UPDATE: It appears that the 7.2 quake on March 9 was a foreshock for an 8.8/8.9 megaquake in roughly the same area. More coverage on the top news and top resources regarding the Japan earthquake and tsunami here.
Read on for a description of the 7.2 foreshock, originally published on March 9th.
A magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit Japan today. It hit off the coast and has not resulted in great damage or human injury.
It created a “minor tsunami” and shook buildings in the capital city of Tokyo for approximately 30 seconds, but it has not done much to disturb normal daily life in the country. Some train services were paused for a short time for precaution. Japan is in hot earthquake territory and is well-prepared for such occurrences.
The quake hit at 11:45 local time (2:45 UTC). The center of the tremor was 104 miles (168 kilometers) from the country’s east coast, northeast of Tokyo (see image above). The earthquake was about 5 miles (8 kilometers) deep. The tsunami that hit Japan was 24 inches (60 centimeters) high and hit the coastal town of Ofunato. Other towns in the region reported smaller waves.
Aftershocks of magnitudes 6.3 and smaller hit the area as well. All power supplies, including Tohoku Electric Power’s Onagawa nuclear plant, were reported unaffected.
Below is more information from the USGS:
Location: 38.510°N, 142.792°E
Depth: 14.1 km (8.8 miles)
Region: NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
168 km (104 miles) E of Sendai, Honshu, Japan
193 km (119 miles) SE of Morioka, Honshu, Japan
216 km (134 miles) E of Yamagata, Honshu, Japan
413 km (256 miles) NE of TOKYO, Japan
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