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Magnitude 6.2 Quake Hits Honshu, Japan

Posted by feww on December 4, 2008

UPDATE: The Honshu quake detailed below has been downgraded to a 5.7Mw by USGS.

A Large Mag 6.2 Earthquake Hits Near the East Coast of Honshu, Japan

The following details were provided by USGS Earthquake Hazards Program:

Magnitude: Mw 6.2 [Later downgraded to Mw 5.7]


  • Wednesday, December 03, 2008 at 23:16:58 UTC
  • Thursday, December 04, 2008 at 08:16:58 AM at epicenter

Location: 38.566°N, 142.762°E
Depth: 35 km (21.7 miles) set by location program
Region: Near the East Coast of Honshu, Japan


  • 170 km (105 miles) ENE of Sendai, Honshu, Japan
  • 190 km (120 miles) SE of Morioka, Honshu, Japan
  • 220 km (140 miles) ENE of Fukushima, Honshu, Japan
  • 420 km (260 miles) NE of TOKYO, Japan

[Mainshock was followed by a strong aftershock measuring Mw5.2 located at 38.555°N, 142.840°E, Thursday, December 04, 2008 at 12:10:54 PM time at epicenter.]

Source: USGS

No immediate reports of tsunami, damage or injuries as yet.


Map of MMI contours plotted over population per ˜1 square km (see gray scale bar on top of map). The regions of integer MMI values are separated by the thick contour lines and labeled with Roman numerals. The total population exposure to a given MMI value is obtained by summing the population between the thick contour lines. This total is shown in population exposure table. Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are a mix of vulnerable and earthquake resistant construction. A magnitude 6.6 earthquake 378 km Northeast of this one struck Niigata, Japan on October 23, 2004 (UTC), with estimated population exposures of 481,000 at intensity IX or greater and 386,000 at intensity VIII, resulting in an estimated 67 fatalities. Recent earthquakes in this area have caused, landslides and fires that may have contributed to losses. USGS

Map of japan. USGS


Earthquake Location: USGS

Japan sits atop the Eurasian, Pacific, Philippine and North American tectonic plates whose movements cause numerous earthquakes. The country experiences about 20 percent of the world’s major earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater.

Did you know?

With an estimated total death toll of 88,072 [as of yesterday, Dec 3, 2008,] this year has seen the second worst number of human casualties caused by earthquakes since 1980. The largest earthquake/ tsunami related casualties for the 29-year period occurred in 2004 with an estimated total of 228,802 deaths.  [The stats are based on USGS data.

Related Links:

2 Responses to “Magnitude 6.2 Quake Hits Honshu, Japan”

  1. feww said

    For an update, see
    and the comments section

  2. […] by feww on June 14, 2008 Latest Quake in Honshu [Dec 4, 2008] Page is effectively blocked by […]

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