A powerful earthquake struck Japan on Tuesday morning. The magnitude of the earthquake was recorded at 7.4 on the Richter scale. However, the intensity has since been downgraded to 6.9 by the US Geological Survey. However, the fears of a tsunami striking the country are imminent after the Japanese earthquake.
The risks surrounding the Fukushima coastline have prompted the Japanese officials to take immediate steps to evacuate residents from the coastal areas. The Fukushima Dai-chi nuclear plant may not be able to withstand more shocks. Currently, engineers and scientists are restarting the plant again.
What was the source of the Japanese earthquake?
The latest Japanese earthquake is a part of aftershock series originating since March 2011 earthquakes. The Pacific plate is constantly brushing against the Okhotsk plate under Japan which caused the quake. The plate is moving towards Japan at a rate of 9 centimeters per year.
The epicenter of the latest quake was 10 kilometers off the coast of Fukushima.
Following the 6.9-Japanese earthquake, at least 5 more powerful aftershocks have been recorded off Namie.
Is Japan staring at a natural calamity again?
Japan is hit by at least 5 minor quakes every day. However, the number had come down drastically in last few months. The latest Japanese earthquake is the biggest quake recorded since March 2011. The entire region is susceptible to earthquakes and aftershocks.
New Zealand also experienced an earthquake of 5.6-magnitude at around the same time as the Japanese earthquake. Last week, New Zealand was rocked by a 7.8-magnitude quake. It could be an aftershock from that series. This time the aftershocks struck the northeastern part of Wellington. So far, no more deaths have been reported.
Meanwhile, bigger and more violent tsunamis have not been ruled out completely even as the waves as big as 140 centimeters were recorded at Sendai port. Tsunami waves were also reported at Soma Port, Kuji and Onahama ports.
In March 2011, the 9.0 magnitude Japanese earthquake caused the massive tsunami. The origin was marked around the Fukushima prefecture and Miyagi prefecture. Nearly 18,000 people were killed and the Fukushima Nuclear plant suffered a major meltdown. The nuclear plant suffered minor damage in this Japanese earthquake.
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The effect on markets
The Japanese earthquake made a visible impact on the USD/JPY, bring it down to 110.3. The USD/JPY has managed to recover to 110.813 latest.
Meanwhile, if officials fail to revive the spent fuel cooling system of the Fukushima nuclear plant the stock market may fall. The powerful Japanese earthquake shunted out the cooling system. Though the system has been restored, dangers still loom large.
In a worst case scenario, the temperatures can rise to risky levels 7 days from now.
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