Massive 7.6 quake shifts Japan coastline by over 800 feet, satellite images reveal

NEW DLEHI: On January 1, 2024, a powerful 7.6-magnitude earthquake struck Japan, causing remarkable changes to the coastline of the Noto Peninsula. This seismic event prompted evacuation orders for residents in coastal areas that experienced significant uplift. Satellite imagery revealed that the intense uplift extended the coastline by up to 820 feet (250 meters), an area larger than two American football fields.
A tsunami of several meters (feet) followed the initial major quake, adding to the damage.Aftershocks have continued daily.
Thousands of people made homeless by a powerful earthquake on the western coast of Japan were coping with weariness and uncertainty a week after the temblor left at least 200 dead and dozens missing.
Japanese meteorological authorities have issued a warning that strong earthquakes may continue for another month. Although their occurrence is expected to decrease gradually, the frequency of these quakes is still notably higher than previous seismic events, with a total exceeding 1,000.
Nahel Belgherze shared images on X (formerly Twitter) showing the dramatic transformation of the Noto Peninsula’s coastal areas. The seafloor rose above the water, creating new beaches and leaving some ports dry and inaccessible to boats. These photos were taken after the earthquake and subsequent tsunami had subsided.
“The earthquake that struck Japan’s Noto peninsula on Monday was so strong that the coastline has moved up to 250 meters offshore due to significant land uplift,” researchers from the Earthquake Research Institute at the University of Tokyo said. They found evidence of coseismic coastal uplift at 10 locations along the northwest coast of the Noto Peninsula, from Kaiso to Akasaki sites. The pattern of estimated coseismic coastal uplift appears to decrease southward from Kaiso to Akasaki.
In addition to the land changes, the area near Akasaki port experienced tsunamis nearly 14 feet high (4.2 meters), as indicated by water stains on building walls found during field investigations. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) Advanced Land Observing Satellite-2 (ALOS-2) also captured images of the coastal uplift. Comparisons of the coastline from June 2023 to January 2, 2024, show how the shoreline shifted seaward in multiple areas, including Nafune port, Wajima city, and Minazuki bay.
While these satellite images provide a clear view of the changes following the January 1 earthquake, investigations along the coast continue to assess the full impact of this significant seismic event.
As criticism grew about the government’s disaster response, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida‘s administration earmarked 4.7 billion yen ($33 million) for the disaster to provide food, water, blankets, milk and clothing. The spending was expected to grow.
(With inputs from agencies) Source

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