On Monday morning, the U.S. Geological Survey recorded a 6.4 magnitude earthquake off Japan’s northern coast. The quake was measured as originating from 115 kilometers (72 miles) from Morioka, Iwate Prefecture, and 31 kilometers deep. Fortunately there have been no reports of any serious damages, and there is no expectation of a tsunami.
Japan’s Meteorological Agency had slightly different measurements, with the earthquake measuring as a 6.1 and coming from a depth of 40 kilometers (25 miles). There was no tsunami warning issued in the time following the quake. Iwate Prefecture is one of the northeastern prefectures that was heavily hit by the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and resulting tsunami in March of 2011. That tsunami wiped out numerous coastal towns and reduced homes and buildings to rubble, in addition to taking thousand of lives.
Monday’s quake is the third measuring in the 5 to 6 magnitude range to hit Japan in recent weeks. Previously an earthquake occurred just east of Tokyo, and before that another was recorded off the coast of the northern prefecture of Aomori. Luckily, both of those did not result in damages or tsunami. There is growing concern in Tokyo that should a large-scale quake occur, there would be much destruction and lives lost. Some areas dense with wood buildings and homes have been targeted as needing to torn down in order to prevent rapidly spreading fires.