The tragic earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan earlier today have unleashed a rapidly unfolding catastrophe, as the tsunami crosses the Pacific and as casualty and damage reports mount. The basics, via the U.S. Geological Survey, which monitors earthquake activity worldwide:
- Magnitude: 8.9 – the largest earthquake since the Chilean earthquake last year, which registered 8.8. Last month’s quake in New Zealand registered 6.3.
- Date/time: Friday, March 11 at 2:46 p.m. local time. (12:46 a.m. Eastern Standard Time)
- Depth: 15.2 miles. Shallower earthquakes cause more damage. Last year’s Chilean quake was 22 miles down. The New Zealand quake wasÃ‚ shallow, just 3 miles underground.
- Location: 38.322Ã‚ °N 142.369Ã‚ °E – 80 miles east of Sendai, Japan and 231 miles northeast of Tokyo.