Increased risk of large quake in Miura-hanto fault group

  • Earthquake risk has increased as a direct result of Tohoku earthquake
  • 11% chance of Magnitude 6.7 quake occurring within the next 30 years

The Japanese Government’s Earthquake Research Committee announced on July 11, 2011, that the March 11 Tohoku earthquake has increased the chance of an earthquake occurring along the Miura-hanto fault group.

It has been predicted that there is a 11% chance that the Miura-hanto fault group will produce an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.7 within the next 30 years. This fault group is classified among the most active faults in Japan.

Experts warn that a large earthquake caused by the Miura-hanto fault group could produce a Shindo level (seismic intensity scale) of 7 for Miura City, upper 6 for Yokohama and Kawasaki Cities and upper 5 for Tokyo City. For comparison’s sake, the March 11 Tohoku earthquake also produced a Shindo level of upper 5 in Tokyo yet very little damage was reported.

The Tohoku earthquake caused the earth’s crust underneath Eastern Japan to be pulled eastwards.

The same committee also said there are increased risks of earthquakes occurring along other faults such as the Tachikawa Fault (Tokyo and Saitama), the Futaba Fault (Miyagi and Fukushima) and the Gofuku Fault in Nagano. The June 30, 2011, magnitude 5.4 earthquake (and Shindo 5+) in Matsumoto City, Nagano, was also announced to be unrelated to the Gofuku fault.

The Sankei Shimbun, July 12, 2011

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