Japan: A magnitude 9 earthquake, “imminent threat”?
Northern Japan could be struck by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake capable of causing a devastating tsunami, with waves reaching 30 meters, almost as big as those that hit the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in 2011, writes the publication “Japan Times”.
The Japanese prefectures of Hokkaido and Iwate, located in the northern part of the country, would suffer the most from an earthquake with a magnitude of 9.0 which, according to the worst case scenario, is “imminent”, writes the Japanese publication.
These forecasts were presented on Tuesday, April 28, in a government meeting. Experts believe that the epicenter of the future earthquake will be in the area where the faults of Japan and the Kuril Islands meet.
Specialists also say that the earthquake could cause a tsunami with waves of 30 meters high. Sediment analysis shows that in the last 6,000 years, huge waves have repeatedly flooded the coastal territories of seven prefectures in the country.
Given that on March 11, 2011, the 9.0 magnitude earthquake, which was accompanied by a tsunami with waves of 30 meters, left more than 18,500 dead and missing, a comparable tsunami would have terrible consequences.
“An earthquake of this category would be difficult to manage by raising a coastal dam”, say specialists. To save lives, the basic policy would be an evacuation”, said Kenji Satake, a seismologist at the University of Tokyo.
On March 11, 2011, a huge tsunami hit the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, disrupting the emergency power supply and its cooling system, after which the fuel melting in three reactors caused contamination of large areas around the plant. About 470,000 people were evacuated from their homes in the early days. The plant was finally shut down at the end of 2013, but decontamination continues today.