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Mar 25 / Dave Schumaker

Earthquake Rocks Japan

A M6.9 earthquake struck Japan earlier today, killing one person, injuring over 200 others and creating a 6 inch tsunami. The earthquake was centered 225 miles northwest of Tokyo and knocked down homes in the city of Ishikawa and caused landslides along the west coast of the country.

This earthquake also marks the first time that Japan’s earthquake early warning system was tested. The system works by detecting the first seismic waves that travel out from an earthquake and estimates the overall intensity of a quake, before the surface waves arrive. Theoretically, this may allow citizens to have a few seconds of time to get to safety and provide utilities time to shut off critical services such as gas and electricity lines. In this case, Japan’s Meteorological Agency was able to issue a tsunami warning one minute after the quake struck, allowing residents to get to higher ground.

japan_quake.jpg

Also see the USGS web page on this earthquake. More pictures available here.

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