Deadly earthquake below Hokkaido, Japan (+ updates) - September 5, 2018

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Update : September 8
The Japan Times and Channel News Asia report that the death toll in the Hokkaido quake has climbed to 35 with two more 'presumed dead' and 2 missing.  The presumed dead category is peculiar to Japan and refers to 2 individuals taken to hospital with no breathing and no heart function.  We can assume the final death toll will be very near 40.  Electricity is reported to be 'restored' to over 90% of the homes on Hokkaido, however the power company is suggesting rolling blackouts for the time being.

Update 10:40 UTC: Prime Minister Abe has confirmed that the Hokkaido quake death toll has risen to 16 and Japanese disaster officials report another 26 people are missing.  Many of the missing are believed to be buried in mudslides.
The Hokkaido power company states that 1.31 million homes have power restored and another 1.6 million homes are still without power.   The power company says many will not have power for a week or so.   After the quake, the entire island of Hokkaido, which is the size of Austria, lost power.  The Japan Times News reports that a thermal electrical generating plant has been damaged and that plant produces half of Hokkaido's electricity.
The Japanese Government reports that it has dispatched 25,000 emergency personnel to Hokkaido.

Update 21:48 UTC: The death toll has risen to 10 and the Hokkaido Prefecture Government reports 300 injured.  Approximately, 40 are missing although that number varies depending on which agency is reporting.  NHK news reports people are trapped in collapsed buildings.  After the quake, the Prefecture Government reports 2.95 Million homes were without power.  Some of those have had power restored although the number restored is still only a small part of the number out of power.   The Nuclear reactor did suffer a loss of power, however it has not been a serious problem and the Government insists that the rods are being cooled.  The reactor has not been operational since the Tohuku quake.  The large fires at the steel plant and the refinery are now either out or under control.

Update 08:02 UTC: The pictures hereunder are showing why this earthquake may be one of the deadliest from the last decennium

Update 07:32 UTC: As expected moments after the earthquake happened, outcome is grim
- at least 4 people lost their lives
- local government says that about 40 people are missing and may have been buried by landslides
- at least 209 people have been or are being treated for injuries
- many landslides occurred
- 29 buildings/houses were destroyed
- 1914 people needed to be displaced

Update 07:25 UTC: The ultimate explanatory earthquake poster from this earthquake comes from geologist Dr. Jay Patton. Click on the image to be linked to his site. The poster contains lots of important scientific information and can be viewed in full format in his site. Dr Jay Patton is gifted with the ability to translate hard to understand scientific material into easy, everyday language (through texts and images).

Update 21:36 UTC: So far we have knowledge of 8 houses/buildings destroyed and 7 injuries.
More within a few hours

Update 19:02 UTC: We expect it to take several hours and until the morning to get a better view on eventual damage.

Update 19:00 UTC: Shaking impact on nearby cities and villages and on the population in MMI (Modified Mercalli scaled).


Update 18:56 UTC: Professor Max Wyss, who specializes in theoretical prognoses of injuries and fatalities expects : 10 to 30 injured people and NO fatalities.
ER does expect a higher toll based on the data we have seen now.

Update 18:49 UTC: 2 aftershocks with an approx. Magnitude of M5

Update 18:33 UTC: The earthquake occurred at 03:12 Japanese time which adds to the dangerous character of this earthquake.

Update 18:33 UTC: Shaking map with possible related damage from the natural disaster specialists at CATnews (Risklayer - CEDIM), Karlsruhe, Germany. Map generated by Andreas Schäfer.

Update 18:26 UTC: JMA Japan expects a JMA 6+ shaking intensity which is a damaging intensity!
JMA6+ means :
* It is impossible to move without crawling. People may be thrown through the air
* Most unsecured furniture moves, and is more likely to topple over
* Wooden houses with low earthquake resistance are more likely to lean or collapse
* Large cracks may form, and large landslides and massif collapses may be seen

Update 18:22 UTC: Based on the present earthquake parameters (Magnitude, Depth, Population, etc) and our experience with earthquake damage impact, calls this earthquake extremely dangerous and expects injuries and serious damage

Most important Earthquake Data:

Magnitude : 6.6

Local Time (conversion only below land) : 2018-09-06 03:07:58

GMT/UTC Time : 2018-09-05 18:07:58

Depth (Hypocenter) : 27 km

Depth and Magnitude updates in the list below.

Share your earthquake experience (I Have Felt It) with our readers.
Click on the "I Felt It" button behind the corresponding earthquake. Your earthquake experience is not only important for science, but also for people in the area as well as our global readership.

Refresh this list
SRC Location UTC Date/time M D INFO
EMSC Hokkaido, Japan Region Sep 05 22:45 4.7 40 MAP I Felt It INFO
EMSC Hokkaido, Japan Region Sep 05 21:11 5.4 47 MAP
USGS Tomakomai, Japan Sep 05 21:11 5.4 35 MAP
GEOFON Hokkaido, Japan Region Sep 05 21:11 5.4 36 MAP I Felt It INFO
USGS Shizunai, Japan Sep 05 21:04 4.6 41 MAP
EMSC Hokkaido, Japan Region Sep 05 21:04 4.6 48 MAP
USGS Shizunai, Japan Sep 05 20:20 4.3 35 MAP
EMSC Hokkaido, Japan Region Sep 05 20:20 4.6 40 MAP
USGS Chitose, Japan Sep 05 19:10 4.8 35 MAP
GEOFON Hokkaido, Japan Region Sep 05 19:10 4.8 29 MAP
EMSC Hokkaido, Japan Region Sep 05 19:10 4.9 60 MAP I Felt It INFO
PTWC Sep 05 18:22 6.7 0 MAP
GEOFON Hokkaido, Japan Region Sep 05 18:20 5.4 29 MAP
USGS Tomakomai, Japan Sep 05 18:20 5.3 35 MAP
EMSC Hokkaido, Japan Region Sep 05 18:20 5.3 56 MAP
USGS Chitose, Japan Sep 05 18:07 6.6 33 MAP
GEOFON Hokkaido, Japan Region Sep 05 18:07 6.6 27 MAP I Felt It INFO
  • Sapporo - In hotel room on 7th floor. Lasted about 20 seconds. (via emsc)
  • Furano - Strong shaking for 2 mins (via emsc)
  • Hokkaido - Durou aproximadamente 40 segundos, porém foi muito sentido por mim e minha família, acordamos assustados. Moro no primeiro andar do edifício, imagino como foi para os moradores acima. Sensação horrível.
  • USGS Chitose, Japan Sep 05 18:07 6.7 39 MAP

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    I felt the shaking *
    Country where you felt the earthquake *
    City/Village where you felt the earthquake *
    Street or suburb (area) where you felt the earthquake
    Latitude (area) where you felt the earthquake
    Longitude (area) where you felt the earthquake
    Shaking Strength *
    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) ?
    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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