Tuesday 10 April 2018

Magnitude 5.8 Earthquake in Shimane Prefecture, Japan, injures five.

The Japan Meteorological Agency recorded a Magnitude 5.8 Earthquake at a depth of about 10 km, under Shimane Prefecture on Honshū Island, Japan, slightly after 1.30 am Japan Standard Time on Monday 9 April 2018 (slightly after 4.30 pm on Sunday 8 April GMT). Five people were reportedly injured during the quake, and a number of buildings damaged, with many more being left without power and water.

 Landslide in Shimane Prefecture, Japan, triggered by an Earthquake on 9 April 2018. Kyodo News.

Japan has a complex tectonic situation, with parts of the country on four different tectonic plates. Eastern Honshū area lies on the boundary between the Pacific, Eurasian and Philippine Plates, where the Pacific Plate is passing beneath the Eurasian and Philippine Plates as it is subducted into the Earth. This is not a smooth process; the rocks of the two plates constantly stick together, only to break apart again as the pressure builds up, causing Earthquakes in the process.

The movement of the Pacific and Philippine Plates beneath eastern Honshū. Laurent Jolivet/Institut des Sciences de la Terre d'Orléans/Sciences de la Terre et de l'Environnement.

Witness accounts of Earthquakes can help geologists to understand these events, and the structures that cause them. The international non-profit organisation Earthquake Report is interested in hearing from people who may have felt this event; if you felt this quake then you can report it to Earthquake Report here.
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