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2004 Chuetsu earthquake

The Chuetsu Earthquakes (中越地震) began at 5:56 p.m. on Saturday, October 23, 2004
(0856 UT, same day). The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) has named it the Heisei
16 Niigata Prefecture Chuetsu Earthquake (平成 16 年新潟県中越地震) or The Mid
Niigata Prefecture Earthquake of 2004.

The first quake struck the Chuetsu area of Niigata Prefecture, Japan with a reading of
7 on the Japanese shindo scale at Kawaguchi, Niigata. On the Richter scale, the
moment magnitude of the earthquake is estimated at 6.9. (For comparison, the Great
Hanshin earthquake, which devastated much of Kobe, measured 7 on the shindo
scale, with a magnitude of 7.2.) The earthquake occurred at a depth of 15.8 km. The
JMA gave the coordinates of the earthquake as 37.3° N 138.8° W.

A second earthquake occurred at 6:12 p.m. (16 minutes after the first). This one, at a
much shallower depth, also caused a shindo of 6+ and had a magnitude of 5.9. A
third, at 6:34, had a shindo of 6−. At 7:46, another shindo 6− earthquake occurred.
Intervening and subsequent earthquakes of lesser intensity also shook the region.
During the first 66 hours, 15 earthquakes with intensities of shindo 5− or higher
rocked the Chuetsu region.

In a press release, the Geographical Survey Institute (GSI) of the Government of

Japan published preliminary estimates that a fault having a length of 22 km and a
width of 17 km moved approximately 1.4 m.

This was the deadliest earthquake to strike Japan since the January 1995 Great
Hanshin earthquake.


Damaged road; photo taken in October, 2004, Ojiya

As late as November 3, the 39th fatality attributable to the earthquakes occurred as

perceptible aftershocks continued. Over 3,000 injuries were reported in Niigata
Prefecture. Over one hundred thousand people fled their homes. The earthquakes
caused houses to collapse in Ojiya and damaged thousands in the area.
For the first time in its history, a Shinkansen train derailed while in service. Eight out
of ten cars of the Toki 325 (a 200 Series Shinkansen) derailed on the Joetsu
Shinkansen line between Nagaoka Station in Nagaoka and Urasa Station in Yamato;
no injuries were reported among the 155 passengers. Railbeds, bridges and tunnels
were all affected. East Japan Railway Company stopped all trains in Niigata
Prefecture, including the extensively damaged Joetsu Line, Shinetsu Main Line,
Iiyama Line, Tadami Line and Echigo Line. Part of Nagaoka Station appeared ready to
collapse as a result of an aftershock, but after a brief closure, the station reopened.

The segment of the Joetsu Shinkansen between Echigo Yuzawa Station and Nagaoka
Station closed. Buses transferred passengers between the two operating segments of
the line: Tokyo Station–Echigo Yuzawa Station and Nagaoka Station–Niigata Station.

On December 27, 2004, service resumed on all remaining parts of the Joetsu and
Iiyama Lines reopened. On December 28, 2004, the Joetsu Shinkansen also reopened,
the last to do so.

Japan Highways closed all expressways in Niigata Prefecture. Closures affected the
Kanetsu Expressway and the Hokuriku Expressway. As of November 4, the Kanetsu
Expressway remained closed between Nagaoka Interchange and Koide Interchange.
This segment reopened on November 5.

Landslides and other problems forced closure of two national highways, Route 8 and
Route 17, as well as several prefectural roads. This isolated several localities,
including nearly the entire village of Yamakoshi, which was then a village in the
district of Koshi but since merged with and became part of the city of Nagaoka. On
July 22, 2005, the government lifted the nine-month-old evacuation order for 528 of
the 690 affected households.

The earthquakes also caused a landslide that partially buried three vehicles. A young
boy was rescued from one of these vehicles, but his mother and sister perished.
(Recent typhoons had waterlogged the soil, making landslides more likely.)

The quake broke water mains. Extensive electric power, telephone (including cellular
telephone) and Internet outages were reported. The cellular telephone system
suffered from direct damage to relay stations, as well as depletion of battery back-up
power supplies in as little as a day.

The shindo scale is a scale of intensity, like the Mercalli Intensity Scale. It provides
information related to the severity of shaking at the earth's surface, where it affects
structures. In contrast, the magnitude of the earthquake describes the energy
released by the quake.

Niigata Prefecture is located in the Hokuriku region of Honshū, the largest island of
Japan. The initial earthquake caused noticeable shaking across almost half of Honshū,
including parts of the Tohoku, Hokuriku, Chubu, and Kantō regions.

REFERENCE:From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia(Redirected from 2004 Chuetsu

2004 Indian Ocean earthquake
The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, known by the scientific community as the
Sumatra-Andaman earthquake, [1] was a great undersea earthquake that occurred
at 00:58:53 UTC (07:58:53 local time) December 26, 2004 with an epicentre off the
west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The earthquake triggered a series of devastating
tsunamis along the coasts of most landmasses bordering the Indian Ocean, killing
large numbers of people and inundating coastal communities across South and
Southeast Asia, including parts of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand. Although
initial estimates had put the worldwide death toll at over 275,000 with thousands of
others missing, more recent analysis compiled by the United Nations lists a total of
229,866 people lost, including 186,983 dead and 42,883 missing.[2] The figure
excludes 400 to 600 people who are believed to have perished in Myanmar which is
more than that government's official figure of only 61 dead.[3] The catastrophe is one
of the deadliest disasters in modern history. The disaster is known in Asia and in the
international media as the Asian Tsunami, and also called the Boxing Day
Tsunami in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom as it took place
on Boxing Day. Coincidentally, the tsunami occurred exactly one year after the 2003
earthquake that devastated the southern Iranian city of Bam and exactly two years
before the 2006 Hengchun earthquake.

The magnitude of the earthquake was originally recorded as 9.0 on the Richter scale,
but has been upgraded to between 9.1 and 9.3. At this magnitude, it is the second
largest earthquake ever recorded on a seismograph. This earthquake was also
reported to be the longest duration of faulting ever observed, lasting between
500(8.3 minutes) and 600(10 minutes)seconds, and it was large enough that it
caused the entire planet to vibrate at least half an inch, or over a centimetre.[4] It also
triggered earthquakes in other locations as far away as Alaska.[5]

The earthquake originated in the Indian Ocean just north of Simeulue island, off the
western coast of northern Sumatra. The resulting tsunami devastated the shores of
Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand and other countries with waves up to 30 m
(100 ft). It caused serious damage and deaths as far as the east coast of Africa, with
the farthest recorded death due to the tsunami occurring at Rooi Els in South Africa,
8,000 km (5,000 mi) away from the epicentre. In total, eight people in South Africa
died due to abnormally high sea levels and waves.
The plight of the many affected people and countries prompted a widespread
humanitarian response. In all, the worldwide community donated more than $7 billion
(2004 US dollars) in humanitarian aid to those affected by the earthquake.

Earthquake characteristics

Epicentre of the earthquake, just north of Simeulue Island

The earthquake was initially reported as moment magnitude, Mw 9.0 (note that this is
not the so-called Richter scale or local magnitude scale, Ml, which is known to
saturate at higher magnitudes.) In February 2005 scientists revised the estimate of
the magnitude to Mw9.3.[6] Although the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has accepted
these new numbers, the United States Geological Survey has so far not changed its
estimate of 9.1. The most recent studies in 2006 have obtained a magnitude of Mw
9.1 to 9.3. Dr. Hiroo Kanamori of the California Institute of Technology believes that
Mw = 9.2 is a good representative value for the size of this great earthquake.
Reference: EERI Publication 2006-06, page 14 []

The hypocentre of the main earthquake was at 3.316°N, 95.854°E (3°19′N

95°51.24′E), approximately 160 km (100 mi) west of Sumatra, at a depth of 30 km
(19 mi) below mean sea level (initially reported as 10 km). The earthquake itself
(apart from the tsunami) was felt as far away as Bangladesh, India, Malaysia,
Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore and the Maldives.

Indonesia lies between the Pacific Ring of Fire along the north-eastern islands
adjacent to and including New Guinea and the Alpide belt along the south and west
from Sumatra, Java, Bali, Flores, and Timor. The December 2004 earthquake actually
occurred within the Alpide belt. [citation needed]
Great earthquakes such as the Sumatra-Andaman event, which are invariably
associated with megathrust events in subduction zones, have seismic moments that
can account for a significant fraction of the global earthquake moment across
century-scale time periods. The Sumatra-Andaman earthquake was the largest
earthquake since 1964, and the second largest since the Kamchatka earthquake of
October 16, 1737.

Of all the seismic moment released by earthquakes in the 100 years from 1906
through 2005, roughly one-eighth was due to the Sumatra-Andaman event. This
quake, together with the Good Friday Earthquake (Alaska, 1964) and the Great
Chilean Earthquake (1960), account for almost half of the total moment. The much
smaller but still catastrophic 1906 San Francisco earthquake is included in the
diagram at left for perspective. Mw denotes the magnitude of an earthquake on the
moment magnitude scale.

Since 1900 the only earthquakes recorded with a greater magnitude were the 1960
Great Chilean Earthquake (magnitude 9.5) and the 1964 Good Friday Earthquake in
Prince William Sound (9.2). The only other recorded earthquake of magnitude 9.0 or
greater was off Kamchatka, Russia, on November 4, 1952 (magnitude 9.0).[7] Each of
these megathrust earthquakes also spawned tsunamis in the Pacific Ocean, but the
death toll from these was significantly lower. The worst of these caused only a few
thousand deaths, primarily because of the lower population density along the coasts
near affected areas and the much greater distances to more populated coasts.

Other very large megathrust earthquakes occurred in 1868 (Peru, Nazca Plate and
South American Plate); 1827 (Colombia, Nazca Plate and South American Plate);
1812 (Venezuela, Caribbean Plate and South American Plate) and 1700 (Cascadia
Earthquake, western U.S. and Canada, Juan de Fuca Plate and North American Plate).
These are all believed to have been of greater than magnitude 9, but no accurate
measurements were available at the time.

REFERENCE: From Wikipedia,



Caliwatan, Michael F.
Sibayan, Mark Joseph M.
Engr. Cris Lictaoa