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Do You think that Tokyo will cease to exist?

Updated on March 26, 2012

A month ago, the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun published an article warning Japanese people against a very strong earthquake (even strength of 7 on the Richter scale) that may hit Tokyo in the next four years. This hypothesis was based on research conducted at Tokyo University. According to the researchers from the Seismic Research Centre, especially threatened is country's capital, the home for 13 million people.

Japan is situated at the junction of tectonic plates, and Tokyo is one of the most dangerous areas. The capital of Japan with Yokohama, Kawasaki and other nearby towns is creating a big Tokyo, which brings together a total of about 35 million inhabitants.

Unfortunately, the next earthquakes will be destroying Tokyo. Despite this town still attracts people from all over the country and even the world. For some time can be seen population growth in the Tokyo metropolitan area. The capital is the dominant center of political, commercial, financial, educational and media of the country. Tokyo is unique in Japan in terms of headquarters offices, ministries, corporations, universities, museums, theaters and theme parks.

Very strong earthquake in four years - is that possible? According to researchers at the University of Tokyo, earthquake with a magnitude of 7 on the Richter scale occurs before 2017 with a probability of 75%. These estimates are much more pessimistic than official forecasts, of the Japanese government, which is also estimated at around 70%, but over the next three decades. The difference is then huge. University researchers argue that those disproportions are caused by outdated data or other forecasting models used by the government.

According to scientist increased risk is due to extremely frequent small shocks in Tokyo that have rise significantly after a giant earthquake in the north of the country in March last year. In 1995, earthquake with a magnitude of 6.9 degree, caused the deaths of about 6.5 thousand people in Tokyo and in surrounding areas.

Material losses were estimated then at 100 billion dollars. The worst in effect earthquake took place on 1 September 1923 - it destroyed two thirds of the city. The earthquake had a strength of 7.9 and killed 140 000 people in the region of Tokyo. According to seismologists, such disasters can strike again at any time in the city. Seismic activity in the region of Kanto, where is capital of Japan, grew five times after last year's earthquake. Such an increase in seismic activity near the capital, leads to a rise probability of major earthquakes.

I suggest to the government and people of Japan to be prepare for this phenomenon.

Emphasizes Professor Shinichi Sakai of Seismic Research Centre, University of Tokyo.

Scientists point out that it is difficult to predict exactly when and with what strength occurs another earthquake. They appeal to the authorities, not to disregard the warnings and be prepared for a major disaster.

These concerns are confirmed by even last earthquake of 28.01.2012, on strength of 5.8 on the Richter scale, that struck northeastern Japan. The epicenter was 20 km underground in Yamanashi Prefecture, west of Tokyo. However, the shocks were felt in the capital of Japan. Fortunately, there was no information about possible casualties or damage.

Does knowing about all those dangers prevents you to go to Japan?

Me? Definitely yes! :)


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    • loonyBG profile image

      loonyBG 5 years ago

      The Japanese are definitely people who can adapt and rebuild quickly. But that does not change the fact that if a very strong earthquake occurs, the city will be ruined.

      The only hope in super-powers of Japan people :)

    • profile image

      EvansP 5 years ago

      I would love to visit Japan. In fact, it's on my list to visit next! One thing I've realised, looking through history, with the world wars and wars since, with disease epidemics and pandemics, is that the human population is quite a robust species. I still think Tokyo will be around for a long long long long time to come. They are masters of technology and civil engineering, so with better building regulation (yes, sometimes regulations take a while to change, but all goverments have bureaucracy to contend with) they should be better equiped to handle natural disasters. Also, mostly, we learn from the past, so disaster relief will be much better too.