2012 Kamaishi earthquake

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2012 Kamaishi earthquake
2012 M7-3 Kamaishi Japan Map.png
Date December 7, 2012 (2012-12-07)
Origin time 08:18 UTC (17:18 local time)[1]
Duration about 1 minute[2]
Magnitude 7.3
Depth 36.1 km (22 mi)
Epicenter 37°53′20″N 144°05′24″E / 37.889°N 144.090°E / 37.889; 144.090Coordinates: 37°53′20″N 144°05′24″E / 37.889°N 144.090°E / 37.889; 144.090
Areas affected Japan
Max. intensity MMI V
Shindo 5-
Tsunami 1.0 m in Ishinomaki, Miyagi
Landslides no
Aftershocks 8
Casualties 3 dead, 14 injured [3][4][5][6][7][8][9]

The 2012 Kamaishi earthquake occurred near the city of Kamaishi, Japan, on December 7.[10] The magnitude 7.3 shock generated a small tsunami, with waves up to 1 m high, that hit Ishinomaki in Miyagi Prefecture.[11] It occurred at a depth of 36 km within the Pacific Plate and was the result of reverse faulting, about 20 kilometres (12 mi) east of the Japan Trench.[1]



The 1 metre (3.3 ft) tsunami caused a mountain of sandbags to collapse in Ishinomaki.[8] An old man went missing and was found dead on December 14 after he sailed out to sea to try to evacuate from the tsunami in Kuji.[7][8]


Some pipeworks were damaged in an old people's facility in Saitama.[2] Some boards in a roof of an elementary school in Ichikai shifted.[12] An elderly lady died of shock at her home in Marumori, and a man died of shock after trying to evacuate from where he was working in Iitate, causing a total of 3 deaths.[7] This earthquake also caused 14 injuries.[8]

Previous earthquakes in Kamaishi[edit]

In 2001 and 2008, there were a series of micro earthquakes that could have started the tectonic plate movement that spawned the 2012 Kamaishi earthquake. These small series of earthquakes were a magnitude of about 3-4.9. It is studied that the shocks moved from the outer and deeper limits into the mainshock epicenter. These small earthquakes were a precursor that began the tectonic movement for the 2012 earthquake.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "M7.3 - 245km SE of Kamaishi, Japan". earthquake.usgs.gov. USGS. 7 December 2012. Retrieved 7 December 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "三陸沖地震 埼玉県内も震度4 女性1人けが". 産経新聞. 8 December 2012. Retrieved 9 December 2012. 
  3. ^ "Small tsunami waves hit Japan after 7.3-magnitude earthquake". NBC. 
  4. ^ "東北、関東で震度5弱=宮城・石巻に津波1メートル-11人けが、沿岸部は一時避難". 時事ドットコム. 2012-12-07. Retrieved 2012-12-08. 
  5. ^ http://mainichi.jp/select/news/20121208k0000e040155000c.html
  6. ^ http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20121208-00000016-khks-soci
  7. ^ a b c "2万5000人が一時避難 震度5弱 交通機関ほぼ平常に". 河北新報. 2012-12-08. Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  8. ^ a b c d "東北震度5弱:8県で14人けが". 毎日新聞. 2012-12-08. Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  9. ^ "不明の船長、遺体で発見=地震直後に沖合避難―岩手". 時事通信. 2012-12-14. Retrieved 2012-12-15. 
  10. ^ "Kamaishi Japan Rocked By 7.3 Magnitude Earthquake & Ofunato Japan Shaken by 6.2 Quake". 
  11. ^ "Japan earthquake sparks tsunami scare". BBC News. 2012-12-07. 
  12. ^ "三陸沖地震 宇都宮で男性軽傷、市貝町で小学校の天井がずれる". 産経新聞. 8 December 2012. Retrieved 9 December 2012. 
  13. ^ Uchida, Naoki; Matsuzawa, Toru; Ellsworth, William L.; Imanishi, Kazutoshi; Shimamura, Kouhei; Hasegawa, Akira (2012-05-01). "Source parameters of microearthquakes on an interplate asperity off Kamaishi, NE Japan over two earthquake cycles". Geophysical Journal International. 189 (2): 999–1014. doi:10.1111/j.1365-246X.2012.05377.x. ISSN 0956-540X.