Earthquake Hits Japan: A Look At Some Of The Strongest In The Country's History

 
on March 15 2012 11:32 AM
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A series of earthquakes rattled Japan Wednesday, only a few days after the one-year anniversary of the devastating magnitude-9.0 earthquake that hit the country in 2011.

No damage or injuries were reported, according to the Associated Press, and the earthquakes are considered aftershocks from the 2011 earthquake.

The strongest quake Wednesday measured a magnitude of 6.8 and struck off the coast of Hokkaido, the island hardest hit in 2011. The Japan Meteorological Agency issued a tsunami warning, but lifted it 90 minutes after the initial quake.

Japan experiences hundreds of earthquakes yearly, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The island is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area of the Pacific Ocean where colliding tectonic plates cause 90 percent of the world's earthquakes.

It is a bit like pushing a big piece of furniture across a carpet, so eventually you build up the pressure and suddenly it will move, Steff Gaulter, a meteorologist for Al Jazeera, said of colliding tectonic plates in a 2011 article published by the paper.  So that is what we have seen - the sudden movement.

Japan has experienced several large earthquakes in the past, many with magnitudes of 7 or greater. Here are some photos of the some of the strongest quakes in the country's history.

Tectonic Plates

Japan is located near four plates, the Pacific, Philippine, North American and Eurasian. The Pacific and Philippine plates are moving towards the others and subducting, or being forced underneath, causing earthquakes. USGS

2011 Japan Earthquake

The 2011 Japan earthquake was a magnitude 9.0. It is the strongest quake to ever hit Japan and is one of the five strongest quakes ever recorded. The earthquake killed over 15,000 people and caused over $200 billion in damages. Reuters

1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake

The 1995 Great Hanshin earthquake was a magnitude 7.2 and killed over 6,000 people. Aftershocks were felt almost two years later. National Geophysical Data Cent

1933 Sanriku Earthquake

The 1933 Sanriku earthquake was a magnitude 8.4 earthquake. It is the fifth strongest earthquake in Japanese history. The quake and the ensuing tsunami killed over 3,000 people. The boat pictured was carried onto shore by the tsunami. NOAA

1923 Great Kantō earthquake

The 1923 Great Kanto earthquake was is the deadliest earthquake in Japan's history. The magnitude 7.9 earthquake killed over 140,000 people, mostly from fires and landslides. USGS

1891 Mino-Owari earthquake

The 1891 Mino-Owari earthquake is one of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded. The 8.0 quake killed over 7,000 people and wiped out the town of Gifu, where the earthquake's epicenter was. Imperial Household Agency

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