2003 Hokkaidō earthquake

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2003 Hokkaidō earthquake
2003 Hokkaidō earthquake is located in Japan
2003 Hokkaidō earthquake
Date September 25, 2003 (2003-09-25)
Magnitude 8.3 Mw [1]
Depth 27 kilometers
Epicenter 41°47′N 143°52′E / 41.78°N 143.86°E / 41.78; 143.86
Areas affected Japan
Tsunami Yes
Casualties At least 589 injured [1]

The 2003 Hokkaidō earthquake (aka 2003 Tokachi-Oki Earthquake 十勝沖地震 (2003 Tokachi-Oki Jishin?) ) occurred on September 25, 2003 in Hokkaidō, Japan. It measured 8.3 on the moment magnitude scale and caused extensive damage, destroying roads all around Hokkaidō, and caused several power outages and damaging landslides.[1] A number of people were injured.[2] The earthquake also caused a tsunami reaching 4 meters in height.[3] The earthquake's presence was felt throughout Japan, stretching all the way to Honshu and Tokyo.[1] The earthquake was the largest in 2003.[4]

Tectonic setting[edit]

The location and moment tensor solution of this earthquake are consistent with it being a result of thrust faulting between the North American Plate and the subducting Pacific plate. In addition to experiencing large thrust earthquakes that originate on the interface between the plates, eastern Hokkaidō experiences great earthquakes that originate from the interior of the subducted Pacific plate.


The earthquake caused great damage, causing power outages, landslides, and destroying several ocean side home communities. Its epicenter was located about 60 kilometers (37 mi) offshore, causing less damage had it occurred directly under the city,[2] and an estimated cost was not given.

Regional seismicity[edit]

The region has been rocked by a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami with an estimated magnitude of 9 in 1667,[5] a magnitude 8.2 event in 1952,[6] a 1968 quake measuring 8.3 Mw, and one in 2008 measuring 7.1, all bearing the name Tokachi-Oki,[6] and a 1973 quake to the immediate north along the Kuril Trench plate boundary called the 1973 Nemuro-Oki Earthquake.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Preliminary Earthquake Report". United States Geological Survey. Retrieved July 12, 2008. 
  2. ^ a b S. F. A. Rafeeqi and S. H. Lodi (April 2004). "Earthquakes Cause Damages in Pakistan, Iran, Japan and Morocco" (PDF). Cowasjee Earthquake Study Centre. Retrieved May 20, 2012. 
  3. ^ "List of 2003 tsunamis". International Tsunami Information Center. 2005. Archived from the original on 2012-02-13. Retrieved 2008-07-12. 
  4. ^ "Magnitude 7 and Greater Earthquakes in 2003". United States Geological Survey. Retrieved May 20, 2012. 
  5. ^ AIST (December 10, 2004). "Transient Uplift After a 17th-Century Giant Earthquake in Hokkaido" (Press release). Retrieved May 20, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b http://wayback.archive.org/web/20120316110755/http://www.kagakunavi.jp/document/show/53/documents