Impact of Noto Peninsula Earthquake in Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture

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Impact of Noto Peninsula Earthquake in Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture

Minoru Matsumura, a 63-year-old fisherman, expressed his despair as he realized that the earthquake-induced uplift has left his fishing boat stranded on dry land at Kaiso port. He had intended to fish until the age of 70 but is now uncertain about his future due to the uncertainty surrounding restoration work at the port. His colleague, Hisaharu Shoji, faced a similar predicament as the ground at Wajima port, where he operates, rose by over 2 meters, rendering the port unusable for fishing activities.

The earthquake not only disrupted the lives of fishermen but also caused physical damage to homes and infrastructure in the area. The uplift, which expanded the land area of the peninsula by 4.4 square kilometers, was a result of a reverse fault type action, where the southern side of a fault rose over the seaside section. The uplift further impacted the operation of a tidal station set up by the Japan Meteorological Agency, rendering it inoperable for measuring tsunami data.

The geological impact of the earthquake, including the uplift and its potential role in mitigating tsunami damage, has raised concerns among researchers. The phenomenon of earthquake-induced ground movements, both uplift and subsidence, has historical precedence in Japan, with past earthquakes like the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake showcasing the devastating effects of such events. As authorities reassess disaster responses in light of these geological events, there is a growing need to incorporate considerations of crustal movements in coastal areas into disaster preparedness plans for future seismic events.