Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Magnitude 5.9 Earthquake in Osaka Prefecture results in three fatalities and over 200 injuries.

The Japan Meteorological Agency recorded a Magnitude 5.9 Earthquake at a depth of about 10 km, beneath Osaka Prefecture on Honshū Island, slightly before 8.00 am Japan Standard Time  on Monday 18 June 2018 (slightly before 11.00 pm on Sunday 17 June GMT). The Earthquake is known to have resulted in three fatalities, a nine year old girl and two men in their eighties, as well as at least 217 injuries, and left about 170 000 households without power, as well as causing severe disruption to public transport networks.

Damaged goods in a supermarket following the 18 June 2018 Osaka Earthquake. Reuters.

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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