Powerful Japanese Earthquakes Hit Cities, Trigger Tsunami Warnings

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Strict building guidelines ensure that structures must withstand shaking, and advanced earthquake alerts provide up to 20 seconds of notice before the most severe tremors begin. 

This preparedness stands in stark contrast to other regions, like Turkey, Syria, Morocco, and Afghanistan, where earthquakes of similar or lower magnitudes have resulted in more devastating death tolls.

The Historical Context 

Japan has a history of devastating tsunamis, with the 2011 tsunami, triggered by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake, leading to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster and claiming over 18,000 lives. 

The recent earthquake reignites fears of tsunamis, prompting government spokesperson Yoshimasa Hayashi to issue urgent evacuation calls to coastal areas.

According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website, any waves with runups over one meter (3.28 feet) can be particularly dangerous to people living in coastal areas.  This includes the possibility of flooding, strong currents, and future erosion.