Japan Ends Use of Term “Aftershock” 10 Years after Massive Quake

Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, April 1 (Jiji Press)--The Japan Meteorological Agency has stopped using the term “aftershocks” for strong earthquakes occurring in areas around the focus of the March 2011 9.0-magnitude quake that devastated the country’s northeast.

The agency had been referring to the possibility of an aftershock of the 2011 quake which measured up to 7, the highest level on the country’s seismic intensity scale, when temblors measuring lower 5, the fifth-highest level, or higher occurred in areas designated as the 2011 quake aftershock zone.

The decision to avoid describing such quakes as aftershocks came as it became difficult to make clear judgments as 10 years have passed since the massive jolt and also because quakes with a magnitude of 7 to 8 have repeatedly been occurring along the Japan Trench off the coast of eastern Japan.

But the agency will continue to disclose data on earthquakes occurring in the aftershock zone because the impact of the 9.0-magnitude quake lasts over 10 years.

“I want people to prepare for possible powerful earthquakes and tsunamis regardless of whether they are aftershocks or not,” an agency official said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press