One year after Japan was hit by one of the most powerful quakes in its history, the earth beneath their feet began to shake once again. This time, the temblors weren’t as high on the Richter scale, but the set of earthquakes that struck Japan this week were enough to fuel the concern there’s a bigger one on its way.
The magnitude 9 quake that hit the coast of Japan at the beginning of March 2011 left deep scars in its history. Apart from the physical damage of buildings, roads and overall land, people that went through those hard times still shake with fear when think about the quake that broke down buildings, the tsunami that swept everything in its way, the replicas that continued for days and then the nuclear accident.
People that remained in Japan even after enduring this tragedy are without a doubt examples of human courage and endurance. However, the earth beneath them is far from stable. Earlier this week, the coast of Japan was shook by earthquakes varying in intensity. Although nowhere near the 9.0 magnitude quake that hit the region March 11 2011, the recent set of quakes refueled concern there’s something big coming their way.
Wednesday evening, people in Tokyo and Northeastern Japan endured the fear they went through one year ago. First to hit was a 6.8 magnitude earthquake that shook the southern coast of the Hokkaido island. The water at port of Hachinohe swelled by 20 centimeters after the earthquake but there was no damage. Authorities immediately issued warnings and announced people should be ready to evacuate residences on the coast. The warning was canceled 90 minutes later.
Three hours later, another temblor, this time slightly less dangerous hit the capital city. The 6.1 magnitude earthquake had its epicenter east of Tokyo, just 15 kilometers below the sea surface.
According to spokesperson Akira Nagai for the Meteorological Agency, the recent earthquakes were deemed as aftershocks of last year’s heavy impact temblors. Authorities requested citizens to avoid walking close by buildings and plots over concerns that the structures might be unstable.
Last year’s earthquake and tsunami hit Japan hard. The damages were evaluated at $14.5 to $34.6 billion, with over 4.4 million households affected.