2018 Hokkaido Eastern Iburi earthquake
An earthquake measuring 6.6 MW on the moment magnitude scale struck Iburi Subprefecture in southern Hokkaido, Japan, on 6 September 2018 at 3:08 a.m. Japan Standard Time. The earthquake’s epicenter was near Tomakomai and occurred at a depth of 33.4 kilometres (20.8 mi). The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) registered a magnitude of 6.7 Mj and a maximum intensity of 7 on the shindo scale. Shaking from the earthquake was felt strongly in Hokkaido and Aomori Prefecture.The earthquake disrupted electrical service throughout Hokkaido, leaving 5.3 million residents without power. Reports state that nine people died, seven have no vital signs, 366 people were injured, and 21 remain missing as a result of the quake.
Damage and effects
The earthquake cut power to all 2.95 million households in Hokkaido. This was because Hokkaido Electric Power Company’s coal-fired power plant in Atsuma was heavily damaged in the earthquake. The damage to the plant caused an imbalance in the supply and demand of electricity throughout Hokkaido; this resulted in the blackout.By 6:30 p.m. JST on the day of the earthquake, power was restored to 340,000 households in Hokkaido. All flights to New Chitose Airport were cancelled on the day of the quake. NHK World-Japan announced the airport resumed business at 11:00 a.m. JST the day after the quake. All public transport, including rail, subway, and bus services was shut down in Hokkaido Prefecture due to the loss of electricity and damages. Hospitals were forced to function on emergency backup power, due to the blackout.
Damage of Earthquacke
The earthquake caused many roads in Hokkaido to become impassable. Some roads were blocked by debris from landslides, others were destroyed by soil liquefaction as far away from the epicenter as Kiyota-ku, Sapporo. Near the earthquake’s epicenter in Atsuma, emergency services could not take emergency calls after the quake due to the heavy damage.
Severe impact on the farming and fishing industries in Hokkaido
The blackout had a severe impact on the farming and fishing industries in Hokkaido. The prefecture provides half of Japan’s raw milk, but without power to refrigeration and milking equipment, the cows could not be milked without wasting the product. Other produce, such as onions and potatoes, could not be kept cool or shipped away due to the closure of the rail network.eismic intensity
The earthquake was the first to have ever reached a maximum level of 7 on the shindo scale in Hokkaido and the sixth in Japan since the system was put in place in 1949.