Quake researchers warn of Tokyo’s ‘Big One’

Posted on March 9, 2012

0


A year on from one of the biggest earthquakes in recorded history, Japanese scientists are warning anew that Tokyo could soon be hit by a quake that will kill thousands and cause untold damage.

Greater Tokyo, home to 35 million tightly packed people, has seen a three-fold increase in tectonic activity since the magnitude 9.0 undersea quake that unleashed a killer tsunami last March.

Every day, an average of nearly 1.5 quakes are recorded in and around the city, one of the most populated places on Earth.

But Tokyoites are so used to being shaken in their beds or at their desks that the majority pass almost without comment.

The city is, without doubt, one of the most earthquake-proofed places in the world. Even the monster quake of March 11 last year that struck just 370 kilometres (230 miles) away caused little structural damage.

Public transport was thrown into temporary disarray, leaving thousands stranded, but no buildings collapsed and there were no large-scale casualties.

The University of Tokyo’s Earthquake Research Institute says the city, built at the intersection of four tectonic plates, has a 50 percent chance of suffering a major quake — anything above a magnitude 7.0 — in the next four years.

“We must prepare for the earthquake that will happen,” says Asahiko Taira, executive director of the government’s Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology.

Terra Daily

Enhanced by Zemanta
Posted in: Random