Why does Japan suffer from earthquakes so often?

Can you count the times you have heard that Kyushu, region in Japan, was hit by an earthquake with 7.0 magnitude or 50/70/100 people died as a result of powerful earthquake in Kumamoto? You probably don’t count but the fact is that there Japan is the country that suffers from earthquake hits most frequently and, unfortunately, scientists can not predict the power of coming natural disaster. So why does Japan suffer from earthquakes that often?

To start with, Japan is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire which is the most earthquake hit area. Horseshoe-shaped zone follows the Pacific Ocean where many of the world’s earthquakes and volcano eruptions occur.

The thing is that our planet’s surface is divided on several huge plates that move and collide. As a result the region where collision is the most powerful is hit by earthquake. Within the Ring of Fire, several tectonic plates — including the Pacific Plate beneath the Pacific Ocean and the Philippine Sea Plate — mash and collide.


Though Japan got used to constant hits of earthquakes, the 7.0 – magnitude temblor is one of the largest ever recorded within the country, according to Paul Caruso, a geophysicist with the USGS. The earthquake with such a power hit the country in April 2016. The second largest earthquake was recorded in March 1939 with 6.7 magnitude. As a result of an earthquake the area then expects tsunami to attack the damaged vicinity, however, not all earthquakes trigger tsunamis. In fact there are three key factors that cause the a dangerous tsunami-earthquake combination. The first one is at least 7.0 – magnitude temblor. Secondly, the epicenter of the earthquake has to be underneath the ocean. Finally, the earthquake has to be shallow.

Fiji, for instance, is often hit by quakes but due to the fact that they happen 400 miles (640 km) underground it is pointless to expect tsunami to cover the island. Obviously if the epicenter is on land it means that there won’t be any tsunami in the vicinity.

Though Japan is safe for now, however, scientists usually monitor the areas for potential small quakes that follow the great one. Therefore, citizens must always be ready and know how to act when earthquake hits their home area.

To stay safe please do not hesitate to check weather forecast via weather app with Apixu weather APIs.


Category: Api


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