The local authorities and Japan’s weather agency said that an earthquake occurred during the early hours of Saturday. The earthquake had an intensity of Magnitude 6.6, rattling and swaying most of the country’s western and southwestern sections and injuring 10 persons in the process. Apparently, tsunami waves haven’t been triggered by the catastrophe according to the weather authority.
The quake’s center beneath the Pacific Ocean pointed to the coast of Japan. It was predicted that it is at this point where an ensuing tsunami and massive earthquake will originate in the future. The quake that happened on Saturday was magnitude 6.6, a scale that’s lower than magnitude 6.8 which is known as the country’s standard earthquake scale. A magnitude of 6.8 or higher alerts the government to conduct an unusual expert meeting to tackle and evaluate a specific earthquake.
Rattling the affected areas 45 kilometers deep, the quake occurred at 1:08 in the morning and it also registered above 5 on Japan’s seismic intensity range of 7 in Oita and Miyazaki prefectures on the southwestern part of Kyushu.
Even if the strength of the earthquake was just intensity 5, many people in the affected areas struggled to move. Walking was also difficult unless there was something strong and stable that they can hold to.
Initially, the weather agency estimated the quake as magnitude 6.4 but it was then revised to 6.6 as what was registered in the seismic intensity reader. It was also announced that a quake of similar strength will most likely occur in highly affected areas anytime next week.
After the massive quake, tremors with lower intensities were observed. These sporadic tremors took place in many parts of the affected areas, thereby causing more fear and desperation to many people out there.
In the prefecture of Oita alone, 6 persons were injured but most of them had slight injuries according to the local governments. In the prefecture of Miyazaki on the other hand, police officers declared 4 injured persons which also include a 50-year-old woman who fell out of her bed. Aside from these reported injuries, additional casualties were also made known, particularly in the prefectures of Kumamoto and Saga in Kyushu.
Due to the massive quake and continuing aftershocks, the city of Oita has suffered a short-term power outage. Many water pipes have also ruptured in many parts of the city. A house with a two-meter concrete wall also collapsed, scattering debris on the streets, reaching as far as twenty meters. The old man who lived in the house was shocked to find out what happened to his property, thinking it would cost him much for its repair.
A clerk working in a convenience shop in Nobeoka spent much of his time picking up the shattered pieces of broken bottles along with many other products. The clerk said that the quake was extremely scary, and he was very worried, thinking that this would happen again anytime.
The authorities of Kyushu Electric Power Corporation confirmed that nothing abnormal happened within their premises.
After the earthquake, the government conducted a meeting at the office of the prime minister. The meeting tackled gathering more information and assessment of all the damages within the affected areas.
The government of Japan has estimated that about 320,000 people could possibly die if an earthquake-triggered tsunami would devastate Nankai Trough which stretches all the way to the center of Japan.
Japan’s Research Committee said that magnitude 8 quakes happened regularly in Nankai Trough over the centuries. They also said that there’s a 90 percent probability that a magnitude-8 to magnitude-9 earthquake will most likely occur on or before 2062.