Japanese earthquake significantly increased risk of a big quake beneath Tokyo

Scientists at the Tokyo Earthquake Research Institute said there was evidence that pressures on the tectonic plates that meet below the city have changed, raising the possibility of two or more focal points on the plate boundaries shifting simultaneously. That would result in an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.3, they estimate…

“Even before March, we estimated that there was a 70 per cent likelihood of a major earthquake affecting Tokyo at any time within the next 30 years,” said Hirata, who is also a member of the government’s Earthquake Research Committee.

“That is a very high probability and effectively means that there will be a major disaster here, although we cannot at the moment make a more accurate prediction of when it might strike,” he said.