Japan Shaken Again

Scene following the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami combination disaster of 2011. (Photo by Orienoda, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

By Jim Brace-Thompson

Photo by Orienoda, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

On March 11, 2021, Japanese citizens held solemn ceremonies marking the tenth anniversary of the violent magnitude 9.0 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, honoring the 18,000 victims who died that day in 2011. It was the world’s fourth-largest earthquake since formal scientific records began to be kept in 1900.

Just nine days later, on March 20, 2021, nature made a perverse commemoration of its own with 20 seconds of rumbling and shaking from a magnitude 7.2 earthquake in the same general area of northeast Japan in Miyagi prefecture. This latest quake triggered a 90-minute-long tsunami advisory and generated two- to three-foot waves, whereas the Tohoku quake generated monster waves of 30 feet!

Even though a full decade has passed since the big 2011 quake, scientists are calling this an aftershock. Fortunately, this time around there were no immediate reports of deaths nor major damage even as the quake was felt some 250 miles away in Tokyo and beyond. Instead, there were reports of minor injuries, temporary power outages, a brief halt to regional bullet train service, and furniture shifting as items toppled from shelves or fell off walls.

Author: Jim Brace-Thompson

JimBraceThompson Jim began and oversees the AFMS Badge Program for kids, has been inducted into the National Rockhound & Lapidary Hall of Fame within their Education Category, and is the president-elect for the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies.
Contact him at jbraceth@roadrunner.com.


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