
September 1, 1923
8.3 ML
142,800
Izu Ōshima
N/A
May 23, 1925
6.8 ML
428

Toyooka in Hyōgo Prefecture 35.6°N 134.8°E

According to the Japanese government's official report, the earthquake resulted in 428 fatalities, 1,016 injuries, the destruction of 7,863 buildings, and damage to 45,659 houses due to collapse or fire. Toyooka and the Maruyama River area suffered extensive damage. Before the shaking, intermittent cannon-like sounds were reported from the estuary near the Maruyama River. Lasting 16 seconds, the earthquake caused strong seismic vibrations in Tokyooka, collapsing many wooden buildings. Subsequent fires burned half of Toyooka, causing numerous deaths (8% of the town's population). Additionally, 272 deaths were confirmed in the Kinosaki area.
March 7, 1927
7.6 ML
3,020
Tango Peninsula in Kyoto Prefecture
The earthquake led to the destruction of almost all houses in Mineyama (now part of Kyōtango) and was felt as far away as Tokyo and Kagoshima.
November 26, 1930
7.3 Ms
272
Izu Peninsula
N/A
March 3, 1933
8.4 Mw
3,000+
290 km (180 mi) east of the city of Kamaishi, Iwate
Depicting Kamaishi Bay
Depicting Kamaishi Bay in Iwate after the 1933 earthquake and tsunami.
November 3, 1936
7.2 Ms
0
offshore Miyagi
N/A
August 2, 1940
7.5 Mw
10
offshore Hokkaido
N/A
September 10, 1943
7.2 ML
1,083
offshore from Ketaka District
N/A
December 7, 1944
8.1 Mw
1,223
On December 7, 1944, at 13:35 local time (04:35 UTC), a magnitude 8.1 earthquake occurred in the Tōkai region, reaching a maximum intensity of 5 on the Shindo scale (VII on the Mercalli intensity scale). Striking the coastal provinces, it caused significant damage and generated a tsunami. The combined impact of the earthquake and tsunami resulted in 1,223 fatalities, with reported injuries affecting 20,000 people or more.
January 13, 1945
6.8 ML
1,180 + 1,126 missing
Mikawa Bay
An earthquake occurred off Mie and Aichi prefectures, Japan, at 03:38 on January 13, 1945.
December 20, 1946
8.1 Mw
1,362
Nankai Trough
A significant earthquake struck Nankaidō, Japan, on December 20, 1946, at 19:19 UTC. It was felt from Northern Honshū to Kyūshū.
June 28, 1948
7.1 Mw
3,769
near Maruoka, Fukui

36.10°N 136.17°E

A major earthquake hit Fukui Prefecture, Japan, at 5:13 p.m. on June 28, 1948, during Japan Daylight Saving Time (JDT).
March 4, 1952
8.1 Mw
28
The 1952 Hokkaido earthquake occurred around March 4, 1952, in the sea east of Hokkaido, measuring 8.1 on the Moment Magnitude Scale. Casualties resulted from the earthquake.
August 19, 1961
7.0
8
One of the earthquakes named by the Japan Meteorological Agency resulted in 8 fatalities.
June 16, 1964
7.6 Mw
26
50 km north of Niigata
The earthquake triggered widespread soil liquefaction in Niigata city, leading to unusually high levels of damage to buildings considering the felt intensity.
April 1, 1968
7.5 Mw
0
Hyūga-nada Sea
N/A
May 16, 1968
8.2 Mw
52
Offshore of Misawa, Japan
This earthquake struck off the coast of Honshu Island near Misawa, Japan, Aomori Prefecture, and was accompanied by a substantial tsunami. The event claimed 52 lives and caused significant material damage in Northern Japan.
June 17, 1973
7.8 Mw
0
near Nemuro Peninsula
N/A
May 9, 1974
6.5 Ms
25
near Izu Peninsula
N/A
June 12, 1978
7.7 Ms
28
just offshore Miyagi Prefecture
The most extensive damage occurred around Sendai, and the earthquake triggered widespread landslides.
May 26, 1983
7.8 Ms
104
off coast 50 miles (80 kilometers)from Noshiro, Akita Prefecture
With waves reaching up to 9.1 meters (30 feet) above the coastline, the tsunami generated by this earthquake was observed across a broad stretch along the Sea of Japan's coast, causing damage from Tsuruoka to Goshogawara. The tsunami claimed 100 lives, including seawall construction workers and beachgoers, resulting in a total of 104 fatalities. Soil liquefaction was widely observed throughout the affected area.
September 14, 1984
6.3 Ms
29
Mount Ontake, Otaki, Nagano Prefecture
In total, 29 people lost their lives, and 10 were injured.
December 17, 1987
6.7 Mw
2
2 people killed and 146 injured.
N/A
January 15, 1993
7.6 Mw
2
N/A
July 12, 1993
7.7 Mw
202
N/A
December 28, 1994
7.7 Mw
3
N/A
January 17, 1995
7.3 Mj
6,434
northern end of Awaji Island
Demo Image
Damage in Kobe 
An earthquake struck Japan on Tuesday, January 17, 1995, at 05:46 JST, in the southern part of Hyōgo Prefecture. It measured Mw 6.8 on the Moment Magnitude scale (USGS) and Mj7.3 on the revised (7.2 on the old) JMA magnitude scale. Lasting approximately 20 seconds, the tremors originated 16 km (9.9 mi) beneath the epicenter, on the northern end of Awaji Island, 20 km (12 mi) away from the city of Kobe.
May 4, 1998
7.5 Mw
0
The epicenter was in the Philippine Sea, situated far off the coast—260 km from Ishigaki Island, Japan, 400 km from Basco, Philippines, and 425 km from Hualien, Taiwan.
March 24, 2001
6.7 Mw
2
N/A
September 25, 2003
8.3 Mw
1
On September 25, 2003, an earthquake struck Hokkaido, measuring 8.3 on the Moment Magnitude scale. The event caused widespread damage to roads throughout Hokkaido, multiple power outages, and triggered landslides that further contributed to the destruction.
October 23, 2004
6.6 Mw
68
Ojiya, Niigata
On Saturday, October 23, 2004, at 5:56 p.m. (local time), an earthquake occurred, causing noticeable shaking across almost half of Honshū, including parts of the Tohoku, Hokuriku, Chūbu, and Kantō regions.
March 20, 2005
7.0 Mw
1
In the Genkai Sea about 6 km (3.7 mi) northwest of Genkai Island at the mouth of Fukuoka Harbor
This earthquake hit Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan, at 10:53:40 JST on March 20 and lasted for approximately 50 seconds.
August 16, 2005
7.2 Mw
0
about 55 km (34 mi) due east of the Oshika Peninsula in Miyagi Prefecture
N/A
November 15, 2006
8.3 Mw
0
about 160 km (99 mi) due east of the southern tip of Simushir in the Kuril Islands
The earthquake occurred at 20:29 JST on November 15, 2006, triggering a tsunami that struck the northern coast of Japan.
January 13, 2007
8.1 Mw
0
The earthquake occurred at 1:23 p.m. JST (04:23 UTC), prompting a tsunami warning but causing no significant damage. The epicenter was situated 95 km southeast of the 2006 Kuril Islands earthquake that struck a few weeks earlier.
March 25, 2007
6.9 Mw
1
about 11 km (6.8 mi) due west of the southern end of the town of Wajima
N/A
July 16, 2007
6.6 Mw
11
about 29 km (18 mi) west of Niigata
The earthquake, a potent magnitude 6.6 event, struck at 10:13 a.m. local time (01:13 UTC) on July 16, 2007, in the northwest Niigata region of Japan. Eleven deaths and at least 1,000 injuries were reported, with 342 buildings completely destroyed, predominantly older wooden structures.
June 14, 2008
6.9 Mw
12
about 1 km (0.62 mi) east of Narusawa Onsen in northwest Iwate Prefecture
This earthquake hit the central Tōhoku region in northeastern Honshū, Japan.
August 11, 2009
6.6 Mw
1

33.8°N 138.50°E, depth 20.0 km

N/A
February 26, 2010
7.0 Mw
1

25.902°N 128.417°E, depth 22.0 km

N/A
December 21, 2010
7.4 Mw
0

26.866°N 143.739°E, depth 14.9 km

N/A
March 9, 2011
7.2 Mw
0

38.424°N 142.836°E, depth 32 km

N/A
March 11, 2011 05:46:23 UTC (14:46 JST)
9.1 Mw
19,759 deaths, (2,553 people missing)

38.510°N 142.792°E, depth 29 km

The megathrust earthquake, with its hypocenter off the Oshika Peninsula on the east coast of Tōhoku, stands as Japan's strongest and among the world's top five largest recorded earthquakes. The subsequent tsunami, reaching up to 40 m (130 ft) along the Sanriku coast, caused extensive casualties, material damage, and significant accidents at four major nuclear power stations.
March 11, 2011 06:25:50 UTC
7.1 Mw
0

38.106°N 144.553°E, depth 19.7 km

"Magnitude 7.1 - Off the East Coast of Honshu, JAPAN REGION". Earthquake.usgs.gov. Archived from the original on 2011-03-17. Retrieved 2011-03-12.

April 7, 2011 23:30:00 JST
7.1 Mw
4

38.253°N 141.640°E, depth 49 km

N/A
April 11, 2011 17:16:13 JST
6.6 Mw
6

37.007°N 140.477°E, depth 10 km

"Magnitude 6.6 - East Honshu, JAPAN REGION". Earthquake.usgs.gov. 11 April 2011. Archived from the original on 28 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-30.

July 10, 2011 10:57:12 JST
7.0 Mw
0

38.040°N 143.287°E, depth 49 km

The earthquake was centered approximately 242 km southwest of Hachijo-jima.
January 1, 2012 14:27:54 JST
6.8 Mw
0

31.416°N 138.155°E, depth 348.5 km

The quake occurred 242 km (150 miles) southwest of Hachijo-jima, Izu Islands, Japan, and 365 km (226 miles) south of Hamamatsu, Honshu, Japan.
December 7, 2012 17:18:24 JST
7.3 Mw
3

37.700°N 144.600°E, depth 32.0 km

The earthquake struck 293 km (182 miles) southeast of Kamaishi, Japan, and 492 km (306 miles) east-northeast of Tokyo, Japan.
October 26, 2013 02:10:19 JST
7.1 Mw
0

37.156°N 144.661°E, 35.0 km depth

N/A
November 22, 2014 22:08:18 JST
6.2 Mw6.7 MJMA
N/A

36.641°N 137.888°E 9.0 km depth

The earthquake caused injuries to 41 people and impacted the entire Chubu region. Numerous surface ruptures, primarily near Hakuba Village, were also generated by the quake.
May 30, 2015 20:23:02 JST
7.8 Mw
0

27.831°N 140.493°E, depth 677.6 km

The earthquake occurred 189 km (117 miles) west-northwest of Chichijima, Japan.
April 14, 2016 21:26:39 JST
6.2 Mw
9
depth 10.0 km
The earthquake struck 7 km (4.34 miles) southwest of Ueki, Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan.
April 16, 2016 01:25:06 JST
7.0 Mw
41

32.791°N 130.754°E, depth 10.0 km

The earthquake occurred 1 km (0.62 miles) east of Kumamoto, Japan.
November 22, 2016
05:59:49 JST
6.9 Mw
0

37.392°N 141.403°E, 11.4 km depth

The earthquake was located 37 km east-southeast of Namie, Fukushima.
June 18, 2018 07:58:35 JST
5.5 Mw
4

34.834°N 135.606°E, 13.2 km depth

The earthquake occurred 2 km north-northwest of Hirakata, Osaka.
September 6, 2018 03:07:59 JST
6.6 Mw
41

42.671°N 141.933°E, 33.4 km depth

The earthquake was located 27 km east of Tomakomai, Hokkaido, Japan.
June 19, 2019 22:22:19 JST
6.4 Mw
0

38.635°N 139.4543°E, 16.1 km depth

The earthquake struck 33 km west-southwest of Tsuruoka.
February 13, 2021 23:07:49 JST
7.1 Mw
1

37.702°N 141.762°E 55 km depth

The earthquake occurred 2 km east-northeast of Ishinomaki.
March 20, 2021 18:09:45 JST
7.0 Mw
0

38.475°N 141.607°E 54 km depth

The earthquake struck 27 km east-northeast of Ishinomaki.
October 7, 2021 22:41:24 JST
5.9 MW
0

35.577°N 140.070°E 80 km depth

The earthquake occurred 4 km southwest of Chiba.
March 16, 2022 23:36:30 JST
7.3 MW
4

37.702°N 141.587°E 63.1 km depth

The earthquake was located 57 km east-northeast of Namie.
May 5, 2023 14:42:04 JST
6.2 Mw
1

37.540°N 137.305°E 8.7 km depth

The earthquake occurred 49 km northeast of Anamizu.
January 1, 2024 16:10:09 JST
7.5 Mw
126 deaths (210 people missing)

37.498°N 137.242°E 10.0 km depth

The earthquake struck 42 km northeast of Anamizu.

Information updated January 8, 2024

At 16:10 local time on January 1, 2024, a devastating earthquake with a magnitude of 7.5 on the Richter scale struck 89 km north of Toyama. The quake occurred at a depth of approximately 10 km, impacting a region where over six million people reside within a 200 km radius of the epicenter. Subsequent days witnessed numerous aftershocks, with 59 registering magnitudes above 2.5. The most severe aftershock recorded had a magnitude of 6.2. These intense seismic events are uncommon, marking the strongest earthquake in Japan since the historic 2011 earthquake.

In the wake of the seismic upheaval on New Year’s Day that reverberated through Ishikawa Prefecture, the Meteorological Agency issued a cautionary advisory on Monday, signaling the potential for sustained powerful tremors in the region over the ensuing month. Concurrently, the count of individuals unaccounted for skyrocketed, surging from 103 to 323. Yet, the prefecture cast a broad net in its quest for information about the missing, acknowledging the likelihood that some might have relocated, eluding contact but remaining unharmed.

Japan Earthquakes History
Intensity Map of the 2024 Noto Peninsula Earthquake Observation Points. Credit: Japan Meteorological Agency

The casualty toll from the quake witnessed a substantial escalation, reaching a minimum of 168, with snowfall and a drastic dip in temperatures further complicating relief endeavors. The fatalities included 70 in both the heavily impacted municipalities of Wajima and Suzu, as per the prefecture’s reports.

The seismic event, a magnitude 7.6 earthquake with a severity rating of 7 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale, resulted in tsunamis, collapsed structures, and ignited a large-scale inferno in Wajima, causing extensive devastation to Ishikawa’s Noto Peninsula.

Japan Earthquakes History
The Hiuchi and crew loading relief supplies for the disaster response to the Reiwa 6 Noto Peninsula Earthquake. Credit: Twitter

A plethora of aftershocks, some registering as potent as 5 on the Japanese scale, continued to rattle the region, with Meteorological Agency authorities indicating a persistence of these tremors for the foreseeable future.

“While the overall frequency of earthquakes has been gradually diminishing… the incidence remains notably higher compared to the 2004 Niigata-Chuetsu earthquake and the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake,” remarked agency official Shinya Tsukada during a press briefing.

Tsukada tempered expectations by acknowledging a diminished likelihood of a recurrence of a quake with an equivalent magnitude to the New Year’s Day event, cautioning, however, that “seismic activity is ongoing.”

“Remain vigilant for earthquakes reaching a maximum seismic intensity of a robust 5 or higher in the next month or so,” he added.

Simultaneously, snowstorms have compounded the challenges of the relief operation, even though the peak of heavy snowfall has subsided for the Noto Peninsula. Authorities issued warnings about plummeting temperatures, highlighting the potential for further structural collapses in buildings already rendered precarious by the forceful quake and subsequent aftershocks.

In Anamizu, a landslide triggered by the New Year’s Day quake resulted in the demise of seven individuals on Sunday, adding to the toll of 14 fatalities from two houses. The precipitation, including snow accumulation exceeding 10 centimeters in certain areas, heightened the risk of landslides, posing an additional obstacle for rescuers venturing into remote areas already challenging to access by vehicle.

Over 3,300 people in 24 districts within towns and cities found themselves isolated from relief efforts, a consequence of road damage caused by the quake and an estimated 1,000 landslides in the Noto area.

In response, small contingents of Self-Defense Force troops undertook on-foot missions to reach the isolated zones, delivering aid and facilitating the evacuation of stranded residents, as depicted in footage released by the Defense Ministry.

Military, police, and fire department helicopters have also been deployed to the affected areas. The Defense Ministry augmented the total troop count for the relief mission to 6,100 on Monday, involving nine ships and 40 planes in addition to police and firefighters dispatched from across the nation.

The Meteorological Agency issued a cold weather advisory, as approximately 18,000 homes still lacked electricity as of Monday afternoon. Over 28,000 individuals remained sheltered in some 400 shelters throughout the prefecture, according to Ishikawa authorities.

On Monday, a temporary refuge with 250 tents and a capacity for 500 individuals at a gymnasium in Kanazawa initiated the acceptance of evacuees. Priority was given to those with specific needs, including the elderly and pregnant women, who will stay there until alternative accommodations, such as hotels, can be arranged.

Noah

You see, my love for Japan is not only based on personal experience; it's based on a deep admiration for Japanese culture, history, and traditions. Thank you, Japan, for being a constant source of inspiration, joy, and wonder in my life. I may never be able to express my love for Japan in person, but I hope that through my blog and my writing, I can share a small piece of my admiration and devotion with the world.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button