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Friday, 18 March 2011

Quake shifted Japan 2.4 meters east

The massive earthquake that devastated northeastern Japan has shifted the country more than 2 meters away from the neighboring Korean Peninsula, scientists said.

The Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASSI) said the Korean Peninsula moved east up to five centimeters while Japan shifted some 2.4 meters east.

Consequently, the distance between the countries increased by more than 2 meters, the institute said.

The disputed Dokdo islands, also claimed by Japan where they are known as Takeshima, relocated the furthest, moving 5 cm east, as the islands in the Sea of Japan are relatively closer to the epicenter.

The southwestern port of Mokpo drifted 1.21 cm.

"We are closely monitoring to see whether the shift was temporary or perpetual," KASSI said.

"But don't worry. You will never feel the change anyway," she said.

According to NASA, the magnitude-9.0 earthquake also shortened Earth's day by just over one-millionth of a second and shifted the Earth's axis by about 16.5 cm.

Source: China Daily,Agence France-Presse

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