Thursday, April 21, 2011

Today Japan 6.3 Magnitude Hits Off Strongly Earthquake,Tokyo

A magnitude 6.3 earthquake hits the offshore near Chiba prefecture in eastern Japan at 8.08 a.m. local time today, Xinhua quoted Japan Meteorological Agency as stating.

The epicentre of the quake was located some 30 km under the sea of the eastern prefecture in eastern Honshu, said the agency, however, adding the quake poses no tsunami risk.

Japan's Meteorological Agency said no tsunami warning was issued. The epicentre of the earthquake, which shook buildings in Tokyo, was at Chiba prefecture, near the coast east of the capital.

Seismologists say the large earthquake that hit Japan Friday morning was the largest recorded quake in the country's history. UNC Geological Sciences Professor Jonathan Lees studies seismology and describes just how big a magnitude 8.9 earthquake is.

"A magnitude 6.3 is more or less what we had New Zealand in the last month or so that did significant damage to Christchurch,".

"So this is 1,000 times greater than that. "most places would have seen much more destruction, but Japan's buildings are designed to withstand shaking. Much of the damage in Japan was caused by the massive tsunami triggered by the earthquake.

During an earthquake one tectonic plate thrusts under another, creating friction. He says the earthquake is then a sudden motion.

"What that does is it creates a pulse in the water above Japan, and that pulse creates a wave in the water. Part of the wave goes towards the coast, and that caused the damage we saw on TV this morning.

"This is a huge important thing for scientists because when you have a big earthquake the whole earth starts to vibrate and oscillate and seismologists like myself will be watching, listening to those vibrations of the whole earth."

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