1945 Mikawa earthquake

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1945 Mikawa earthquake
1945 Mikawa earthquake is located in Japan
1945 Mikawa earthquake
Date January 13, 1945 (1945-01-13)
Origin time 03:38 JST [1]
Magnitude 6.8 ML [2]
Depth 11 km (7 mi)
Epicenter 34°42′N 137°06′E / 34.7°N 137.1°E / 34.7; 137.1Coordinates: 34°42′N 137°06′E / 34.7°N 137.1°E / 34.7; 137.1 [2]
Areas affected Japan
Max. intensity JMA VII [3]
Casualties 2,306 [2]

The 1945 Mikawa earthquake (三河地震 Mikawa jishin?) was an earthquake which occurred off Aichi prefecture, Japan at 03:38 AM on January 13, 1945. As the earthquake occurred during World War II, information about the disaster was censored,[1] and efforts at keeping the disaster secret hampered relief efforts and contributed to a high death toll.


The Mikawa earthquake had its epicenter offshore in Mikawa Bay at a depth of eleven kilometers). The city of Tsu recorded a magnitude of 6 on the Richter Scale; however, areas in southern Aichi prefecture were closer to the epicenter, and suffered significant damage.

The earthquake created the Fukozu Fault, named after the village lying in the middle of the fault-line, in an area adjoining the west of the Tōkaidō Main Line railway between Okazaki and Gamagōri, Aichi Prefecture. The fault has a total visible distance of little more than 9km, but is of great interest to geologists as it has a right-angle bend in its middle portion, rather than being straight or at a gentle curve. It is also remarkable in that ground displacement at the fault is up to one meter in places; however, the Tokaido Railway Line, although located only 150 meters distant from the fault line in places, suffered no damage.[4]


Hardest hit were what is now Hazu District: Nishio city, Kira town, Anjō city, Hekinan city and Gamagōri city. The earthquake had a confirmed death toll of 1180, with an additional 1126 missing and 3866 injured. A total of 7221 houses were totally destroyed, and 16,555 severely damaged. However, as the earthquake occurred in the middle of the night, and also towards the end of the war when fuel supplies were very low, only two houses burned down.

Previous events[edit]

Similar large earthquakes have occurred in the same location in 1685 and 1686, and the large 1944 Tōnankai earthquake was also in the same area.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Taniguchi et al. 1988, p. 378
  2. ^ a b c Utsu, T. R. (2002), "A List of Deadly Earthquakes in the World: 1500-2000", International Handbook of Earthquake & Engineering Seismology, Part A, Volume 81A (First ed.), Academic Press, p. 706, ISBN 978-0124406520 
  3. ^ Taniguchi et al. 1988, p. 384
  4. ^ Tsuya, H. (1948), The Fukozu Fault. A Remarkable Earthquake Fault formed during the Mikawa Earthquake of January 13, 1945, pp. 59–75, ISSN 0040-8972