Posted on April 5, 2012


Japan’s Pacific coastline may be hit by an enormous tsunami, should a major earthquake occur off the coast of the country’s central island.

This is the scenario feared – and expected – by local specialists.

A special Cabinet Office panel warned of the possibility Saturday, after it revised its 2003 estimate, reports the Kyodo news agency.

The new revision reflects new findings from the March 2011 earthquake that triggered a massive tsunami and the world’s worst nuclear crisis in 25 years.

Back in 2003, the panel was sure that Japan would never see a tsunami more than 20 meters high.

The new report, however, is based on the assumption that the earthquake will have a magnitude of 9.0 and will occur on the Nankai Trough.

The oceanic fault runs east of the central Japanese island of Honshu and is 900 km long.

Moreover, this trough is one of the most probable places for an earthquake of such magnitude to occur in the coming decades, local specialists believe.

The waves generated by 9.0 tremor would hit areas from Kanto to Kyushu, with waves as high as 34.4 meters.

Areas in Shizuoka, Kochi and Miyazaki prefectures may see waves as high as 10 to 20 meters.

Urban areas of Tokyo may be hit by a tsunami up to 2.3 meters high, however the village of Niijima in the Izu Island chain, which is administered by Tokyo, could face deadly waves up to 29.7 meters.

4th Media

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