Saturday, 14 June 2014

Magnitude 5.5 Earthquake in Iwate Prefecture, Japan.

The Japan Meteorological Agency recorded a Magnitude 5.5 Earthquake at a depth of 90 km in eastern Iwate Prefecture on northern Honshū Island, Japan, slightly after 2.35 am Japan Standard Time on Sunday 15 June 2014 (slightly after 5.35 pm on Saturday 14 June GMT). There are no reports of any damage or casualties associated with this event, but it was felt across much of eastern Honshū and southern Hokkaido.

The approximate location of the 15 June 2014 Iwate Prefecture Earthquake. Google Maps.

Japan has a complex tectonic situation, with parts of the country on four different tectonic plates. To the east of northern Honshū lies the Japan Trench, along which the Pacific Plate is being subducted beneath the Okhotsk Plate which underlies northern Japan, passing under the island as it sinks into the Earth. This is not a smooth process, the two plates continuously stuck together then broke apart as the pressure built up, causing Earthquakes in the process. 

The movement of the Pacific and Philippine Plates beneath eastern Honshu. Laurent Jolivet/Institut des Sciences de la Terre d'Orléans/Sciences de la Terre et de l'Environnement.

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