Quake study warns Japan of tsunami risk
A strong earthquake and ensuing tsunami would kill about 2,700 people and damage nearly 10,000 buildings in northern Japan.Updated: Jan 26, 2006 12:19 IST
A strong earthquake and ensuing tsunami would kill about 2,700 people and damage nearly 10,000 buildings in northern Japan, according to a government study obtained on Thursday.
The estimates were based on the worst-case scenario of a magnitude 8.6 earthquake centred up to 400 kilometres (250 miles) off the Sanriku coast at 5 am, when many people are still asleep, the report by the Cabinet Office's central disaster committee said.
The coast stretches 180 kilometres (110 miles) over two northern prefectures (states).
About 2,100 people would be killed in Iwate prefecture, 460 kilometres (290 miles) north of Tokyo.
The 600 other deaths would be spread out over four other prefectures including Hokkaido, Japan's northern northernmost main island, according to the report, which was released onWednesday.
The study warned separately that a magnitude 8.2 quake centred up to 200 kilometres (120 miles) off Sanriku would kill as many as 290 people, damage up to 21,000 buildings and cause about ¥1.3 trillion in economic damage.
Last year, the panel released a similar study estimating that about 11,000 people would die in Tokyo if a magnitude-7.3 quake were to hit the centre of capital.
Such a quake would cause about¥112 trillion in economic damage.
The committee plans to adopt measures to minimise damage, according to Yohei Hiyama, a Cabinet Office official.
Japan is one of the world's most earthquake-prone countries because it sits atop four tectonic plates.
Since the late 1970s, the government has taken measures to strengthen its monitoring of seismic activity, and to coordinate steps with local governments on how to cope with earthquakes.
First Published: Jan 26, 2006 12:19 IST