Shallow M6.2 earthquake hits near the coast of Hokkaido, Japan


A strong and shallow earthquake registered by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) as M6.2 hit near the coast of Hokkaido, Japan at 10:51 UTC on January 24, 2018 (19:51 local time). The agency is reporting a depth of 30 km (18.6 miles). USGS is reporting M6.2 at a depth of 38.8 km (24.1 miles). EMSC is reporting M6.4 at a depth of 60 km (37.2 miles).

According to the USGS, the epicenter was located 90.2 km (56.1 miles) ENE of Misawa (population 42 805), 92.2 km (57.3 miles) ESE of Mutsu (population 49 220) and 96.2 km (59.8 miles) NE of Hachinohe (population 239 046), Japan.

There are 400 000 people living within 100 km (62 miles). Some 1 843 000 people are estimated to have felt light shaking and 13 799 000 weak.

The quake had JMA Seismic Intensity of 4 registered by the station in Samani-cho Sakeamachi.

This quake poses no tsunami risk, JMA said.

Hokkaido, Japan earthquake January 24, 2018The USGS issued a green alert for shaking-related fatalities and economic losses. There is a low likelihood of casualties and damage.

Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are resistant to earthquake shaking, though vulnerable structures exist. The predominant vulnerable building types are adobe block and unreinforced brick with mud construction.

Recent earthquakes in this area have caused secondary hazards such as landslides and fires that might have contributed to losses.

Estimated population exposure to earthquake shaking

Hokkaido, Japan earthquake January 24, 2018 - Estimated population exposureHokkaido, Japan earthquake January 24, 2018 - Estimated population exposure - Table

Selected cities exposed

Hokkaido, Japan earthquake January 24, 2018 - Selected cities exposed

Regional seismicity

Hokkaido, Japan earthquake January 24, 2018 - Regional seismicity

Featured image credit: USGS


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