TOKYO, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- A significant earthquake is much more likely to hit Tokyo in the next few years than the government has predicted, Japanese researchers say.
Scientists from the University of Tokyo have estimated a 75 percent probability of a magnitude 7 quake in the region in the next four years, while an official government prediction puts the possibility at 70 percent but extends that over a 30-year period.
Researchers at the University's earthquake research institute based their prediction on data from the growing number of tremors in the capital since the 11 March 11, 2011 earthquake, the BBC reported Monday.
Compared with average years, the Tokyo metropolitan area has seen a five-fold increase in the number of quakes since the March disaster, they said.
Located on tectonic underpinnings dubbed the "Pacific Ring of Fire," Japan is widely considered one of the world's most quake-prone countries, and Tokyo is in one of its most dangerous areas, researchers said.
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