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Japan revises guidelines for earthquake probabilities

New earthquake probability scale Japanese government officials have revised the chances for earthquakes linked to marine trenches in order to avoid misleading the public. The government’s task force for earthquake research released its assessment of quakes that may hit Japan, along with their probabilities of occurring within 30 years.

Currently, the chances of quakes linked to marine trenches are given in percentages.

But experts fear that such descriptions could cause misunderstandings. People might feel safe living in an area with a small quake possibility figure, such as 0.1 percent or less.

The task force said it has introduced a new 4-rank scale to describe quake probabilities.

The highest rank of 3 means having the biggest chance of a large-scale quake within 30 years– a chance of 26 percent or more. Rank 2 is for areas with the chance of a quake between 3 and 26 percent. The rank of 1 suggests quake probabilities of less than 3 percent. Another rank of X suggests the chances of a quake cannot be calculated due to a lack of data, but an imminent quake cannot be ruled out.

Under the new classification system, possible mega quakes, including along the Nankai Trough off the Pacific coast from central through western Japan, are ranked 3.

August 29, 2018 - Posted by | Japan, safety

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