Tokyo Earthquake Marks Region’s First Seismic Activity Since 2011 Disaster

by Shelby Scott

At least 17 citizens across Tokyo were injured today after a powerful 5.9 earthquake struck the region. Officials state it’s the city’s first seismic activity since 2011. The earthquake caused pipes beneath the surface to erupt. Meanwhile, trains, subways, and elevators in the area came to a temporary halt during the quake.

While the earthquake did cause relative disruption to the area, officials reported no major destruction or danger of a tsunami. The Meteorological Agency further reported occurred at a depth of 48 miles. Fortunately, of the 17 injuries reported, only one of those was severe.

According to ABC, buildings in the area swayed during the earthquake, and hanging signs swung violently. As a result of the quaking, the outlet further reports a commuter train partially derailed while making an emergency stop. Other trains halted following the earthquake for precautionary inspections. However, the East Japan Railway Co. later reported the vehicles were running again.

The earthquake also caused a couple of hundred power outages in the area. As far as the city’s underground water pipes, first responder officials reported damages in dozens of locations in Tokyo. Elevator passengers temporarily became trapped during the earthquake.

In the midst of the seismic activity, new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said “take action to protect your lives.”

Los Angeles Struck by Earthquake Reaching 9 Miles Sub-Surface

Much closer to home, September saw Los Angeles experience a massive 4.3 earthquake, reaching just nine miles below the city’s surface. Nevertheless, while Tokyo’s much more recent earthquake makes headlines as the city’s first seismic activity since 2011, Los Angeles lies at the opposite end of the spectrum.

The city, and the state of California as a whole, sits on the famous San Andreas fault. Therefore, West Coast citizens in the region experience up to five seismic quakes a year. Typically, the annual quakes measure between a 3.0 and 4.0 on the Richter scale.

Nevertheless, the respectable 4.3 earthquake that struck the city last month took place about 21 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles. Fortunately for Los Angeles residents, the U.S. Geological Survey claims cities don’t typically experience outward damage until earthquakes measure between a 4 and 5 on the scientific scale.

Following the 10-second or so event, emergency responders flew into action. L.A. fire department vehicles and helicopters began patrolling the city, scouring the region for earthquake-related damage. Covering an area of 470 miles, patrols spotted nothing out of the ordinary.

However, residents shared their own experiences. While it seems seismologists remained certain the quake was nothing too serious, others shared on social media they felt the quake was more intense than a 4.3. Additionally, another L.A. resident said they heard the earthquake coming and their home shook for “a good 10 seconds.”

Regardless, we’re relieved to hear both the California earthquake last month and today’s Tokyo earthquake remained relatively forgiving in the grand scope of the Richter Scale.