September 19, 2021

Powerful Earthquake Shakes Japan – Magnitude 7.0

The USGS is reporting that a magnitude 7.0 earthquake rocked Japan in the Izu Islands region at Sunday, January 01, 2012 at 05:27:54 UTC at the exact coordinates of 31.416°N, 138.155°E. This is the first significant earthquake in 2012.

The source location that this earthquake was recorded and detected at is the NOAA West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer, Alaska.

No Damage Reported

No major damage has been reported, and no tsunami warning has yet been issued.

Magnitude 7.0 Earthquake Hits Japan in Izu Islands Region

Map of the Earthquake Location

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Tsunami Warning

While no tsunami warning has been issued, you can visit the NOAA West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center website for updates.

You can read the USGS report for this earthquake here.

Another Eartquake in Japan, Tsunami Warning

“On Sunday, July 10, 2011, Reuters reports that Japan experienced another aftershock from the deadly March 11th earthquake. The earthquake occurred six miles off of the country’s northeast coast. In response, the Japanese Meteorological Agency issued a tsunami alert for a half-meter tsunami. The U.S. Geological Survey measured the earthquake’s magnitude at 7.0.

Another Eartquake in Japan, Tsunami Warning

Although there were no initial reports of injuries or damage in the region, Tokyo Electric Power evacuated all of its workers at the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant to higher ground.

Relatedly, the Mainichi Daily News reported that a water purification system at the damaged nuclear plant has operated successfully for a week. The system is necessary to cool the plant’s reactors and to remove radioactive water. However, because the system was installed only two months, some officials are worried that it may be vulnerable to damage from aftershocks.”

For more information, click here:

Reuters Article About The Earthquake

Mainichi Daily News Article on the Fukushima Nuclear Plant Repairs

Another Earthquake in Japan – Magnitude 6.7

An area of Japan is still recovering from a catastrophic 9.0 magnitude earthquake and devastating tsunami in March 2011, and recently Japan’s northeastern region experienced a 6.7 magnitude quake in the same region, as measured by the U.S. Geological Survey and reported by the USA Today.

Japan Earthquake in June of 2011

Unlike the devastation caused by the earlier quake and tsunami, this most recent quake did not result in the large scale death and destruction. USA Today reports that no injuries or damages have been reported as a result of the quake. The March 2011 quake and tsunami left over 23,000 dead or missing according to previous reports.

Japan is no stranger to earthquakes. It sits squarely above the Pacific Ring of Fire,a 40,000 kilometer basin in the Pacific ocean that is responsible for 90% of earthquakes across the globe, including 80% of the most severe ones. Because of this, Japan experiences frequent earthquakes, though few that are as destructive as the March 2011 one.

The most recent quake occurred 19.9 miles into the earth’s crust at 11:32 local time, and it’s tremors were felt as far as 325 miles southwest in Tokyo. Immediately following the quake, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) issued a tsunami warning but quickly removed the warning less than an hour later reports USA Today.

Following any earthquake of a large magnitude, it is common for the same region to experience hundreds of smaller aftershocks during the ensuing months. The 6.7 magnitude quake to most recently hit the northeastern portion of Japan is one of the larger ones following the March 2011 one.

Luckily, with no reported injuries or damage, this devastated region evaded setbacks to their recovery efforts. Three months past the March 2011 quake, the region is slowly cleaning up and rebuilding ñ hoping to minimize the long-term effects on the economy.

A larger quake with even mild devastation and damage could set the rebuilding efforts back considerably and have lasting effects on both the Japanese economy and the worldwide one. With this most recent quake at least, Japan’s northeastern area residents can rest easy and continue their rebuilding efforts without adding more devastation and heartache to the process.

For more information, read:

USGS Earthquake Report

New York Times article on the Powerful Quake and Tsunami that Devastated Japan on March 11, 2011

Wikipedia Entry on the Pacific Ring of Fire

Daily Mail article (UK newspaper) on Japan’s Recovery from the March Earthquake with Photos Showing Progress

Fukushima Japan Reactor 1 in Meltdown

NHK and Zero Hedge are reporting that the Reactor #1 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan is in  state of meltdown.

While the situation at the Fukushima nuclear plant has been dire since the massive 8.9 magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunami that hit Japan on March 11, 2011, that it has released a lot of radiation – it has never been a true meltdown until today.

Fukushima Daiichi Japan Nuclear Meltdown

Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan is in a state of meltdown according to NHK. Image credit:

What does meltdown mean in this situation?  Well it’s not good.  Basically the fuel rods are fully exposed, and have subsequently dropped to the bottom of the reactor.

When this happened exactly, is anyone’s guess – as the disclosures and credible information that have been coming from TEPCO and the Japanese goverment have been suspect at each step of the way – with regards to the timing and fullness of disclosure.

NHK Link about meltdown.

Zero Hedge Link about meltdown.

7.4 Magnitude Earthquake ‘Aftershock’ Hits Japan

A magnitude 7.4 ‘aftershock’ earthquake hits Japan on April 7, 2011 and was detected by the USGS and is being widely reported by Japanese and worldwide news media.

Click here for the USGS earthquake report.

Japan Aftershock - Powerful 7.4 Magnitude Earthquake Hits April 7, 2011

A powerful 7.4 magnitude earthquake aftershock hits Japan on April 7, 2011.

While this is a significantly powerful earthquake in its own right, this is considered to be an aftershock of the powerful Japan earthquake that hit the previous month (See this post about the March 11 Earthquake in Japan).

Bloomberg is reporting that there have been no reports to Japanese nuclear plants, but that a tsunami warning has been issued for Japan.  The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has issued a bulletin on the aftershock but advises that a tsunami is not expected to reach Hawaii.

The Japan Meteorological Agency issued the following info about the earthquake, measuring it at 7.4 magnitude:

******* Earthquake Information ********
Occurred at 23:32 JST 07 Apr 2011
Region name MIYAGI-KEN OKI
Latitude 38.2N
Longitude 142.0E
Depth about 40 km
Magnitude 7.4

The USGS released the following report on the earthquake, measuring it at a 7.1 magnitude:

Magnitude 7.1
Date-Time Thursday, April 07, 2011 at 14:32:41 UTC
Thursday, April 07, 2011 at 11:32:41 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location 38.253¡N, 141.640¡E
Depth 49 km (30.4 miles)
Distances 66 km (41 miles) E ofÊSendai, Honshu, Japan
114 km (70 miles) E ofÊYamagata, Honshu, Japan
116 km (72 miles) ENE ofÊFukushima, Honshu, Japan
330 km (205 miles) NNE ofÊTOKYO, Japan
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 13.1 km (8.1 miles); depth +/- 7.2 km (4.5 miles)
Parameters NST=426, Nph=427, Dmin=358.4 km, Rmss=0.75 sec, Gp= 32¡,
M-type=regional moment magnitude (Mw), Version=B
Event ID usc0002ksa

UPDATE – Tsunami warning for Japan has been lifted.

How to Make an Earthquake Survival Kit

One lesson we can immediately learn from the devastating earthquake in Japan of March 11, 2011 about how to survive an earthquake is that you should be prepared with some basic supplies in an earthquake survival kit to have on hand when an earthquake hits.

Often an earthquake displaces people from their homes and also disrupts power supplies. If you think about all the things you have in your home, and all the things you need to survive, and all the things you use in your day-to-day life, and now imagine that you are separated from your home – you are also separated from:

  • Your shelter (your home)
  • Your food and water
  • Cooking supplies
  • Your clothes
  • Your medicine
  • Your power and communications
  • Various items

In order to survive an earthquake you should put together an earthquake survival kit in a backpack or bag of supplies that you can get to in a moments notice in an emergency situation that will contain an emergency supply of these vital needs in it. We will now discuss the important earthquake survival kit contents.

Earthquake Survival Kit

This is a photo of one of the many pre-made commercial earthquake survival kits that are for sale at many online vendors. Many of them are quality, but check them carefully. Most of the times you can make your own earthquake survival kit for much less money, and have better supplies, too.

Earthquake Survival Kit Checklist


Your earthquake survival kit should include a tent or large tarp (or tarps) to use as a temporary shelter in case your home is destroyed. Choose a tent large enough to house all of the members of your household.

In addition to a place to sleep, you will also need blankets or a sleeping bag to stay warm at night.

Food and Water

Your earthquake survival kit should include at least 1 day’s supply of food and water for each member of your household – and preferably a 3 day supply or more of food and water. If your home is destroyed, you are dislocated from your home, or there is widespread devastation from the earthquake then food and water supplies will be very scarce. Safe drinking water will also be scarce so it is important to have a supply of drinking water as well as water treatment tablets and/or a water filter.

You should choose foods that are dehydrated, will last for a long time as they may be stored for a long time in your earthquake survival kit, and are easy to prepare. Try to pick out foods that don’t have to be cooked, or require minimal cooking. Canned foods are a good candidate but they are much heavier than dehydrated foods.

Here is a list of suggested food and water items to pack in your earthquake survival kit:

  • protein bars
  • dehydrated soups
  • dried oatmeal
  • dried rice
  • powdered beans
  • powdered eggs
  • powdered milk
  • water purification tablets and/or water filter
  • bottled water
  • beef and chicken bullion cubes
  • peanut butter
  • spoons and forks
  • plastic bowls and plates

And now we pause briefly for station identification.  If you are reading this guide on any other site other than, this guide to how to make an earthquake survival kit was written by, and originally appeared on the USGS Handbook website.

Cooking Supplies

It is important to include cooking supplies in your earthquake survival kit so you can prepare the foods that you have packed.

At the very least, you will need a medium to large sized pot to boil water, some sturdy plastic plates, some cups/water bottles for drinking, and enough spoons for everyone in your household (if you only pack one utensil, pack spoons – it does it all.).

You will also need a grate or grill to cook on over an open fire or portable stove.

Be sure to pack waterproof matches and a portable cook stove, as well as enough fuel for your stove to last 3-5 days.

Review the foods that you have packed and make sure that you have all of the utensils, cookware, and other cooking materials you might need to prepare them.

To review, the cooking supplies you will need for your earthquake survival kit are:

  • pot for boiling water
  • plastic plates
  • plastic bowls
  • plastic drinking cups or water bottles
  • spoons
  • grate or grill
  • waterproof matches
  • portable cook stove
  • stove fuel


Imagine that you had to leave your home in terrible weather conditions – cold and rain – and you had to wear the same clothes for several days. This is the reality that people who are displaced from their homes by an earthquake face, like the people in Japan who were struck by a massive earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011.

You should pack the following clothes in your earthquake survival kit for each member of your household:

  • Rain-jacket, poncho, or other waterproof jacket with a hood.
  • Rain pants or other waterproof pants.
  • Warm sweater. Preferably wool or fleece, because these materials still keep you warm even when they are wet.
  • Socks. Pack 1-2 changes of clean, warm, dry socks.

Depending on the amount of space you have in your earthquake survival kit, you can also pack other clothes that are appropriate for your geographic area and/or a complete change of clothes (pants, shirt, underwear, etc).

Medicine and First Aid Supplies


If you or any member of your household takes any prescription or over-the-counter medications on a daily basis, you should include a 3-5 day supply of these medications in your earthquake survival kit.

If you take insulin or blood pressure medications, this part of your earthquake survival kit could mean the difference between life and death.

If you take over the counter medications like acid-reflux medications or allergy medicines, it may not be a life-saver, but will make your life a whole lot easier.

Earthquake First Aid Kit Supplies

In addition to any medications you take regularly, you should include some regular household medicines and first aid supplies:

  • aspirin, tylenol, and/or ibuprofen
  • anti-diarrheal medicines
  • bandages and band-aids
  • sterile gauze
  • medical tape
  • betadine or povidone iodine cleanser
  • tweezers

Power and Communications

It is essential to include some basic communication gear in your earthquake survival kit:

  • Portable battery powered/crank powered AM/FM radio
  • Mobile phone
  • Extra batteries for your phone
  • Solar charger for your mobile phone

Various Items

Here are some more essential items that don’t fall into the above categories, but are no less important.

  • toilet paper.  Be sure to bring enough for all members of your household, and a 3-5 day supply.
  • knife
  • magnesium flint (firestarter)
  • rope
  • utility cord/paracord
  • duct tape
  • map of your local area
  • map of your earthquake evacuation route
  • plastic sheeting.  This is useful for covering your gear to keep it dry, or for creating makeshift shelters.
  • contact information.  Keep phone numbers and addresses of family and friends in your earthquake survival kit.
  • important documents (driver’s license,passports,bank information, credit cards, property deeds – basically any documents you don’t want to lose.  While the best place to keep these documents is in a safe deposit box, if you don’t have them stored there, it is best to bring them with you instead of leaving them behind in an evacuation scenario.)

Now, this is a lot of gear to get together, but most of these things are already in your home, you just need to gather them all together in one bag for easy access.  If you follow these directions, you will have the best earthquake survival kit possible.

For more information about putting together your own earthquake survival kit, check out this FEMA link on Basic Disaster Supplies:  FEMA Link

If you are reading this guide on any other site other than, this guide to how to make an earthquake survival kit was written by, and originally appeared on the USGS Handbook website.

California Tsunami Warning

Much of California is on alert under a Tsunami Warning from the NOAA Pacific Tsunami Warning Center following the 8.9 magnitude earthquake in Japan, and resulting tsunami that has already caused significant devastation and loss of life.

Additional areas are also under a tsunami warning:

  • California
  • Oregon
  • Washington State
  • as well as much of the west coasts of Mexico, Central America, and South America.
California Tsunami Warning Map

This map shows tsunami wave travel times. Much of the west coast of the United States, including California, Oregon, and Washington State are under a tsunami warning. Also, much of west coast of Mexico, Central America and South America are under a tsunami watch as well.

For a detailed list of areas under tsunami warning, click here:

Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami Person Finder

Google has set up a Japanese Earthquake Person Finder to help coordinate efforts to locate and identify people who have been affected by the devastation of the earthquake and resulting tsunami in Japan.

Japan Earthquake Person Finder

Screenshot of the Google Japan Earthquake Person Finder

Here is the link:  Japan Earthquake Person Finder

If you are looking for someone who you think has been affected by the earthquake in Japan, be sure to check into this resource.

For more information on how to prepare for an earthquake, read about how to make an earthquake survival kit.


In Japanese:




地震の準備をする方法の詳細については、読んだ どのように地震のサバイバルキットを作成する

8.9 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Japan

The USGS is reporting that a 8.9 magnitude earthquake has hit Japan, hitting about 150 km offshore of mainland Japan.

Japan Earthquake

Google Maps showing where the earthquake hit Japan.

While the epicenter of the quake is offshore, the effects were felt all over Tokyo and other parts of Japan.

Here is the USGS Incident Report:  USGS Earthquake Report

At present, a tsunami is sweeping across the low lying coastal areas of Miyangi Sendai Japan and a tsunami warning is in effect for Marianas, Russia, Marcus Islands, Taiwan, Philippines, Marshall Islands, Guam, Hawaii, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Easter Island, and other Asian coastal and island areas.

Here is a link to the NOAA Tsunami Warning System For the Pacific Area

Many news sources are reporting this earthquake, and most of the sources are reporting it as a 8.8 magnitude earthquake, but the USGS has it listed at magnitude 8.9.

Several aftershocks have registered – ranging from 6.1 to 7.1

All transportation systems and airports in Japan have closed, Reuters is reporting.

For more information on how to prepare for an earthquake, read about how to make your own earthquake survival kit.