Experts have upgraded the earthquake that struck near Fukushima, Japan earlier today to a magnitude 7.3 event; however, the Pacific Tsunami Warning center says there is no threat of a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami at this time.
According to USGS, the earthquake struck at 14:07:50 UTC roughly 70 km east northeast of Namie, Japan. The earthquake’s epicenter, located under the Pacific Ocean, had a depth of approximately 50 km. Social media accounts from the area show widespread damage: broken windows, objects thrown from store shelves, and knocked regional power plants off-line. While the quake struck 220 km north of Tokyo, it was felt there too.
At a news conference, an official from the Japan Meteorological Agency said this quake is believed to be an aftershock of the Great East Japan Earthquake that struck the same region on March 11, 2011.
The March 11, 2011 9.0 earthquake was destructive and deadly. It created a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami that destroyed buildings as far away as Hawaii. Along the coast of Japan, 30 foot waves lashed the coast, claiming the lives of more than 15,000 people. One infamous impact area was the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, where an epic nuclear disaster continues to this day.
Fortunately, today’s quake did not create a similar destructive tsunami. According to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center on Ewa Beach on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, “Based on all available data, a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami is not expected and there is no tsunami threat to Hawaii.”
Today’s quake occurred nearly a year after a somewhat weaker but still powerful quake hit the area last year.
Since the 7.3 struck, there have been 5 significant after shocks that had a magnitude rating of 4 or greater. Experts say many more aftershocks are likely from today’s quake.