Series of Unusual Cluster of Earthquakes across Japan Raises Alarm

Although Japanese researchers are convinced that the fault underlying the region is responsible for the recent tremors, they still remain unsure what exactly has triggered them. Some speculate that they're part of increased earthquake and volcanic activity on both sides of the Pacific.

“The government's earthquake research committee attributed the magnitude-6.4 quake that hit Kumamoto last Thursday evening to a shift in the northern part of the Hinagu fault zone. The magnitude-7.3 quake that struck in the wee hours of Saturday morning occurred in the Futagawa fault zone, which runs just north of the Hinagu zone, the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan said.

Part of the Futagawa fault zone, about 27km in length, slid by around 3.5 meters, according to the GSI.

The government committee met on Sunday and agreed that the Futagawa zone was the culprit in the main quake. This zone, it turns out, is longer than previously thought and stretches close to Mount Aso's caldera. The committee warned local residents to brace for more aftershocks.

Indeed, aftershocks continue in the Kumamoto, Aso and Oita regions. According to the Meteorological Agency, Kumamoto has seen the second-highest number of inland earthquakes on record, after those set off by the earthquake that hit the northwestern prefecture of Niigata in 2004.

Meanwhile, the GSI said the main Kumamoto quake unleashed 40% more seismic energy than the devastating 1995 earthquake. Saturday's quake ‘may have impacted nearby faults,' said Hiroshi Yarai, director of the GSI's crustal deformation research division. Signs point to the quake nudging the Beppu-Haneyama fault zone in Oita, which lies northeast of the Futagawa zone.

The Beppu-Haneyama zone, in turn, is linked in the east to the Japan Median Tectonic Line — a huge fault structure that extends through western Japan, including the island of Shikoku and the Kii Peninsula in Wakayama Prefecture. This raises the possibility that the Kumamoto earthquakes could cause a broader chain reaction across the Bungo Channel in the Shikoku region.

For now, though, a Meteorological Agency official said that ‘the Median Tectonic Line doesn't seem to have been activated yet.'”

As if this weren't unsettling enough, at least one expert believes these disasters are preludes to even more catastrophic ones:

Sunday’s devastating earthquake in Ecuador might just be the beginning, according to a seismologist who says that current conditions in the Pacific Rim could trigger at least four quakes with magnitudes greater than 8.0.

Roger Bilham, a University of Colorado seismologist, told the Express, ‘If (the quakes) delay, the strain accumulated during the centuries provokes more catastrophic mega earthquakes.'

A total of 38 volcanoes are currently erupting around the world, making conditions ripe for seismic activity in the Pacific area.

More than 270 people are now confirmed dead after Sunday’s quake in Ecuador, with the number expected to rise.

In Japan, at least 42 people have been killed after tremors measuring 6.5 and 7.3 struck the southwest part of the country in the past week. A quarter of a million people were ordered to leave their homes amid fears of aftershocks.”

Sources: Asian Review, RT , Truth And Action



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