A government panel is examining ways to assess possible signs of a mega-quake along the vast Nankai Trough off Japan’s Pacific coast.
The panel, which was set up in September, is tasked with reviewing current disaster preparedness programs that focus on the possibility of a giant quake striking a limited area in Tokai, in central Japan.
Japan’s Meteorological Agency is monitoring the movements of tectonic plates around the clock using devices that can gauge stress underground.
The agency has installed the instruments at 27 locations in the central prefecture of Shizuoka and elsewhere.
But experts had not predicted that a magnitude-9 quake would hit northeastern Japan in March of 2011.
The government now assumes a mega-quake of similar magnitude will occur along the Nankai Trough off central to southwestern Japan.
On Tuesday, a research group of the panel compiled a draft report on their studies.
The report pointed out that predicting the timing and the scale of a mega-quake is difficult.
The research group gave 4 specific cases of natural changes and examined how to assess them.
The cases include movement of part of the ground in the Nankai Trough region, and an earthquake of magnitude 7 occurs in the region.
The group said these natural changes can be associated with the increased likelihood of a giant quake in and around the area within one week or two, and the first 3 days in particular.
The panel plans to carry out detailed discussions based on the report.
Source and image: NHK