5.0 Magnitude Earthquake Occurred Near Iwaki, Fukushima, Japan

Iwaki Has Experienced 81 Earthquakes in the Past Year

City of Iwaki is No Stranger to Earthquakes

Iwaki is a city located in the southern part of the Hamadori coastal region of Fukushima Prefecture, Japan.

A designated “core city”, Iwaki is also one of the growing number of hiragana cities. Its area is 1,231.35 km², making it the 10th largest city in Japan.

The present “Iwaki City” started as the merger of 14 municipalities on October 1, 1966. The area was the largest in Japan at the time. The city works as an industrial hub of Tohoku region, and is rich in sightseeing resources. As of 2005, about 7.6 millions sightseers visited the city a year.

An earthquake with magnitude 5.0 occurred near Iwaki, Honshu, Japan at 22:56:03.40 UTC on Aug 9, 2013.

Earthquakes with a magnitude of about 4.5 or greater receive several thousand such shocks annually and are strong enough to be recorded by sensitive seismographs all over the world. Great earthquakes, such as the 1964 Good Friday earthquake in Alaska, have magnitudes of 8.0 or higher. On the average, one earthquake of such size occurs somewhere in the world each year.

Magnitude measures the energy released at the source of the earthquake as determined from measurements on seismographs. The magnitude scale most commonly in use now is called the moment magnitude scale. Moment is a physical quantity proportional to the slip on the fault times the area of the fault surface that slips; it is related to the total energy released in the EQ. The moment magnitude provides an estimate of earthquake size that is valid over the complete range of magnitudes, a characteristic that was lacking in other magnitude scales.

Intensity measures the strength of shaking produced by the earthquake at a certain location. Intensity is determined from effects on people, human structures, and the natural environment. An earthquake can produce shaking of many different intensities.

As seen below Iwaki Japan is no stranger to earthquakes; they have had 81 earthquakes in the past year.

  • 2 earthquakes today
  • 4 earthquakes in the past 7 days
  • 12 earthquakes in the past month
  • 81 earthquakes in the past year

The largest earthquake in Iwaki:

  • today:  5.0 in Iwaki, Fukushima, Japan
  • this week: 5.8 in Ishinomaki, Miyagi, Japan
  • this month: 5.8 in Ishinomaki, Miyagi, Japan
  • this year:  7.3 in Ofunato, Iwate, Japan

There are several actions one should take after an earthquake such as:

  • Expect aftershocks. These secondary shockwaves are usually less violent than the main quake but can be strong enough to do additional damage to weakened structures and can occur in the first hours, days, weeks, or even months after the quake.
  • Look for and extinguish small fires. Fire is the most common hazard after an earthquake.
  • Be aware of possible tsunamis if you live in coastal areas. These are also known as seismic sea waves (mistakenly called “tidal waves”). When local authorities issue a tsunami warning, assume that a series of dangerous waves is on the way. Stay away from the beach.
  • Be careful when driving after an earthquake and anticipate traffic light outages.

Most of the residents usually use cars to commute because Iwaki is large and the urban areas are dispersed. There are many trucks on the roads related to hauling the freight of Onahama Port in Iwaki. They should take note to the above when driving because an earthquake with magnitude 5.0 has occurred near Iwaki, Honshu, Japan.

By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)

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