M8.5 earthquake strikes near Ogasawara islands


An earthquake with a magnitude of 8.5 struck near the Ogasawara islands at 8:24 p.m. Saturday. The Japan Meteorological Agency said there was no danger of a tsunami.

The quake struck at a depth of 590 kilometers near the Ogasawaras which are 1,000 kilometers south of Tokyo.

The strong quake shook buildings in Tokyo for about a minute. Both runways at Narita Airport were temporarily closed while inspections were carried out. Trains in Tokyo were also temporarily halted and shinkansen train services between Tokyo and Osaka were halted due to a power outage, NHK said. A soccer match in Tokyo was also briefly suspended.

The quake had an intensity of 5 in the Ogasawaras, a 4 in Tokyo's 23 wards as well as Ibaraki, Saitama, Tochigi, Gunma, Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures. It measured 3 in the Tohoku region and 2 in parts of Hokkaido.

Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said there were no further irregularities at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, damaged four years ago in a massive 9.0 magnitude quake, or any other nuclear facilities.

There were no immediate reports of significant damage or injuries, though the Tokyo Fire Department had received calls of people suffering injuries through falls, NHK national television said.

In Chiba, just east of Tokyo, loudspeaker broadcasts called on people to remain calm, but there were no reports of damage.

"Since it was magnitude 8.5 this was a very big quake, but fortunately it was very deep at 590 km," Naoki Hirata, an earthquake expert at the University of Tokyo's Earthquake Research Centre, told NHK. "But the shaking was felt over a broad area... Fortunately, because it was deep, there is little danger of a tsunami."

© Japan Today/Thomson Reuters

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Only had to be shallow, and the whole Pacific coast got a tsunami. No to nuclear power or it will be the end of Japan. Be ready everyone. Stay safe.

22 ( +28 / -6 )

Third one this week, with this one being clearly the biggest. Didn't feel too particularly powerful, but it lasted a long time. Luckily it happened inland instead of off shore like the one 4 years ago.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

So much activity lately! Be safe everyone...

5 ( +5 / -0 )

This was a real roller - the floor felt like jelly.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Nuclear power is a ok. Fukushima 40 years old plant sustained the earthquake. But not he 15meter waves. New plants can sustain 15meter tall waves.

-16 ( +11 / -27 )

Luckily it happened inland instead of off shore like the one 4 years ago.

It was offshore, not inland.

18 ( +18 / -1 )

3/11 started with a couple big ones early that morning, then quiet till 2:46. Plan meeting places with your families, stock some water and maybe retort pouches of rice or some other emergency foods.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Revised to 7.8

-2 ( +4 / -5 )

8.5 Mag, I hope that was enough to relieve the pressure in the plates responsible for the Kanto quakes.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

@Miria: Happened inland? What?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

@Himajin. Thank-you. I was in Oz at that time and didn't know about the earlier quakes.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@elk: It simply doesn't work like that.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Was on the phone with my mother she would prefer to have me with her in Canada I think hahaha. I will go buy some water and food in case the last were just a warning for the big one coming...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The quake was 590km deep. If it was closer to the surface it would have caused tremendous damage and probably tsunamis as well. Still, I have the strange feeling that this was a harbinger of what's coming next.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Felt it strongly here in Chiba. I figured it had to be really big near the epicenter. It's getting kinda scary. I wonder if we have something bigger coming. :S

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Arsinoi, don't wonder 'if' wonder 'when'.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Lots of stuff to clean up. Odd nothing broke though. Lucky this time.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Mukai: Nonsense. Nature on this planet alone can generate 40 metre + tsunami.

Then there's meteors.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Rolled just in reach of Tokyo, Ikebukuro. Island name did not ring a bell.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Is anyone else waiting for the message from TEPCO reassuring us that absolutely everything is absolutely fine at the damaged plant, where tens of thousands of tons of contaminated water are stored in leaky tanks and the reactor buildings are so contaminated we can't get close enough to find out what kind of hell is going on in there?

I won't sleep tonight until I get the all-clear from the experts who have done such an exemplary job thus far.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

The epicenter of the quake was 590 kilometers deep

This seems to be incorrect. The epicenter is on the surface of the earth. The focus of the earthquake is what would be 590 km deep.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Stay safe! I have come to loathe all things nuclear.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Is it norla to have 3 earquakes with the magnitude of 4 in Tokyo in just one week? I've been living here since April, and it's the first week that had so many earthquakes let alone such strong ones. I'm not talking about the epicenter magnitude right now.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

And I can hear helicopters flying around in Tokyo. Ever since the earthquake.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@Kana: What's normal? We've been here for such a short span of time, have only accepted the theory of plate tectonics from the early 20th century... so, what is 'normal'? The best and only thing you can do is be prepared.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The thing I fear the most atm is the building. I don't see a point in crawling under the table if the building collapses. the dorm I live in is very old, and makes unpleasant sounds when the earthquake happens.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The thing I fear the most atm is the building.

That building survived 3/11. You've got nothing to worry about.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Nuclear power is definitely ok. Just have to hope that the engineers who build the plants can make sure that they are ready for the next big earthquake or tsunami.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Nuclear power is definitely ok.

No, it's too much dangerous, both in case of natural disaster and human mistake.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

KanadeMAY. 30, 2015 - 10:50PM JST And I can hear helicopters flying around in Tokyo. Ever since the earthquake.

There are helicopters flying all over Tokyo every night.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I know this is not directly related to nuclear power and if you're pro or con, but to me this is absolute and definitive proof that the NPPs should not only NEVER be turned on again, but ALL should begin decommissioning IMMEDIATELY. This was 560 km below ground, and yet still shook the ENTIRE nation, in some areas at 5 magnitude. Had this been close to the surface and right now we'd be watching the aftermath of tsunami as bad as before, and likely MUCH worse damage from the quake itself. And with Fukushima in its present state we'd likely be watching Tokyo be evacuated. This is the third in a week or just a little more, and there are going to be more, and eventually far worse. It is impossible to know where to be, and how to stay safe when one hits, but we do not need to be assisting nature in any massive destruction that such an event would wreak on the nation and the people here. With all the quakes and volcanic activity of late, it's an exclamation point on the fact that the NPPs are not safe to operate or even exist here. I really, really don't want anyone to be in a position to say "I told you so", but I'm afraid this will be another ignored wake-up call by those with the power to make changes for everyone's betterment an safety.

That aside, stay safe, people. Not a whole lot you can do aside from pack an emergency kit and try and make it easily accessible, but I suppose you can take a moment to check if objects that could easily fall over -- especially bookshelves and other heavy things, have been as secured as possible.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

gogogo at May. 30, 2015 - 09:02PM JST Revised to 7.8

That's according to USGS. They often revise downward by a few points. JMET has it at M8.5.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

About 3 hours ago another one...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This one was weird in Hachioji. Instead of a lot of back and forth shaking, there was a very long vibration with a tiny bit of the back and forth. I kept saying things like "F@ckin A this is a long one". But my wife said "You know, if it's a big earthquake you should be praying, not cursing." Couldn't argue with that.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Smart wife, @sensei258!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

"That building survived 3/11. You've got nothing to worry about."

Sorry, but that is an unbelievably bad conclusion. You can't judge how your Tokyo building will fair in a major earthquake in Tokyo based on the Sendai earthquake. That's just ridiculous.

I shouldn't even have to explain.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

But is 7.8 or 8.5? news could be more accurate I saw many source given missed information.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Is it normal to have so many quakes within a short span of time? Who knows? So far I'd say it is somewhat normal. I've noticed that you rarely ever get just one noticeable quake, especially in Japan. This could go on for weeks.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I kept saying things like "F@ckin A this is a long one". But my wife said "You know, if it's a big earthquake you should be praying, not cursing."

Praying or cursing, both are equally useless. Cursing is more fun, though so I'll stick with that. A powerful quake will do us all in if it wants to. No words or hopes can change that.

This quake had those little rapid vibrations at first. Like a nervous kind of quake. Then came the jolts. I, too worry more about the safety of the building I live in than if I have water or toilet paper packed. If this place comes down on top of us, we are seriously screwed...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Just curious if anyone's phone alarms went off? Last week it seemed everyone's alarm kicked in, but this time, mine didn't do anything, nor anyone else's around me.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Watching J TV (again) and the same question came up. "Isn't all this recent volcanic and tectonic activity unusual?"

To which their expert replied, "No, in fact the low level of activity over the last ten years or so has been quite unusual, in the long-term scheme of things. This recent activity signals that we are now getting back to 'normal' for Japan", he said.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Himaji. Where were you on 3/11, in Sendai? My girlfriend was in Odata and only feel the Mega 2.45pm. I was in Tokyo. I also did not feel the couple of big one in the morning. I was working in the Sepia Tower (Nihonbashi) when th Mega 2.45 hit. After that one I have been very cautious and have Survival pack at in my workbag in my office, in my car, in all my family cars, At all our homes. I check the batteries every months and completely change them every 12 months.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Meteorological Agency now saying that it was next in size to 3/11.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

But is 7.8 or 8.5? news could be more accurate I saw many source given missed information.

The Japan Meteorological Agency reported 8.5, The US Geological Survey reported 7.8 (the rest of the world news used this).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Japan Meteorological Agency reported 8.5, The US Geological Survey reported 7.8 (the rest of the world news used this).

I'm pretty sure the first report I saw said 8.5, and that it wasn't a Japanese source. Maybe I'm wrong about the source.

But looking at the Full Coverage page for the event on Google News just now, most sources other than Japanese are reporting 7.8, except for the Belfast Telegraph, which reports 8.5.

Google News:

Powerful earthquake shakes Japan, Belfast Telegraph - ‎51 minutes ago‎

But magnitude-8.5 quake occurred well beneath the earth's surface and did not trigger a tsunami warning.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

John-San, I have friends in that area who posted about the morning quakes on Facebook. They were smaller and so were felt only about as far as Sendai, not Tokyo. If you look at the map,you can see the record of them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Prediction doesn't shape the inevitability of natural process, they shall, will come to be, if that had been shallow it would have made 3.11 look like a picnic.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Thank you Himajin. I was only wondering why I did not receive a phone warning nor did my girlfriend in Odata, Akita Prefecture. being small I realise now.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

You get a warning (from Docomo at least) only if it will be over Shindo 4 in your area. You don't get an emergency warning for each quake. Some other providers let you set a lower level if you want to, but 4 and above is when things start to fall over so I think it's an adequate level for the system.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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