From 5 August, fears of another major earthquake in Japan began to spread on Twitter. The source of the unease was a screenshot from a Japanese talk show, which laid out the following series of earthquakes leading up to the Tohoku earthquake in 2011, alongside a similar series of earthquakes which have struck in recent days.

Here are the two sequences of events.

  • In 2011:

22 February, magnitude 6.3 earthquake in New Zealand

15 days later…

9 March, shindo scale “strong 5” earthquake in Miyagi Prefecture

2 days later…

11 March, the catastrophic Tohoku earthquake and tsunami

  • In 2013:

21 July, magnitude 6.5 earthquake in New Zealand

14 days later…

4 August, shindo scale “strong 5” earthquake in Miyagi Prefecture

Basically, the “pattern” of two quakes which hit recently strikingly resembles the two which presaged the horrific 2011 Tohoku earthquake two years ago. So if this was indeed a pattern, a large earthquake would be expected to hit on 6 August, 2 days after the Miyagi quake.

On Twitter, people in Japan expressed their feelings about this rumour:

“It’s the usual fear.”

“It’s scary, huh (´;ω;`)”

“Well, probably just a coincidence but…”

“You can’t just take one example to use as a basis, ignoring all other patterns.”

“I wish they’d stop putting this kind of thing on TV!”

While we want to believe this is merely a far-fetched story aimed at boosting viewing figures, it’s important to always be prepared for an earthquake. In any case, we can only fervently hope that these fears are unfounded.
[ Read in Japanese ]