Strong and shallow M6.3 earthquake hits near the east coast of Honshu, Japan

Strong and shallow M6.3 earthquake hits near the east coast of Honshu, Japan

A strong and shallow earthquake registered by the JMA as M6.3 hit near the east coast of Honshu, Japan at 17:23 UTC on December 20, 2020 (02:23 JST, December 21). The agency is reporting a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles). USGS is reporting M6.2 at a depth of 10 km; EMSC M6.2 at 40 km (24.8 miles).

The epicenter was located 95.5 km (59.2 miles) ENE of Hachinohe (population 239 046) and 98.5 km (61.1 miles) E of Misawa (population 42 805), Japan.

There are 320 000 people within 100 km (62 miles).

1 599 000 people are estimated to have felt light shaking and 9 529 000 weak.

Although there may be slight sea-level changes in coastal regions/ this earthquake has caused no damage to Japan, JMA said.

Image credit: TW/SAM, Google

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 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

Selected cities exposed

Regional seismicity

Featured image credit: TW/SAM, Google


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