Ten years since the Great East Japan earthquake, aftershocks continue to rumble on. A small swarm was recently registered as the east Pacific coast of Japan continues to suffer the hangover of a major 9.0 magnitude quake which claimed the lives of 20,000 people in the resulting tsunami.
By analysing the aftershocks, scientists in Japan have been able to determine the east coast of Japan is still under major threat from a massive earthquake.
The Japanese government’s Headquarters for Earthquake Research Promotion found that there is a 47 percent chance the capital city of Tokyo will see an earthquake larger than magnitude 6 in the next three decades.
All along the east coast of Japan’s two main islands, there is at least a 26 percent chance of a magnitude-6.0 quake or higher within 30 years.
Scientists have upgraded the risk catalogue after taking aftershocks from the major earthquake into consideration.
Since the 2011 tremor, there have been more than 5,300 aftershocks measuring at least a magnitud 4.0 along Japan’s Pacific coast.
In the last year, up until March 6, 2021, there were 208 aftershocks.
Experts had not taken aftershocks into consideration before as it would have inevitably led to a higher chance of powerful quakes.
This is because one quake can cause aftershocks of magnitude 6.0 or higher.
He said: “Residents should not let down their guard just because the probability for their area is low.
“There is always the possibility of a strong quake striking anywhere.”
Japan is constantly plagued by tremors as it sits upon the much feared Ring of Fire.
The Ring of Fire is the largest and most active fault line in the world, stretching from New Zealand, around the east coast of Asia, over to Canada and the US and all the way down to the southern tip of South America and causes more than 90 percent of the world’s earthquakes.
The plates which make up the Ring of Fire are so huge even the slightest shift can result in massive tremors, volcano activity and tsunamis.