Japan’s Meteorological Agency says it will provide information on a huge earthquake that could occur along the Nankai Trough off the country’s Pacific coast. This marks a major shift in the agency’s approach to preparing for a possible megaquake.
For nearly 40 years, the government’s earthquake-preparedness program was based on an assumption that it would be possible to predict the so-called Tokai quake that could hit the Pacific side of central Japan.
But on Tuesday, a panel of experts presented a report concluding that highly accurate prediction of the quake is impossible based on current knowledge.
At a meeting of the Central Disaster Management Council, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga stressed the need to review the government’s approach.
The Meteorological Agency decided to abandon the current system for issuing Tokai quake information.
Instead it plans to provide information from November 1st on a possible huge quake around the Nankai Trough, which extends off the coast of central and western Japan.
The new information is to come in 2 types — emergency and regular. Emergency information is to be issued when abnormal phenomena are observed along the trough, and officials begin assessing a potential link between the activity and a possible huge quake.
The government plans to study disaster preparedness measures for the entire Nankai Trough area, and designate Shizuoka Prefecture, central Japan and Kochi Prefecture in the west as model areas for that effort.
Source and image: NHK