The Tohoku Earthquake Facts

The Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan called the Tahoku Earthquake "the toughest and the most difficult crisis for Japan, since the end of the second World War.

The Earthquake was a 9.0 magnitude undersea mega-thrust off the coast of Japan. It happened at 2:46pm on Friday, 11 March 2011 with the epicenter approximately 70 kilometers east of the Oshika Peninsula of Tonoku and the hypocenter at an underwater depth of almost 32km. It has been named the most powerful known earthquake to have hit Japan. It lasted six terrifying minutes. The nearest major city to the quake was Sendai, on the main island of Honshu, 130km away. The quake occurred 373km from Tokyo. Once the quake hit security alarms ere triggered all over Japan. Even though, tragic the advanced seismic technology that Japan possesses prevented the loss of many more lives. One minute before the earthquake was felt in Tokyo, the Earthquake Early Warning system, which includes more than 1,000 seismometers in Japan, sent out warnings of impending strong shaking to millions.

But once the main quake was over, there came some pretty powerful aftershocks, over eight hundred all of considerable magnitude (4.5 or higher) ocurred after the initial quake. The aftershocks will thus taper off in time but could continue for years.

The Tohoku Earthquake released a surface energy of an equivalent of 9,320 gigatons of TNT.

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