Study warns a Nankai trench earthquake would displace 10 million people in Japan, and kill 323,000

March 20, 2013JAPANA Japanese government panel is estimating that a 9.0 magnitude earthquake in the Nankai Trough region will do damage worth $2.2 billion, a figure that is much higher than the $177 million from the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011. Scientists are predicting that the earthquake is due “in the not-too-distant future”, based on historical rough calculations. These figures do not include the possible nuclear fallout from an earthquake of that magnitude. The panel also predicts the number of evacuees to reach 9.5 million a week after it hits and that 40 out of the country’s 47 prefectures will suffer damage to their infrastructure. 27.1 million will suffer power outages, while 34.4 million will be without water. In an earlier report released in August, the panel said around 323,000 could die from an earthquake with its epicenter in the Nankai Trough, also a big number compared to the 19,000 who died or were reported missing in the 2011 disasters. But if all houses and key buildings are already quake-resistant by the time the earthquake will occur, the damage can be cut to almost half at $836 million. That is why the government’s priority would be to come up with basic policy measures by the end of the month against future earthquakes. The Nankai trough runs from the gulf of Suruga, Shizuoka Prefecture, central Japan, to the sea of Hyuga, off Miyazaki Prefecture in the southwestern Japan region of Kyushu. Historically, this area experiences 8.0 magnitude earthquakes once every 100 to 150 years, with the last one occurring last 1946, where around 1,330 people perished. –JDP
Is Japan flirting with disaster in new energy source? Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation, a Japanese state-owned prospecting company says it has successfully extracted methane gas from an undersea methane hydrate deposit in the Nankai trench south of Japan’s main island of Honshu. This marks the first successful extraction of methane from such deep sea deposits. The team expects their pilot rig could extract up to 10,000 cubic meters of methane gas per day. Deep sea methane hydrates could supply Japan’s energy needs for 100 years. For a resource-poor country still recovering from the aftermath of the March 2011 tsunami and Fukushima nuclear disaster, this sounds almost too good to be true. But methane hydrate mining carries unique risks which could make this one of the most dangerous sources of energy. Methane hydrates are also called methane clathrates. They consist of molecules of methane (CH4) trapped in a crystalline cage of water (H2O) molecules. The substance somewhat resembles water ice but it forms only under the extremely high pressures and cold temperatures of the deep ocean floor and, unlike water ice, methane hydrate ice is flammable and prone to explosive sublimation. Extracting methane (the primary component in natural gas) from methane hydrates is difficult because such deposits only occur in very deep water. The Japanese drilling ship Chikyu, also called Godzilla-maru for its enormous size and 100 meter tall drilling derrek, performed its methane extraction about 50 miles offshore from Japan’s Atsumi peninsula 300 meters (1000 feet) beneath the Pacific’s surface. Mining methane hydrates is risky because these are unstable solids. It is possible that BP’s 2010 deepwater horizon blow out which dumped millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico was triggered by the explosive sublimation of a methane hydrate deposit. It is also possible that mining methane hydrates near the edge of continental slopes may cause landslides and trigger tsunamis. A third risk of methane hydrates is their global warming potential. Any methane escaping from such deposits is 21 times more powerful than CO2 as a greenhouse gas. Burning the methane trapped in undersea deposits would release twice as much carbon dioxide as all of the world’s coal, oil, oil-shale and gas deposits. Given Japan’s energy shortage it is understandable that its government might want to explore risky options such as undersea methane hydrate deposits, but we need to carefully weigh the risks against the benefits. –Green Prophet
contribution Emanni
This entry was posted in Civilizations unraveling, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Earthquake Omens?, Ecology overturn, Electric power disruption & grid failure, Environmental Threat, High-risk potential hazard zone, Human behavioral change after disaster, Infrastructure collapse, Landslide & geological deformation, Natural gas explosion, Potential Earthchange hotspot, Seismic tremors, Signs of Magnetic Field weakening, Tectonic plate movement, Time - Event Acceleration. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Study warns a Nankai trench earthquake would displace 10 million people in Japan, and kill 323,000

  1. Frightening statistics


  2. Chris says:

    With all the risks involved, Japan is still going to try and get this energy source? Excuse me, how stupid is that? I now think that it was stupid to locate a nuclear power plant on the coast and in an earthquake zone to begin with… look what happened. They are going to extract this methane and what else will happen? Solar or hydropower would be a better option for them.. and shut down the remaining nuclear power plants in the country. They are all in an earthquake zone, IMO.


  3. btruth says:

    Well they don’t seem to care about 75 trillion becquerels being released from FUKUSHIMA over the past two years! So why should they or anyone care about this!?


  4. Mike h says:

    Yep frightening indeed.It appears we have underestimated the immense power at play with this beautiful planets energies.Humans of course can really never predict any outcome concerning this science,so to think playing with nuclear energy on a global scale was okay,just shows how stupid a high IQ can be! Common sense is not to too common amongst ego’s.


  5. Irene C says:

    This is actually a dilemma. People need power, but the power they can get is dangerous. Wind and solar are good options, but what happens on cloudy and/or windless days. Those options only work when conditions are right. They are in an earthquake zone, so drilling should not be an option. Praying for the people of Japan.


    • Chris says:

      Geo thermal is an option… Iceland is a good example. Geo thermal to steam powered generating plants that use turbines to generate power. Build several of them.


All comments are moderated. We reserve the right not to post any comment deemed defamatory, inappropriate, or spam.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s