Japan lies on the "Ring of Fire" - an arc of earthquake and volcanic zones stretching around the Pacific where about 90 percent of the world's quakes occur, including the one that triggered the Dec. 26, 2004, Indian Ocean tsunami that killed an estimated 230,000 people in 12 nations. In 2011, it was hit by a 9.1-magnitude earthquake in the Tōhoku region which killed almost 16,000 people, mostly by drowning after it generated a tsunami that measured up to 133ft tall. Magnitude 9 earthquake that would cause a 100ft tsunami off the coast of Japan is 'imminent': Soil analysis shows mega quake has occurred every 300-400 years with last one in … The epicentre was located some 80 miles (130 km) east of the city of Sendai, Miyagi prefecture, and the focus occurred at a depth of 18.6 miles (about 30 km) below the floor of the western Pacific Ocean. The 2011 earthquake off the Pacific coast of Tōhoku (東北地方太平洋沖地震, Tōhoku-chihō Taiheiyō Oki Jishin) was a magnitude 9.0–9.1 (M w) undersea megathrust earthquake off the coast of Japan that occurred at 14:46 JST (05:46 UTC) on Friday 11 March 2011, with the epicenter approximately 70 kilometers (43 mi) east of the Oshika Peninsula of Tōhoku and the hypocenter at an underwater depth … The magnitude-9.0 earthquake struck at 2:46 pm. (The early estimate of magnitude 8.9 was later revised upward.) The earthquake and tsunami. A magnitude-8.8 temblor that shook central Chile last February also generated a tsunami and killed 524 people.