Devastating 7.4 Earthquake Rocks Japan
On Wednesday, a deadly 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck the coast of Fukushima, Japan.
The quake occurred at 12:30 AM local time, about 55 miles from the center of the devastating 2011 earthquake which triggered a tsunami and caused a nuclear meltdown.
Some seismologists believe Wednesday’s earthquake could have been an aftershock to the 2011 quake.
“In geological terms, aftershocks will persist for 50 to 100 years, but as time goes on, the frequency of aftershocks and their size will diminish,” Tokyo seismologist Robert Geller said of the catastrophic seismic event.
So far, four people have been confirmed dead and at least 160 people have been injured as of Thursday.
While tsunami warnings were initially issued after the earthquake, they’ve all been lifted since.
Thankfully, there have been no “abnormalities” detected in any of the country’s nuclear power plants.
After the quake occurred, tens of thousands of people lost power across the region and in neighboring cities. A bullet train that was traveling at the time of the quake was also derailed, trapping 78 people in it for four hours. Eventually, passengers were able to escape through an emergency exit and no injuries were reported.
Damage to the area consisted of shattered windows, broken roofs and flooring, and caved ceilings.
Luckily, the earthquake occurred roughly 37 miles deep, which limited the damage. Had the temblor occurred closer to the earth’s surface, the destruction could have been much worse, and more akin to the 2011 earthquake that struck Japan.
Fortunately, this earthquake was far less damaging than the one that hit Japan in 2011. That disaster, which was 63 times stronger because it occurred at a shallower depth (just 15.2 miles deep), resulted 22,000 people dead or missing and 35,000 people displaced from their homes. That quake also created a 30-foot tsunami, which contributed to the nuclear meltdown.
Ever since that earthquake occurred, Japan has taken more serious measures to step up their earthquake response. In addition to earthquake proofing and retrofitting the majority of their structures and transit systems, they’ve also improved their earthquake warning systems.
Japan isn’t out of the woods yet – Geller believes there will be more aftershocks in the next few weeks, and that Wednesday’s shaker may even be a foreshock to something much larger.
“Yesterday’s earthquake is a good reminder for people in Japan to remember that Japan is earthquake-prone and that earthquakes can strike at any time,” he said. “So people should be prepared.”
Southern California is also prone to large earthquakes, which is why it’s important to take all of the necessary earthquake preparations and precautions available.
To prepare for a large earthquake, it’s important to regularly repair or remove hazards around your home and in your workplace. This can reduce your risk of injury or death during an earthquake.
You can do this by securing large pieces of furniture and appliances, and checking for vulnerable areas around your living or work space such as weak or faulting foundations, cracked foundations, and unreinforced walls. You’ll also want to know where your gas meter and water main are located and how to shut them off in the event of a gas leak or water main break.
In addition to reducing hazards, you’ll want to have an emergency disaster kit prepared and ready to go in your home and workspace. Pack enough food, water, and medication to last each person and pet in your household for at least three days. You’ll also want to plan out your evacuation roots and meeting places.
If you think your home is in need of foundation repair, foundation replacement and/or earthquake retrofitting, contact Julian Construction today and we will send one of our foundation specialists out to conduct a free, thorough inspection with a quote for repair.
We have extensive experience serving our Los Angeles community and nearby regions. In fact, Julian Construction has inspected over 30,000 structures in the area!