It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
An offshore Pacific earthquake of the scale that hit Japan last year would trigger 34-meter tsunami, resulting in at least 323,000 deaths and devastating much of the coastline from Honshu to Kyushu, experts say.
This grim scenario is the result of a radical reappraisal of a possible magnitude-9.1 earthquake in the Nankai Trough in light of the Great East Japan Earthquake that left 20,000 people dead or missing.
Two expert panels were commissioned by the government to offer a realistic assessment of what Japan can expect if a Nankai Trough earthquake strikes.
At the same time, the panels cautioned that the possibility of such a major disaster occurring was low. However, they called on the public to be "properly fearful" of what may lie ahead.
It is a given that the reappraisal will force the central and local governments to go back to the drawing board in assessing their disaster management plans.
The worst-case scenario was based on a premise of a magnitude-9.1 quake striking.
Under the scenario, 151 municipalities in 10 prefectures, ranging from Shizuoka to Miyazaki in Kyushu, would experience shaking of a maximum 7 on the Japanese intensity scale and 239 municipalities in 21 prefectures would experience shaking of upper 6 intensity.
It said tsunami of at least 20 meters would strike eight prefectures, including the islands of the Izu and Ogasawara chains that are under the jurisdiction of the Tokyo metropolitan government.
In the estimate for extensive damage in the Tokai region late at night in winter when winds are strong, total fatalities would reach 323,000.
Of that figure, 230,000 people would die in tsunami, 82,000 from collapsed buildings and 11,000 from fires caused by the quake. The number of injured people was put at 600,000.
Between 2.364 million and 2.386 million buildings would be swept away or burned to the ground due to the shaking, tsunami, fires as well as collapse of foundations brought about by liquefaction.
As a result, the panel estimated that 311,000 people would be trapped under the rubble of collapsed buildings and would have difficulties digging themselves out.
That is another staggering figure considering the fact that there are only 160,000 firefighters in all of Japan.
The appraisal said the Hamaoka nuclear power plant in Omaezaki, Shizuoka Prefecture, would be under nine meters of water if work to build an 18-meter-high breakwater wall and higher embankment walls is not taken into account. The work is expected to be completed in December. The plant stopped operations in May 2011, two months after the Great East Japan Earthquake, at the request of Prime Minister Naoto Kan because it lies within the epicenter of a predicted major quake. The maximum tsunami height in Omaezaki was put at 19 meters. Chubu Electric Power Co., which operates the Hamaoka plant, has installed water-proof doors for the reactors and moved emergency generators to elevated ground 40 meters above sea level.