Strong earthquake felt in northern Honshu and Hokkaido, Japan – 13 persons injured in Hokkaido

Last update: February 3, 2013 at 1:41 pm by By

We want to thank readers Jon, Sydney Australia and Jane, Skipton, United Kingdom for their kind Donation during our reporting of the Hokkaido earthquake

Update  February 3 13:35 UTC :  JMA has also updated their Hokkaido earthquake values. They now report M6.5 at a depth of 102 km.
- Sources in Japan are telling us that a total of 13 persons have been treated for minor injuries.
- Seismologists have warned the Hokkaido population that aftershocks with intensity JMA4 (Magnitudes up to M6) are a possibility. They also warned for the danger of landslides along the Eastern coast of the island.


Update  22:48 UTC :  No other news or no other reports from FDMA Japan. Today’s earthquake was one with a happy end but was also a grim reminder of the March 11, 2011 tsunami earthquake.
Earthquake-Report.com senses the same way of reacting against powerful quakes in Japan and in Chile. Both countries had massive quakes the last couple of years and people are very well prepared these days. Exchanging experiences on what happened is a part of the routine.  The shaking map below is based on the USGS data which are way stronger than the JMA data (M6.9 @ 102 km vs M6.4 @ 120 km). Based on the many reports we have received from Hokkaido, ER goes for the Japanese JMA scenario.

Hokkaido January 2 2013 earthquake shaking map

Update  17:30 UTC :  FDMA Japan has just published a new report confirming 6 injured persons (all of them in Hokkaido)
Kushiro area: two people injured (minor injury)
Kushiro town: one person injured (minor injury)
Obihiro: 1 wounded (minor injury)
Kitami: 1 wounded (minor injury)
Anping town: one person injured (minor injury)

Update  17:16 UTC : 4 areas have been indicated with JMA 5+ intensity, Urahoro-cho Sakuramachi*, Kushiro-shi Akancho-chuo*, Kushiro-shi Ombetsucho-honcho* and Nemuro-shi Attoko* – Kushiro, the location where most people have been injured, is among these areas. Good work from JMA

Update  16:50 UTC : NO problem whatsoever with the countries Nuclear Power Plants. In the meantime the number of injured has risen to 6 (minor injuries), mainly in Kushiro. Kushiro is a town with a population of 189,539 (2008 census)

Update  16:36 UTC : So far we could trace 4 injured people in Kushiro, Hokkaido and 1 60 year in Kitami, Hokkaido  (all minor injuries)

Update  16:00 UTC : The Kushiro Fire Department is reporting that 1 woman was injured by glass from a broken window.

Update  15:36 UTC : Gas systems in houses have received a few outages in Obihiro city due to safety measures implemented by the gas company. For people to get gas back on in their houses they simply need to restart the system (of course after checking for gas leaks).

Update  15:04 UTC :
- ER remains confident that this earthquake will not generate widespread damage or injuries. Some isolated cases of nervous breakdowns and even heart attacks are always possible, even more after what happened on March 11 2012.
We can assure our readers thats today’s earthquake was felt as a very dangerous one mainly because of the long shaking time. 40 to 50 seconds means mostly that it is a major earthquake

Update  15:04 UTC :
- Obihiro city has reported intensity 5 lower felt intensity with a few items falling from shelves.
- Hokkaido electric company has reported that there have been no power outages in their system
- FDMA is reporting no damage currently and no emergency information
- All train systems came to a halt on the JR and no derailments have been reported.

Update  14:59 UTC : As people can expect from Earthquake-Report.com, we have been scanning our Japanese sources for eventual damage, but we found luckily nothing so far. Hope it stays like that.

Update  14:49 UTC : We want to thank our many readers from Japan for entering so much I Have Felt It reports. These reports are almost immediately (and even before the seismological agencies report the data) revealing the danger of an earthquake.

Image explanation (image below) : The thrust faulting mechanism of this earthquake is synonymous with subduction faulting which occurs around Japan. The deep nature of the earthquake around Hokkaido is due to the fact that the cold older crust, subducts quite a few kilometres away from Hokkaido, thus has already reached a significant depth before this earthquake. Here we see a stereonet, with 2 possible mechanisms. One shows a strike of around 50 with a very shallow dip (around 10 degrees) which is quite likely within a thrusting regime where it is likely that the faulting is not straight down at a dip of 80 degrees. For more information, our users should consult the following  – http://geology.about.com/library/bl/blbeachball.htm

Image courtesy @CPPGeophysics on twitter

Image courtesy @CPPGeophysics on twitter

Update  14:47 UTC : Almost nobody reports a very strong shaking (we have these data off line) which is a very good sign. ER will be happy when the 5+ areas are free of damage. Normally, very deep earthquakes, like this one, are not that dangerous but at these very strong earthquakes nobody can be sure. The reason why this earthquake alerted so many people is not necessarily because of the Magnitude but mainly because of the depth of the hypocenter. Such a depth makes the radius that the earthquake is felt much much wider.

VERY IMPORTANT : There are NO tsunami warnings or advisories for this earthquake (source JMA Japan)

Update  14:33 UTC : JMA Japan reports a Magnitude of 6.4 at 120 km depth which is VERY GOOD NEWS !

Update  14:29 UTC : Preliminary Magnitude of this very strong earthquake : 6.7
JMA 5+ intensity (moderately dangerous) at the following locations : Tokachi-chiho Chubu, Kushiro-chiho Chunambu, Nemuro-chiho Nambu

Based on an increasing number of visitors joining us from Japan, we believe that an earthquake was felt. When you are one of the people who experienced this earthquake, please fill in the form behind “I Felt A (not Listed) Earthquake”. Thank you.

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Intensity map courtesy and copyright JMA Japan

Intensity map courtesy and copyright JMA Japan

Japan-only earthquake list

Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : 6.7
Local time at epicenter : 2013-02-02 23:17:33 UTC+09:00 at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 93 km
Geo-location(s) :
Tokachi-chiho Chubu
Kushiro-chiho Chunambu
Nemuro-chiho Nambu
61km (38mi) SE of Obihiro, Japan
68km (42mi) SSE of Otofuke, Japan
81km (50mi) SW of Kushiro, Japan
106km (66mi) E of Shizunai, Japan
826km (513mi) NNE of Tokyo, Japan

Links to important maps
USGS Did You Feel It Map
Google satellite map showing the epicenter and the surrounding area
Shaking map
Historic earthquakes in the area
Human impact map
Scientific parameters
NOAA Tsunami information

Earthquake NOTIFICATION TWEETS up to your own MAGNITUDE choice

Share your earthquake experience (I Have Felt It) with our readers.
Click on the “I Felt It” button behind the corresponding earthquake

Click here for examples of our “earthquake notifications (button below)”

SRC Location UTC Date/time M D INFO
USGS Izu Islands, Japan Region Feb 02 18:31 5.5 50 MAP I Felt It INFO
EMSC Izu Islands, Japan Region Feb 02 18:31 5.6 21 MAP I Felt It INFO
GEOFON Southeast Of Honshu, Japan Feb 02 18:31 5.6 18 MAP I Felt It INFO
PTWC Hokkaido Japan Region Feb 02 14:27 6.8 126 MAP I Felt It INFO
WCATWC Hokkaido Japan Region Feb 02 14:18 6.9 124 MAP I Felt It INFO
  • Hokkaido - in the 8th floor of tower 2
  • Yokohama - My apartment building shook in Yokohama at this time.
  • toyko - bed & tv rocked etc, building moving
  • misawa - OMJebus earthquake
  • niseko - Felt it on 2nd floor in concrete building. Swaying of bed
  • Tokyo Hanzomon - 9th floor in a bulding, weak shaking for 3 seconds, twice
  • Tokyo, Japan - Moderate earthquake in Tokyo, Japan. It was shaking for extended period of time.
  • Ginza, Tokyo, Japan - Not sure which earthquake it was, but I felt shaking at about 23:25 on the 8th floor of the Courtyard Marriott in Ginza, Tokyo, Japan. The light shaking lasted at least a minute.
  • Sapporo, Hokkaido - 30 seconds long, not strong enough to dislodge much snow from the roofs but rattled cans lying on my shelf.
  • Sapporo - Short, moderate quake
  • Tokyo - In Nihonbashi area in the hotel experienced, mild shaking in the room.
  • Tokyo - On 19th floor of hotel in Shinagawa area of Tokyo. Bed shaking for at least two minutes.
  • misawa-shi - I was all like "Whoa" and then the walls were going "bumb bum bub bub" and my computer screen was going "rikki rikki rikki rikki" and then it was over and I washed my hands.
  • Misawa - Our alarm on our phone rang and within a few seconds at most a minute later the quake started...it was a bit strong but mostly lasted a bit
  • Akasaka Excel Hotel, Tokyo - My second earthquake, after the one two day ago.
  • Chiba - Quite light aftershock but lasted a while
  • sapporo - Awoken from sleep due to shaking.
  • Sapporo - The shaking made me dizzy
  • Tokyo - Mag 6.4 Hokkaido per JMA http://www.jma.go.jp/en/quake/20130202232726391-022317.html
  • Tokyo - Moderate quake
  • Toride, Ibaraki, Japan - Not too strong, but it lasted for a while. Very slight shaking at first and then more noticeable.
  • tokyo, shiba park - bed was shaking
  • Sapporo - Not pleasant experience. Mobile phone notification worked
  • Setagaya, Tokyo - Thought this was a phantom quake at first but then it picked up enough to rattle the doors in my house here in Tokyo. ER : Thanks Robert for sharing your Experience with us
  • misawa air force base - Approx 60 - 70 seconds of noticeable shaking.
  • Niseko - Long period of light shaking.
  • Sapporo - Very mild- 16th floor, 20-30 seconds
  • Chiba, Japan - Up and down movement...felt dizzy for a second ot two. I am on 15th floor in hotel. The time I put is approximate.
  • Sapporo, Japan - It lasted a long time.
  • Hanamiki Shi Iwate - long time and semi intensive
  • Kutchan - The lounge and light fittings were shaking
  • Asahikawa - I felt it in asahikawa an hour ago
  • Niseko, Hirafu - Swaying of the bed for around 1 min
  • Downtown Sapporo - We were on the 18th floor of the ANA Sapporo and felt the building shaking. it was strong enough to wake us up from our sleep.
  • Kita-17-jo, 5-chome Sapporo - Fairly strong and very long (60-70 seconds) of movement with both horizontal and vertical components. No inital "hit", but ramped up and stayed there with rolling motion. Mobile phone EWS worked, about 7 seconds notice. Sapporo, 10th floor hotel room. No known damage. Life goes on.
  • Kamakura - I was already in bed. Felt it shaking. Started praying and it stopped luckily after a couple of seconds.
  • Urakawa - woke up to the house shaking, a longer than normal Earthquake(15 seconds)
  • New chitose airport hotel - Woke me up from sleep, room was shaking like a small boat on light wawes, in hotel room on solid ground it feels scarry :-))
  • Adachi ku Tokyo Japan - first time to experience earthquake in Japan. Got nervous because of the tsunami they had before
  • Akkeshi-Gun Hokkaido - i was sleeping when suddenly awakened by d very strong earthquake, so shocked!
  • Niseko - I am in a tall houseand it seemed to move a lot. It lasted under 1 minute. I was preparing to run out of the house into the street, but it settled.
  • Sapporo - I felt it slightly in my dorm in Sapporo, Japan. It lasted about a minute.
  • Niseko - Long period of light shaking. Took place some time during the night.
  • Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan - Shaking of floor and windows in our fifth floor apartment woke me up, but not the rest of the family...
  • Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan - Shaking of our floors and windows in our 5th floor apartment building woke the adults, but not the kids...
  • Niseko - First time in earthquake as I am holidaying in Niseko/Hirafu. Mild tremor of floor and building for about a minute.As an Australian tourist I am not familiar with earthquakes as they are rare in Australia. Very much like large truck passing yet vibration seemed back and forth in a horizontal plane not bumping but a swaying motion with changing frequency. I had checked out earthquake exit points and ladders when I arrived. I wonder if all visitors know what to do.
  • Hirafu, Niseko - Light shakes felt for about 30 seconds
  • USGS Hokkaido, Japan Region Feb 02 14:17 6.9 103 MAP I Felt It INFO
    EMSC Hokkaido, Japan Region Feb 02 14:17 6.8 100 MAP I Felt It INFO
    JMA Hokkaido, Japan Feb 02 14:17 6.4 120 MAP I Felt It INFO
    USGS Hokkaido, Japan Region Feb 02 14:17 6.9 125 MAP I Felt It INFO
    GEOFON Hokkaido, Japan Region Feb 02 14:17 6.9 96 MAP I Felt It INFO
    USGS Izu Islands, Japan Region Feb 02 06:26 4.8 32 MAP I Felt It INFO
    GEOFON Southeast Of Honshu, Japan Feb 02 06:26 5.1 10 MAP I Felt It INFO
    EMSC Izu Islands, Japan Region Feb 02 06:26 4.8 20 MAP I Felt It INFO

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    Latitude (area) where you felt the earthquake
    Longitude (area) where you felt the earthquake
    MMI II (Very weak shaking) ?
    People :
    Felt by persons at rest, on upper floors or favorably placed.
    MMI III (Weak shaking) ?
    People :
    Felt indoors; hanging objects may swing, vibration similar to passing of light trucks, duration may be estimated, may not be recognized as an earthquake.
    MMI IV (Light shaking) ?
    People :
    Generally noticed indoors but not outside. Light sleepers may be awakened. Vibration may be likened to the passing of heavy traffic, or to the jolt of a heavy object falling or striking the building.
    Fittings :
    Doors and windows rattle. Glassware and crockery rattle. Liquids in open vessels may be slightly disturbed. Standing motorcars may rock.
    Structures :
    Walls and frames of buildings, and partitions and suspended ceilings in commercial buildings, may be heard to creak.
    MMI V (Moderate shaking) ?
    People :
    Generally felt outside, and by almost everyone indoors. Most sleepers awakened. A few people alarmed.
    Fittings :
    Small unstable objects are displaced or upset. Some glassware and crockery may be broken. Hanging pictures knock against the wall. Open doors may swing. Cupboard doors secured by magnetic catches may open. Pendulum clocks stop, start, or change rate.
    Structures :
    Some large display windows cracked. A few earthenware toilet fixtures cracked.
    MMI VI (Strong shaking) ?
    People Felt by all. People and animals alarmed. Many run outside. Difficulty experienced in walking steadily.
    Fittings :
    Objects fall from shelves. Pictures fall from walls. Some furniture moved on smooth floors, some unsecured free-standing fireplaces moved. Glassware and crockery broken. Very unstable furniture overturned. Small church and school bells ring. Appliances move on bench or table tops. Filing cabinets or "easy glide" drawers may open (or shut).
    Structures :
    Slight damage to buildings with low standard. Some stucco or cement plaster falls. Large display windows broken. Damage to a few weak domestic chimneys, some may fall.
    Environment :
    Trees and bushes shake, or are heard to rustle. Loose material may be dislodged from sloping ground, e.g. existing slides, talus slopes, shingle slides.
    MMI VII (Very strong shaking) ?
    People
    General alarm. Difficulty experienced in standing. Noticed by motorcar drivers who may stop.
    Fittings :
    Large bells ring. Furniture moves on smooth floors, may move on carpeted floors. Substantial damage to fragile contents of buildings.
    Structures :
    Unreinforced stone and brick walls cracked. Low standard buildings cracked with some minor masonry falls. A few instances of damage to buildings of ordinary workmanship. Unbraced parapets, unbraced brick gables, and architectural ornaments fall. Roofing tiles, especially ridge tiles may be dislodged. Many unreinforced domestic chimneys damaged, often falling from roof-line. Water tanks Type I burst. A few instances of damage to brick veneers and plaster or cement-based linings. Unrestrained water cylinders (hot-water cylinders) may move and leak. Some common windows cracked. Suspended ceilings damaged.
    Environment :
    Water made turbid by stirred up mud. Small slides such as falls of sand and gravel banks, and small rock-falls from steep slopes and cuttings. Instances of settlement of unconsolidated or wet, or weak soils. Some fine cracks appear in sloping ground. A few instances of liquefaction (i.e. small water and sand ejections).
    MMI VIII (Severe shaking) ?
    People Alarm may approach panic. Steering of motorcars greatly affected. Structures : Low standard buildings heavily damaged, some collapse. ordinary workmanship buildings damaged, some with partial collapse. Reinforced masonry or concrete buildings damaged in some cases. A few instances of damage to buildings and bridges designed and built to resist earthquakes. Monuments and pre-1976 elevated tanks and factory stacks twisted or brought down. Some pre-1965 infill masonry panels damaged. A few post-1980 brick veneers damaged. Decayed timber piles of houses damaged. Houses not secured to foundations may move. Most unreinforced domestic chimneys damaged, some below roof-line, many brought down. Environment : Cracks appear on steep slopes and in wet ground. Small to moderate slides in roadside cuttings and unsupported excavations. Small water and sand ejections and localized lateral spreading adjacent to streams, canals, lakes, etc.
    MMI IX (Violent shaking) ?
    Structures Many low standard buildings destroyed. Ordinary workmanship buildings heavily damaged, some collapse. Reinforced masonry or concrete buildings damaged, some with partial collapse. Buildings and bridges designed and built to resist earthquakes damaged in some cases, some with flexible frames seriously damaged. Damage or permanent distortion to some buildings and bridges, designed and built to normal use standards. Houses not secured to foundations shifted off. Brick veneers fall and expose frames. Environment : Cracking of ground conspicuous. Landsliding general on steep slopes. Liquefaction effects intensified and more widespread, with large lateral spreading and flow sliding adjacent to streams, canals, lakes, etc.
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