He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?" - Romans 8:32

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Sunday, December 20, 2009 

100+ Earthquakes Rock Shizuoka in Central Japan

* I only felt one...go figure!*

Shizuoka Prefecture, just west of Tokyo, has been hit with a series of over one-hundred earthquakes ranging in magnitude of up to 5.3 on the Richter scale since Dec. 17th.

Between morning hours of the 17th and 8pm on the 18th (JST), 121 earthquakes powerful enough to be felt have shaken the Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA). Nine of those earthquakes have been rated as a three or above on the JMA seismic intensity scale, which measures shaking on the earth’s surface. Any score of three or more is described as “rather strong” and felt by most people in the affected area.

The two most powerful quakes so far have each registered 5.3 in magnitude on the Richter scale, or a weak five on the JMA’s scale. They hit the Izu Peninsula at approximately 11:45pm on the 17th and 8:45am on the 18th.

One local resident described the strong morning quake to TV reporters, “I felt like it struck with a bang from underneath. Our TV fell down, and the framed pictures on the wall, too.”

At least seven people are reported to have sustained various injuries, including one elderly man who fell down the stairs in his house and suffered serious fractures to his lower spine. Houses, roads, and water pipes were also damaged during the larger quakes.

JMA released a warning of the strong possibility of continued powerful tremors for at least the next several days, based on historical examples in the earthquake-prone region. JMA stated that they believe the earthquakes are being caused by movement of magma deep under the region, but that it will not result in any volcanic activity.

While the current seismic activity is likely to continue, it is not believe that the quakes are related a “Tokai Earthquake,” an extremely violent quake feared to strike the great Tokyo region in the coming years, the Yomiuri reported.

- examiner.com

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