Strong M6.0 earthquake hits Ryukyu Islands, Japan

Strong M6.0 earthquake hits Ryukyu Islands, Japan

A strong and shallow earthquake registered by the JMA as M6.0 hit the Ryukyu Islands, Japan at 02:05 UTC on December 9, 2021. The agency is reporting a depth of 20 km (12.4 miles). The USGS is reporting it as M6.0 at a depth of 17 km (10 miles); EMSC M5.9 at a depth of 40 km (25 miles).

The epicenter was located about 120 km (75 miles) N of Naze (population 41 365), and 210 km (130 miles) SW of Nishinoomote (population 17 832), Japan.

There are just a few people living within 100 km (62 miles).

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 that might have contributed to losses.

Image credit: TW/SAM, Google

Estimated population exposed to earthquake shaking

Selected cities exposed

Regional seismicity

Featured image credit: TW/SAM, Google


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