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Wah, Ternyata Dampak Gempa Jepang Ternyata Menggeser Poros Bumi Sejauh 4 Inchi!

Gempa bumi kuat disertai tsunami pada Jumat tak hanya meluluhlantakkan pesisir Jepang. Menurut US Geological Survey (USGS), gempa ini telah memindahkan pulau utama Jepang sejauh 2,4 meter dan me mengalihkan bumi dari porosnya.

“Pada titik ini, kita tahu bahwa salah satu stasiun GPS pindah sejauh 8 kaki (2,4 meter), dan kita telah melihat peta dari GSI (Geospatial Information Authority) di Jepang menunjukkan pola pergeseran atas area yang luas konsisten dengan pergeseran di daratan, “kata Kenneth Hudnut, seorang ahli geofisika dengan US Geological Survey (USGS).

Mobil yang terhanyut akibat tsunami di Jepang

Laporan dari National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology di Italia memperkirakan gempa berkekuatan 8,9 pada skala Ritchter telah menggeser bumi  pada porosnya dengan hampir 4 inci (10 cm).

Gempa, yang melanda Jumat sore di dekat pantai timur Jepang, menewaskan ratusan orang. Air setinggi  30 kaki  menyapu sawah, menelan seluruh kota, menyeret rumah ke jalan raya, dan melemparkan mobil dan kapal seperti mainan. Di beberapa bagian, gelombang tinggi itu masuk hingga sejauh 10 km ke daratan di Prefektur Miyagi di pantai timur Jepang.

Gempa kali ini adalah yang terbesar sepanjang sejarah Jepang dengan mengantarkan gelombang tsunami melintasi Samudera Pasifik, memicu peringatan tsunami untuk 50 negarahingga pantai barat Kanada, Amerika Serikat, dan Chile. Gempa memicu lebih dari 160 gempa susulan dalam 24 jam pertama – 141 berkekuatan 5,0 skala Richter atau lebih.

Gempa itu terjadi akibat kerak bumi pecah di sepanjang wilayah seluas 64 ribu km2 karena lempeng tektonik tergelincir lebih dari 18 meter, kata Shengzao Chen, seorang ahli geofisika USGS.

Jepang terletak di sepanjang “cincin api” Pacific, area aktivitas seismik dan vulkanik yang tinggi, yang  membentang dari Selandia Baru di Pasifik Selatan, melalui Jepang, menyeberang ke Alaska dan ke pantai barat Utara dan Amerika Selatan. Gempa itu “ratusan kali lebih besar” dari gempa tahun 2010 yang melanda Haiti, kata Jim Gaherty dari LaMont-Doherty Earth Observatory di Columbia University.

Gempa Jepang adalah kekuatan mirip dengan gempa bumi 2004 di Indonesia yang memicu tsunami yang menewaskan lebih dari 200 ribu orang di lebih dari selusin negara di sekitar Samudera Hindia. “Tsunami itu dikirim kira-kira sebanding dalam hal ukuran,” kata Gaherty.

Gempa Jepang datang hanya beberapa minggu setelah gempa 6,3 SR melanda Christchurch pada tanggal 22 Februari, menumbangkan bangunan bersejarah dan menewaskan lebih dari 150 orang. Jangka waktu dari dua gempa telah menimbulkan pertanyaan apakah kedua insiden terkait, tetapi para ahli mengatakan bahwa jarak antara kedua insiden menafikannya. “Saya akan berpikir koneksi sangat tipis,” ujar Prof Stephan Grilli, laut profesor teknik di University of Rhode Island.