Thursday, April 18, 2013

M7.2 earthquake strikes north of Japan, near Hokkaido

posted on APRIL 19, 2013 by ADAM WESTLAKE

The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) reported that a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck on Friday afternoon to the north of Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost islands, and far east of Russia. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) confirmed the quake as well, taking place at 12:05 PM local time, however Japanese authorities have confirmed there is no need for a tsunami warning.

A spokesman for authorities in Hokkaido has said there have been no reports of injuries or damages at this point, but the M7.2 quake definitely gave the locals a good shake. The USGS says the origin was fairly shallow, only 10 kilometers (6 miles) deep, and at an epicenter of roughly 275 km (170 miles) northeast of the Russian-administered Kuril Islands, and 528 km (328 miles) northeast of Hokkaido’s town of Nemuro. While the area is roughly 1,500 km (930 miles) north of Tokyo, some in the Japanese capital said they felt some mild shaking.

The last week has been fairly full of earthquakes in Japan, with a M6.3 hiting western Japan in the early morning hours of April 13th. There were a number of injuries reported, however most were not serious, and nearly all were due to people tripping or falling. There was also some minor damages to local buildings and structures, but no collapses occurred. On Wednesday, April 17th, Miyake Island, located south of Tokyo, was struck by a dozen or so small earthquakes, with the JMA measuring the largest at magnitude 6.2. Thankfully there were no injuries or damages in that case either, and tsunami warning was necessary, but the shaking prompted many locals to suffer bad memories from a volcano eruption in 2000 that forced the island to evacuate.

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