January 23, 2012

Researchers Say Big Quake Could Hit Tokyo Within 4 Years

Researchers in Japan say there is a 70 percent chance that a magnitude 7 earthquake will hit Tokyo within the next four years, a far shorter timetable than government estimates of 30 years.
The researchers at the University of Tokyo's Earthquake Research Institute said Monday the estimate is based on higher than normal seismic activity in the area since a massive earthquake hit northeast of Tokyo last March.
That magnitude 9.0 quake was the strongest on record in Japan. The earthquake and a massive tsunami crippled a nuclear power plant and left nearly 20,000 people dead or missing.

The researchers say there have been five times as many earthquakes in the Tokyo area after the quake compared to the number beforehand.
A magnitude 7.9 quake known as the Great Kanto earthquake struck the capital in 1923, killing more than 100,000 people.
Japan is one of the world's most earthquake-prone countries.

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