Girish Mahajan

1945 Mikawa earthquake

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Origin time  03:38 JST
Depth  11 km (7 mi)
Max. intensity  JMA VII
Number of casualties  2,306
Magnitude  6.8 ML
Areas affected  Japan
Date  13 January 1945
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Similar  Air Florida Flight 90, 1944 Tōnankai earthquake, 1891 Mino–Owari earthquake, 1948 Fukui earthquake, 1946 Nankai earthquake

The 1945 Mikawa earthquake (三河地震, Mikawa jishin) occurred off Aichi prefecture, Japan at 03:38 AM on January 13. As it occurred during World War II, information about the disaster was censored, and efforts at keeping the disaster secret hampered relief efforts and contributed to a high death toll.

Contents

Earthquake

The Mikawa earthquake's epicenter was offshore in Mikawa Bay at a depth of eleven kilometers. The city of Tsu recorded a magnitude of 6 on the Richter Scale; however, areas in southern Aichi prefecture were closer to the epicenter, and suffered significant damage.

The earthquake created the Fukozu Fault, named after the village in the middle of the fault-line, in an area adjoining the west of the Tōkaidō Main Line railway between Okazaki and Gamagōri, Aichi Prefecture. The fault's total visible distance is little more than 9 km, but is of great interest to geologists as it has a right-angle bend in its middle part, rather than being straight or at a gentle curve. It is also remarkable in that ground displacement at the fault is up to one meter in places; however, the Tokaido Railway Line, although only 150 meters from the fault line in places, suffered no damage.

Damage

Hardest hit were what is now Hazu District: Nishio city, Kira town, Anjō city, Hekinan city and Gamagōri city. The confirmed death toll was 1,180, with an additional 1,126 missing and 3,866 injured. As the earthquake occurred in the middle of the night, and towards the end of the war when fuel supplies were very low, only two houses were lost to fire, but 7,221 houses were totally destroyed, and 16,555 were severely damaged.

Previous events

Similar large earthquakes have occurred in the same location in 1685 and 1686, and the large 1944 Tōnankai earthquake was also in the same area.

References

1945 Mikawa earthquake Wikipedia


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