Wednesday, March 14, 2012

6.9 Magnitude Quake Strikes Off Japan Coast

A 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Honshu, Japan near the location of last year's deadly quake and tsunami. Six large aftershocks have occurred so far in at or near the epicenter ranging from 6.1 down to 4.6.  More quakes shook the Tokyo region later in the day. The quakes off the coast of Honshu generated a small 8-inch high tsunami. No damage was reported.

This series of quakes (while rather common in the region now) comes almost exactly one year (plus a few days) after the devastating magnitude 9.0 magnitude quake.The 9.0 mega-quake damaged the Fukushima nuclear plant resulting in a meltdown and widespread radiation which has devastated a large portion of Japan and has made the land uninhabitable. Further damage was visited on Japan by a 30-40ft high tsunami wave that destroyed large portions of Japans coastal cities.

The subducting plate is now in nearly continuous motion since that event, with large quakes being a fairly regular and almost daily occurrence. it is regular for magnitude 5.0 and up quakes to hit the region along the subducting plate.

Japanese scientists are also closely watching the restive Mt.Fuji for further signs of unrest following a series of quakes in the area, and recent (very unclear) reports of "a new crater" on the NE side of Fuji (however this was NEVER confirmed), as well as reports of new fumeroles.NONE of these reports are confirmed, and translation from Japanese to English via Google translate is worthless. Volcano-report.com has however picked up the story, and I also wrote a blog earlier last month about this report, gathering all the information that I could (which wasn't much).

In any case, expect Japan to continue to be a hotbed of earthquake and volcanic activity for quite some time.

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