Early Friday morning Japan was hit with their largest earthquake in over 100 years. The epicenter of the 8.9 magnitude earthquake occurred at just over 370 km off the coast of Japan, resulting in massive (up to 10 meter high) tsunami waves, building collapses, landslides, fires, and unfortunately, at least 50 deaths so far. What’s worse, is that as of the time of this post, Japan has been continuously barraged with over 40 aftershocks reaching as high as 7.1 magnitude and only dropping below a magnitude of 5 twice (each 4.9 M). This earthquake and it’s aftershocks occurred as a result of movement along the convergent plate boundary between the North American tectonic plate (yes, that is correct) and the subducting Pacific plate.
While I’d love to elaborate further, and certainly this event deserves as much, I am not a national news site with a staff of writers to cover such happenings. I am, as you should know by now, an individual person who writes these posts in my spare time. Unfortunately, that time is fairly lacking right now. So instead I will ask you to read some of my previous posts on recent earthquakes in Chile and Haiti, as well as check out some very useful sites which do elaborate with not only words, but vivid pictures, videos (CNN) as well as detailed data and graphics (United States Geological Survey).