It was the biggest quake since I was born. It was really scary. Earthquakes happen every day, and the store is littered with products that have fallen off the shelves.
A female staff member of “Super Hamaoka” in Suzu City, Ishikawa Prefecture, said, “The earthquake hit us every day, and the shelves were strewn all over the store.”
The seismic intensity was just under 6 on June 19 in the Noto region of Ishikawa Prefecture, 5-plus on June 20 in the same Noto region, 4 on the Soya region of Hokkaido, and 5 on the Jyoetsu region of Niigata Prefecture. The large horizontal tremor in the Noto region on June 19 lasted for about 30 seconds. In the Hokuriku region, shrine gates, tombstones, and residential walls collapsed in various locations, injuring about 10 people.
However, the daily large earthquakes are said to be only a premonition. Manabu Takahashi, a professor at Ritsumeikan University’s Center for the Study of Pacific Rim Civilizations, explains.
The Hokuriku and Joetsu regions are where the North American plate and the Eurasian plate collide head-on. There is a buildup of energy that could cause a major earthquake of magnitude 7.5. However, what is happening this time is a magnitude 5.4 class earthquake. It is a medium-sized quake before a major quake hits Ishikawa, Fukui, Toyama, Niigata, and other areas in Japan.
Estimated casualties are 500,000.
The Japanese archipelago lies on not only the two plates mentioned above, but also the Pacific Plate, the Philippine Sea Plate, and four other giant plates. There is a danger that a single major earthquake will cause stress on each plate and release accumulated energy. Professor Takahashi continues.
A case similar to this one is the Tottori earthquake (maximum intensity 7, magnitude 7.2) that occurred in 1943 and killed more than 1,000 people. This disaster triggered earthquakes in many areas, including the 1944 Tonankai earthquake (intensity 7, M7.9), the 1945 Mikawa earthquake (intensity 6, M6.8), and the 1946 Nankai earthquake (intensity 6, M8.0). 6, M8.0), and the 1948 Fukui earthquake (intensity 6, M7.1).
In particular, the 1948 Fukui earthquake killed more than 3,700 people in both Fukui and Ishikawa prefectures. There is a strong possibility that this time, like the Tottori earthquake in 1943, this earthquake will be linked to other major earthquakes in various regions.
Professor Takahashi’s greatest fear is that a Super Nankai earthquake could be triggered over a vast area from the Kanto region to Okinawa.
The North American plate collides with the Pacific plate in the Hokuriku and Joetsu regions, and the Eurasian plate is under stress from the Philippine Sea plate. In other words, there is a danger that a major earthquake in Hokuriku will also affect the Pacific Plate and the Philippine Sea Plate.
If the energy of both plates explodes, a Super Nankai earthquake will be inevitable. Not only Okinawa, Kyushu, and the Chubu region, but also the Tokyo metropolitan area will be hit by a major quake. In addition, we need to pay attention to heavy rainfall during the rainy season in the future. If land loosened by rain shakes, it could cause landslides.
According to Professor Takahashi’s assumptions, a Super Nankai earthquake would trigger a tsunami that would kill at least 500,000 people. A massive earthquake of this magnitude could happen at any time.
Photo： Kyodo News