Northern Japan May See 30-Meter-High Tsunamis after Huge Quake

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Tokyo, April 21 (Jiji Press)--Northern Japan would see tsunamis nearly 30 meters high if an earthquake with a magnitude of over 9 occurred near ocean trenches off its Pacific coast, a government estimate showed Tuesday.

The estimate, made by an expert panel under the Cabinet Office, assessed seismic intensity distributions and tsunami heights in the event such a temblor occurs in an area including the Japan Trench's northern part and the Kuril Trench. The area sits close to the focus zone of the March 2011 huge earthquake.

The panel utilized materials on tsunami sediment deposits over the last 6,000 years off the coasts of Hokkaido, northernmost Japan, down to Iwate Prefecture, northeastern Japan.

The panel made two analyses for maximum quakes that could happen. One assumed a 9.1-magnitude quake in the Japan Trench off the Sanriku coast in Iwate to the Hidaka coast in Hokkaido, and the other a 9.3-magnitude quake in the Kuril Trench off the Tokachi to Nemuro coasts in Hokkaido.

The two quakes would violently shake wide areas in the Pacific Ocean side of Hokkaido to Iwate.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press