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Saturday, October 26, 2013

7.1 Magnitude Japan Earthquake Occurred But No Damage Reported


After Bohol, another earthquake occurred. And this time, it’s in Japan. Fortunately, there’s no damage being reported. Unlike in 2011’s earthquake that hit in the same country killing thousands of people and damaging billions of properties, this 2013 earthquake didn’t cause damage.

Although there was a tsunami alert after the 7.1 magnitude tremor struck about 320 km off the coast, it was then lifted a few hours after. However, people who are working at the Fukushima power station were advised to leave the areas and seek higher ground. 
Thankfully, there was no damage in the plant. There weren’t changes in readings at radiation either.

According to Japan Meteorological Agency, a small tsunami could reach the eastern coast of Fukushima after the tremor happened in the Pacific Ocean. Said agency also issued a yellow advisory to those areas that have been hit by Japan earthquake in 2011.

The quake hit in the morning of October 26, 2013 at 2:10 am, Tokyo time (around 4:00 am in the Philippines).

Since the 2011 earthquake in Japan, two of the country’s 40 reactors were not operating.

What caused a killer quake?
Quakes happen because those rocks underneath the Earth slip past each other. The cause of movement is the stress. When it’s too strong for the fault, it’ll release energy causing an earthquake.

What does the 7.1 magnitude quake mean?
The 7.1 Japan earthquake happened didn’t cause damage to the location. But this magnitude is considered as an intensity VII tremor. This means that it can slightly damage specially designed properties. But it’ll severely damage those structures that have been poorly built. When this magnitude quake happens to your vicinity, you’ll expect to experience falling of chimneys, columns, walls and factory stacks. There will also be overturning of heavy furniture.

Is Japan prone to earthquakes?
Yes, it is. It’s one of the seismically active areas in the world. This country is like the Philippines that experiences several earthquakes each year. Some of them are can cause damage while others don’t.

Can we predict earthquakes?
As opposed to volcanic eruptions, we can’t know when an earthquake will happen. The crust of the Earth has pieces that constantly moving. Unfortunately, scientists haven’t invented yet a technology or a machine that can predict the next earthquake may occur. However, geoscientists and seismologists can identify what areas in the world belong to the seismically active areas. Sadly, Philippines and Japan belong to those group that experience more earthquakes every year.

How should we minimize the damage?
Since we can’t predict when an earthquake is going to occur, it’s important to build a stronger structure. When you’re planning to build a house, you should inform your government’s volcanology and seismology agency to help you assess whether or not the area is in an active fault. As per the guideline of a national building code, you can’t build a building, a house or anything that’s found within 5 meters of a fault.

When an earthquake happens again, you should pay more attention of the things that you don’t see as they can surely cause damage. As for the Japan earthquake that just occurred a few hours ago, we just hope and pray it won’t happen again. The 2011 quake in this country and the October 2013 quake in Bohol are just too much to bear.


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