Japan to Newly Issue Alert against Subsequent Massive Quake

Society Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, Nov. 8 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Cabinet Office said Tuesday an alert will be issued against a subsequent earthquake with a moment magnitude of 8.0 or greater when an earthquake with a moment magnitude of at least 7.0 occurs along the Chishima Trench or the Japan Trench in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of northern Japan.

Issuing the alert, the office and the Japan Meteorological Agency, as well as local governments, will ask residents and businesses in Pacific coastal areas stretching from the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido to Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo, to prepare against big shakes and tsunami for about a week after the first one happens off Hokkaido, Aomori Prefecture or Iwate Prefecture. Meanwhile, they will not request advance evacuations, traffic controls or school closures.

When the first earthquake's moment magnitude is 8.0 or greater, the advisory will be given even if the focus of the quake is off Miyagi or Fukushima, both northeastern prefectures located south of Iwate.

Moment magnitude is a scale capable of evaluating large earthquakes more accurately than the magnitude scale used ordinarily by the JMA, although it takes longer to calculate.

Disaster response guidelines drawn up by the office specifically call on residents, firms and local governments to get ready for immediate evacuation in case that a subsequent massive quake occurs or a tsunami warning is issued. But at the same time, the guidelines ask them to maintain social and economic activities.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press