Earthquake overview : A few minutes after midnight, a very strong earthquake hit the channel zone in between Hokkaido and Honshu, Japan. Epicenter in the Ocean approx. 50 km from the coast.
Tell us when you think you have felt this earthquake.
Japan-only earthquake list
Keep this page open to read more details when they become available
Update 24/05 – 08:08 UTC : After carefully examining the many sources we use to create this report, we are happy to inform that no additional damage has been found.
Update 18:05 UTC : Nuclear facilities
- Tohoku Electric Power has reported that there were NO power outages.
- The Mutsu nuclear installations and the Ogawara Nuclear plant are reported to be operating normally.
- The shaking must have been serious as the picture of a video shop proves on the right
- trains have been halted for a while during and after the quake
- Aomori authorities have inspected various strategic buildings like airports, runways, etc and found no structural damage.
Update 18:05 UTC : Minor damage
4 schools in Noheji have broken windows. Other damage has been reported in the museum of Noheji (damage to the ceiling). Noheji is a city with 14,721 inhabitants.
We will keep you updated if new reports are published.
Update 16:57 UTC : FDMA Japan has issued a new report on 16:40 UTC – good news, still no sign of any damage. ER expects that the highest intensity area will probably remain damage free.
Update 16:44 UTC : FDMA Japan (Fire brigade who also works as SAR and Emergency forces during earthquake are currently making an assessment of the situation. The heaviest shaking is in the Aomori prefecture. Until now no damage reported as yet. The report has been issued 1 hour ago.
Update 16:30 UTC : We have noticed and reported a very curious swarm of earthquakes more to the south. A lot of these earthquakes had the same Magnitude than this one but due to the distance from the coast (150 to 200 km) we have only described the phenomenon in our daily lists. This earthquake as well as all the other earlier ones and the great March 11 destructive one in 2011 are triggered by the same fault. The purple line at right is the subduction fault line where the pacific plate subducts the Eurasian plate. The depth today is a very good illustration of this subducting process. The pacific heavier plate glides below the Eurasian plate and hangs frequently. When the pressure mounts, it suddenly breaks and generates an earthquake. The friction points are mostly seen in a rather wide area (a few hundred km’s) along the subduction faults.
Update 16:20 UTC : The earthquake occurred just after midnight and a lot of people must have been already sleeping. Hard to get up this way.
Update 16:20 UTC : There are NO tsunami advisories in effect. In general earthquakes below M7 generate rarely stronger waves.
Update 16:17 UTC : USGS I Have Felt It data are confirming the testimony report below. MMI V in Misawa. The highest intensity values will have been felt along Cape Shinyazaki.
Update 16:13 UTC : The data below is a little confusing for some people as USGS indicates “only” a max. MMI V (moderate shaking) and JMA a 5+ (equivalent of MMI VII). JMA Japan is a highly specialized seismological agency and we always tend to believe the local agencies. The testimony below shows that JMA Japan is right. We do not expect a lot more Experience reports as there are very few English understanding people living in these areas. Our Experience reports in Japan are mostly coming from Expats working in the country.
Update 16:01 UTC : Other intensity values :
JMA5- : Noheji-machi Tabasamizawa*, Noheji-machi Noheji*, Higashidori-mura Odanosawa*
JMA 4 : Aomori-shi Hanazono, Goshogawara-shi Sakaemachi, Goshogawara-shi Shikishimacho*, Hiranai-machi Kominato, Hiranai-machi Higashi-tazawa*, Itayanagi-machi Itayanagi*, Sotogahama-machi Kanita*, Hachinohe-shi Minatomachi, Hachinohe-shi Uchimaru*, Hachinohe-shi Nangoku*, Towada-shi Nishi-nibancho*, Towada-shi Nishi-junibancho*, Misawa-shi Sakuracho*, Shichinohe-machi Shichinohe*, Shichinohe-machi Morinokami*, Rokunohe-machi Inuotose*, Tohoku-machi Tonosawayama*, Rokkasho-mura Obuchi, Gonohe-machi Furudate, Gonohe-machi Kuraishi-nakaichi*, Aomori Nambu-cho Taira*, Aomori Nambu-cho Tomabechi*, Hashikami-cho Dobutsu*, Oirase-cho Nakashimoda*, Oirase-cho Kamiakedo*, Mutsu-shi Kanamagari, Mutsu-shi Kanaya*, Mutsu-shi Ohatamachi-nakajima*, Mutsu-shi, awauchimachi*, Higashidori-mura Sunagomata*
Update 15:56 UTC : An ER reader living in Misawa, approx. 75 km from the epicenter wrote a few moments ago :
Woke me up, I think midnight. I was so scared that I jumped up too quickly and ended up with a cramp in my leg. It was long too and was getting stronger so husband and I stood under doorway of lodging until subsided a little then went outside. She described the shaking as a strong shaking. Misawa is labeled as a JMA 4 intensity. Some people must have felt it a lot stronger (see above)
Update 15:52 UTC : Based on JMA data (Japan Seismological Service), the max. shaking will be 5+ at Tohoku-machi Kamikita-minami*. 5+ is considered by Earthquake-Report.com as “moderately dangerous”. JMA uses a 0 to 7 scale.
Based on theoretical data from USGS, the max. shaking will be moderate and felt by 76,000 people.
Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : M6.0 (JMA Japan)
UTC Time : Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 15:02:25 UTC
Local time at epicenter : Thursday, May 24, 2012 at 12:02:25 AM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 50 km (JMA Japan)
Approx. 60 km from Mutsu, Honshu, Japan
107 km (66 miles) NNE of Hachinohe, Honshu, Japan
119 km (73 miles) ESE of Hakodate, Hokkaido, Japan
127 km (78 miles) ENE of Aomori, Honshu, Japan
Links to important maps
USGS Did You Feel It Map
Google satellite map showing the epicenter and the surrounding area
Historic earthquakes map
Seismic hazard map
Human impact map
|USGS||Near The East Coast Of Honshu, Japan||May 23 23:15 PM||4.4||10||MAP I Felt It|
|EMSC||Hokkaido, Japan Region||May 23 15:02 PM||6.0||60||MAP I Felt It|
|USGS||Hokkaido, Japan Region||May 23 15:02 PM||6.0||71||MAP I Felt It|
|GEOFON||Hokkaido, Japan Region||May 23 15:02 PM||5.9||61||MAP I Felt It|
|JMA||Hokkaido - Honshu, Japan||May 23 15:02 PM||6.0||50||MAP I Felt It|
|EMSC||Izu Islands, Japan Region||May 23 13:55 PM||4.4||369||MAP I Felt It|
|GEOFON||Southeast Of Honshu, Japan||May 23 13:55 PM||4.6||346||MAP I Felt It|
|USGS||Izu Islands, Japan Region||May 23 13:55 PM||4.4||348||MAP I Felt It|
QuakeSOS+ and QuakeSOS free are iPhone applications developed by Armand Vervaeck, the founder of Earthquake Report. The Application simplifies immediate group communication to friends and family members (with your exact GPS location) and is feeding the users with Earthquake Report news. The 0.99 US$ QuakeSOS+ version will support the activities of SOS Earthquakes.
Earthquake-Report.com headlines on twitter
@OnlyQuakeNews : Get all the headlines of our earthquake-report.com articles + regular updates on ongoing events
@QuakeSOS : earthquake-report.com news + automatic earthquake notifications of USGS earthquakes of M 4.0 or higher with emphasis to earthquakes in the America’s and the Pacific Ocean sphere (4 and up) and a lot of the rest of the world (5 and up). This account was created for our QuakeSOS and QuakeSOS+ iPhone applications
@ShakingEarth : earthquake-report.com news + automatic earthquake notifications of EMSC earthquakes of M 4.0 or higher with emphasis to earthquakes in European and Asian / Middle East sphere (4 and up) and a lot of the rest of the world (5 and up). This account was originally created to stimulate our Facebook account
@QuakeMaps : earthquake-report.com news with mapping notifications of ALL earthquakes M 3.0 and higher from all over the world via EMSC and USGS. This account was created for our http://www.quake-maps.com website