HOME People & Events

Strong earthquake hits Japan

2024.02.13 21:00:14 Sojin Kim

[Photo credit to Pexels]

On January 1st, 2024, a strong earthquake struck Japan.


The earthquake registered a magnitude of 7.6, which is known to be a major earthquake capable of causing serious damage.


According to the United States Geological Survey, this recent earthquake was identified as the strongest in the region in over four decades.


The seismic activity occurred at 16:10 Japan standard time, primarily affecting the northwest side of Suzu, located on the Noto Peninsula of Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan.


Additionally, Kanazawa, Toyama, Niigata, and the entire Ishikawa Prefecture were severely impacted by this earthquake.


Ishikawa Prefecture is a vast region spanning 1,616 square miles, with a population of approximately 114.1 million.


It also boasts the largest bay in Japan.


The earthquake also triggered a massive tsunami that caused severe damage to towns near the ocean and water.


The tsunami was measured to be 6.58 meters (approximately 22 feet) along the Sea of Japan coast on the same day as the earthquake.


In addition to tsunamis, there were also landslides that occurred due to this earthquake.


Like many earthquakes, this event produced both foreshocks and aftershocks, varying in magnitude and occurring in different regions.


The foreshock measured around 5.7 magnitude, while a total of 8,582 aftershocks were recorded, with the largest magnitude estimated between 6.1 and 6.2.


Given the earthquake’s intensity, the affected area in Japan experienced severe casualties and extensive damage.


The total estimated cost of the damage, including housing, amounted to approximately 17.6 billion dollars in United States currency.


There were 236 reported deaths, 22 individuals missing, and 1,286 reported injuries all caused by the series of earthquakes.


The timing of the earthquake on New Year’s Day contributed to a higher number of casualties, as people traditionally stayed at home.


Moreover, because there is a tradition in Japan to visit shrines and temples on the first day of the New Year, this also leads to large groups of people who visit temples and shrines near the earthquake’s center experiencing injuries.


The disaster brought about various challenges, including widespread fires, collapsed houses, and diverse natural disasters.


Beyond Japan, neighboring countries such as Russia, North Korea, and South Korea also experienced warnings and heightened concerns due to the earthquake.


While the affected areas are slowly beginning to recover, the immense impact of the earthquake suggests that the recovery process will require considerable time.

Sojin Kim / Grade 8 Session 3
Sunnyvale Middle School