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Strong M7.0 Seismic Event: Kyushu Region, Kumamoto-shi, Japan


The event occurred in Japan , Region of Kyushu (population 13,296,000) . The nearest places are Kumamoto, Nagasaki, Saga, Miyazaki, Oita, Fukuoka, Kagoshima, Ozu, Matsubase, Tomochi, Kiyama, Ogawa, Takahashi, Uto, Iwashita, Ueki, Tamana, and Nishiyama. The maximum altitude nearby is 1700m .

Event Map: M7.0 - 1km WSW of Kumamoto-shi, Japan o

Event Map: M7.0 – 1km WSW of Kumamoto-shi, Japan on 2016-04-15 at 16:25:06 (UTC) . This is a product of the GEOFON Extended Virtual Network (GEVN) and credit belongs to all involved institutions.

Mw Beach BallNatural Hazard – Seismic Event 

Asia –  Japan |Region of Kyushu, Kumamoto
Location: 1km WSW of Kumamoto-shi, Japan
Magnitude: 7.0
Time:  2016-04-15 16:25:06 (UTC)
Epicenter: 32°46’55.2″N 130°43’33.6″E
Depth: 10.0 km (6.2 mi) Shallow
Area affected by light damage (estimated radius): 89 km (MMI VI), 
Population affected: 8,202,442 people within 100km

USGS Interactive map

USGS ShakeMap

MWW7.0 Kyushu, Japan

IRIS Interactive Earthquake Browser

Recent Earthquakes Near Kumamoto, Japan

Tsunami Information Statement:


The maximum Tsunami wave height is  0.2m in Hizen Nagana, Japan. This height is estimated for 15-Apr-2016 17:59:82.


USGS Estimated Population Exposure to Earthquake Shaking
85 km S of Fukuoka-shi, Japan / pop: 1,392,289 / local time: 01:25:07.3 2016-04-16
17 km NW of Kumamoto-shi, Japan / pop: 680,423 / local time: 01:25:07.3 2016-04-16
7 km S of Tamana, Japan / pop: 45,661 / local time: 01:25:07.3 2016-04-16

Tectonic Summary (USGS)

The April 15, 2016 M 7.0 earthquake north of Kumamoto, on the island of Kyushu in southwest Japan, occurred as the result of strike-slip faulting at shallow depth. Focal mechanisms for the earthquake indicate slip occurred on either a left-lateral fault striking to the northwest, or on a right-lateral fault striking northeast. While the earthquake occurred several hundred kilometers northwest of the Ryukyu Trench, where the Philippine Sea plate begins its northwestward subduction beneath Japan and the Eurasia plate, the shallow depth and faulting mechanism of this earthquake indicate it occurred on a crustal fault within the upper Eurasia plate. At the location of this event, the Philippine Sea plate converges with Eurasia towards the northwest at a velocity of 58 mm/yr.

The April 15, 2016, M 7.0 event (UTC 16:25:06) occurred one day after a series of foreshocks in the same region, which included M 6.2 and M 6.0 earthquakes. The April 14 events resulted in at least 9 fatalities and over 800 injuries.

In contrast to this recent sequence of shallow earthquakes, most seismicity in the Kyushu region is related to the subduction of the Philippine Sea plate at depth. Just thirteen M 5+ earthquakes have occurred at shallow depths (< 50 km) within 100 km of the April 2016 events over the preceding century. In January and April of 1975, two shallow events with magnitudes of M 5.8 and M 6.1 – 40 km and 65 km to the northwest of the April 2016 earthquake, respectively – caused injuries, but no known fatalities. A shallow M 6.6 earthquake in March 2005, just off the north coast of Kyushu and 110 km north of the April 2016 event, caused over 1000 injuries and at least one fatality.

Mapped faults in the region generally trend east-west or northeast-southwest, in agreement with the right-lateral plane of preliminary focal mechanisms, and the trend of early aftershocks. Since the April 14, M 6.2 event (12:26:36 UTC), 19 other shocks have been located, including the latest M 7.0 earthquake.

More information

Japan Meteorological Agency
GeoForschungsZentrum (GEOFON) Potsdam, Germany
Earthquake Track
Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (JRC)

Media Analysis

What if something like the Unzen/Shimabara Catastrophe were to happened?

In 1792, 400 million m^3 of rock slipped from the flank of Mt. Unzen (Kyushu, Japan) and generated a huge tsunami in Ariake Bay. Some 15,000 people perished in the worst volcanic disaster in Japanese history. This movie is a physics-based simulation of the landslide and tsunami.

Overview of earthquake damage as of April 16, 2016

Overview of earthquake damage Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan. April 16, 2016. Source: Nuclear News |

Kyushu earthquake, southern Japan – aerial view
Sat, 16 Apr 2016 04:21:00 +0200   cna (en)

EPA YOMIURI SHIMBUN JAPAN/MINAMIASO 16/4/2016 04:42 epa05260942 An aerial view taken from a Yomiuri Shimbun helicopter shows a large landslide due to a strong earthquake in Minamiaso, Kumamoto Prefecture, southwestern Japan , 16 April 2016.

New Japan quake kills seven, with widespread damage reported
Sat, 16 Apr 2016 04:21:00 +0200   news-yahoo (en)

A more powerful quake hit southern Japan early Saturday, killing at least seven people, toppling large buildings and triggering a massive landslide just over a day after an earlier tremor which left nine dead.

At Least 6 Killed As Rescuers Search For Survivors In 2nd Japan Quake
Sat, 16 Apr 2016 04:19:00 +0200   rferl (en)

At least six people were believed dead as rescuers were frantically digging through the rubble of buildings that collapsed after a second powerful earthquake hit southern Japan in as many days. Authorities briefly issued a tsunami warning April 16 after a magnitude 7.1 temblor was followed by a strong aftershock that measured 7.

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