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An Investigation of the Miyagi-ken-oki, Japan Earthquake of June 12, 1978 (NBS SP 592)



Bruce R. Ellingwood


On June 12, 1978, a destructive earthquake with Richter magnitude of 7.4 occurred off the east coast of Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. Preliminary estimates by the National Land Agency of Japan indicated that the earthquake caused an equivalent of $800 million in total damage. Following the earthquake, it was arranged through the U.S.-Japan Program in Natural Resources (UJNR) that teams of U.S. structural engineers and geologists would visit Miyagi Prefecture and inspect the damage caused by the earthquake. This report assembles the information and collective experiences of the investigation team so as to describe the earthquake and document its effects. Field investigations conducted by geologist and structural engineers are described in detail and some of the implications for seismic resistant design and construction of structures in the United States are also discussed.
Special Publication (NIST SP) - 592
Report Number


earthquake, Japan


Ellingwood, B. (1980), An Investigation of the Miyagi-ken-oki, Japan Earthquake of June 12, 1978 (NBS SP 592), Special Publication (NIST SP), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed June 25, 2024)


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Created October 30, 1980, Updated November 10, 2018