Strong and shallow M6.1 earthquake hits near the east coast of Honshu, Japan


A strong and shallow earthquake registered by the JMA as M6.1 hit near the east coast of Honshu at 20:39 UTC on April 19, 2020 (05:39 LT, April 20). The agency is reporting a depth of 50 km (31 miles). The USGS is reporting M6.4 at a depth of 41.7 km (25.9 miles); EMSC is reporting M6.4 at a depth of 60 km (37.3 miles).

The epicenter was located 33.8 km (21 miles) ESE of Ofunato (population 35 418), 43.2 km (26.8 miles) SSE of Kamaishi (population 43 107), 51.8 km (32.2 miles) SSE of Otsuchi (population 16 497), and 61.9 km (38.5 miles) S of Yamada (population 20 144), Japan.

There are 1 150 000 people living within 100 km (62 miles).

This earthquake poses no tsunami risk, JMA said.

According to the USGS, 180 000 people are estimated to have felt moderate shaking and 3 100 000 light.

Image credit: Google, TW/SAM

The 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 heavy wood frame and reinforced/confined masonry 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

Selected cities exposed

Regional seismicity

Featured image credit: Google, TW/SAM


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