Japan earthquake: magnitude 6.7 aftershock rocks Honshu

Repost: The Christian Science Monitor
By OurAmazingPlanet Staff, OurAmazingPlanet.com / June 23, 2011

A magnitude 6.7 earthquake rocked Japan today, the 75th aftershock of at least magnitude 6.0 from the devastating magnitude 9.0 quake on March 11, according to the U.S. Geological Survey(USGS). The earthquake data is preliminary and subject to revision.

Japan has been rocked by hundreds of aftershocks since the deadly Tohoku earthquake, the biggest in Japan’s recorded history. The aftershocks have been so plentiful that the world’s premier earthquake-measurement service has since modified its alert system to filter out the smaller aftershocks. The largest aftershock was a magnitude 7.9 quake that struck less than an hour after the main shock. A magnitude 7.7 also struck that day. A magnitude 7.1 aftershock struck on April 7. [When Will the Aftershocks in Japan End?]

The number of aftershocks seems staggering, but geologists are not surprised, especially for such large mainshock.

The rule of thumb for aftershock strength is that the biggest aftershock will be about one magnitude smaller than the mainshock.

The latest aftershock struck about 54 miles (88 kilometers) east of Honshu. The quake ruptured 20 miles (32 km) below the Earth’s surface.

Since the main quake off Japan’s northeastern coast, hundreds aftershocks have shaken the island of Honshu, Japan’s largest and home to 100 million people. Today’s aftershock was caused by thrust faulting near the Japan Trench, the boundary between the Pacific and North Americatectonic plates (the huge, moving slabs of the Earth’s crust). Thrust faulting happens when one tectonic plate dives under another. In this case, the Pacific plate is diving under the North America plate.

Before the magnitude 9.0 earthquake, only nine magnitude 7.0 or greater earthquakes had ruptured in this subduction zone since 1973.

Japan’s PM under pressure to resign over crisis

Yahoo News
AP Associated Pres

By ERIC TALMADGE, Associated Press – Wed. 6/1/11

TOKYO – Prime Minister Naoto Kan, facing a no-confidence vote in parliament, said Thursday he will consider resigning once Japan’s efforts to recover from its earthquake and tsunami disaster take firm hold.
Kan told members of his party that he felt responsible for carrying through with leading the recovery. He made the comments ahead of a no-confidence vote in parliament submitted by the opposition that has deeply split his ruling party.
“Once the post-quake reconstruction efforts are settled, I will pass on my responsibility to younger generations,” he said. “The nuclear crisis is ongoing, and I will make my utmost efforts to end the crisis and move forward with post-quake reconstruction works.”
Kan, who became prime minister just a year ago, has been criticized for delays in construction of temporary housing for evacuees from the March 11 disaster, lack of transparency about evacuation information, and a perceived lack of leadership.
On Wednesday, the largest opposition group, the Liberal Democratic Party, submitted the no-confidence motion along with two smaller opposition groups.
Although his Democratic Party of Japan controls the powerful lower house of parliament, where the no-confidence motion was submitted, dozens of ruling party lawmakers have expressed concern with his leadership, creating a deep rift.
The motion and the ruling party split have further complicated Kan’s efforts to unite the government behind his reconstruction plans, which involve a huge injection of funds and possibly tax increases.
The magnitude 9.0 quake and the massive tsunami that followed damaged the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, causing the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl in 1986, and left 24,000 people are dead or missing. Another 80,000 residents have been forced to evacuate towns contaminated by the radiation-leaking plant.
In the 1990s, Kan was a crusading health minister who stood up to his own bureaucracy to lift the lid on a horrific AIDS scandal, but he was seen as an uninspiring prime minister even before the earthquake with a popularity rating below 20 percent.
He emerged as prime minister last June only after other leaders of his Democratic Party fell. He already is Japan’s fifth leader in four years.

Hello to you from Tokyo. Wish you are doing well.

I arrived Tokyo latest week, and will work from JPN till mid June.
Here in Tokyo, life seems back to normal, no need to worry about water, power- but daily news from the
Northern part of Japan is so disturbing to learn people are still suffering that disaster.
Yesterday, I saw the TV news showing the life of people living in their own house suffering the daily flooding.
Due to the land sinkage, the daily tide from ocean floods in the area where they live. Most of them are forced to live only at their 2nd floor of the home.
Daily local news reports refugees and their supporters events all over Japan.
I hear a lot from people that they are very much appreciating what we are receiving as support from all over the world.
It is not easy to . Thanks for all of your continuous supports and your prayers.