Major Earthquake Rattles Japan on New Year's Day

news image
Special Stories
1 Jan 2024 5:30 PM

Around 4 o'clock Monday afternoon (local time) a magnitude 7.5 earthquake struck the Noto Peninsula in Japan, sparking building fires, causing substantial damage, and creating a tsunami.

A tsunami warning was issued for the coastal region along and to the northeast of Toyama, Japan. Even hours after the initial earthquake, area media was still reporting on the evacuations and damage.

Here is a brief tectonic summary from the United States Geological Survey...
"The January 1, 2024, M7.5 earthquake on the west coast of Japan, on the island of Honshu, occurred as a result of shallow reverse faulting in the Earth’s crust. Focal mechanism solutions for the earthquake indicate faulting occurred on a moderately dipping reverse fault striking to the southwest or northeast. Japan is a seismically active region, with most earthquakes occurring off the east coast, where the Pacific plate subducts beneath Japan. This earthquake occurred on the west coast of Japan where crustal deformation created by the broader plate motions is accommodated in shallow faults. Shallow earthquakes cause more damage than intermediate- and deep-focus ones since the energy generated by the shallow events is released closer to the surface and therefore produces stronger shaking relative to earthquakes located deeper within the Earth. This coastal earthquake produced both strong shaking on land and generated a tsunami."

Here is a little more perspective on earthquakes in this region of Japan from USGS...
"While earthquakes are common in Japan, the region surrounding the January 1, 2024, earthquake sees lower rates of seismicity as compared to the major subduction zone along its east coast. Still, since 1900, 30 other M6 and larger earthquakes have occurred within 250 km of the January 1 event. Three of these occurred on or near the Noto Peninsula, where the January 1 event is located. On May 5, 2023, a M6.2 earthquake on the Noto Peninsula killed one person and damaged hundreds of buildings. On April 16, 1964, a M7.6 occurred 205 km east-northeast of the January 1 event, resulting in 36 fatalities and roughly 3,500 destroyed homes."

The Japan Meteorological Agency reported more than a dozen additional earthquakes in the Japan Sea. More earthquakes could come to the region in the coming week, according to local officials. Japan is very earthquake-prone. In March 2011, the Fukushima Nuclear Plant disaster unfolded after a magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck off the coast of northeast Japan.

All Weather News
More
Severe Storms Leave Damage in the Midwest

Severe Storms Leave Damage in the Midwest

A cold front moving east has been producing n

28 Feb 2024 10:30 PM
Nearly 1 Million Acres Burned in Texas, Second Largest in State History

Nearly 1 Million Acres Burned in Texas, Second Largest in State History

Above - The fire in Hutchinson County, TX con

28 Feb 2024 10:25 PM
Blizzard Warnings for California

Blizzard Warnings for California

A significant winter storm is shaping up this

28 Feb 2024 10:20 PM
Significant Lake Effect Snow in New York, Michigan

Significant Lake Effect Snow in New York, Michigan

The same system and cold front that was respo

28 Feb 2024 10:15 PM
Thunderstorms Now in Appalachia, East Coast

Thunderstorms Now in Appalachia, East Coast

The same system that moved through the Midwes

28 Feb 2024 9:15 PM
Heavy Rain & Snow in the Northwest

Heavy Rain & Snow in the Northwest

Much of the Northwestern U.S. has already see

28 Feb 2024 8:55 PM
Rain Possible for Deep South this Week

Rain Possible for Deep South this Week

Looking ahead to the end of this week we have

28 Feb 2024 6:20 PM