TOKYO, Feb. 22 (UPI) —
Central Tokyo someday could possibly be rocked by an earthquake that registers a 7, the strongest on the Japanese seismic-intensity scale, researchers say.
The prediction for a major quake under northern Tokyo Bay is based on research by the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry that found a portion of a boundary between plates of the Earth is about 6.2 miles shallower than previously believed, The Yomiuri Shimbun reported.
While there are many uncertainties in predicting earthquakes, based on the new intensity projection, 11,000 people would be killed and 850,000 buildings would collapse or be burned down in a worst-case scenario, the researchers say.
Previous estimates had projected a quake below northern Tokyo Bay would be in the 6 range.
Based on the findings, the ministry said it will begin a review next fiscal year of existing earthquake damage estimates.
The possible quake is one of 18 the government’s Central Disaster Prevention Council has concluded may occur with an epicenter below the Tokyo metropolitan area.