A major earthquake that would trigger a giant destructive tsunami could hit the Japanese coast in the next 30 years, a Tokyo research panel has warned in its latest report, citing a high degree of possibility in projections.   The Headquarters for Earthquake Research Promotion said there is a chance of a devastating earthquake with a magnitude exceeding 8.8 striking off the eastern coast of Hokkaido island, projecting the possibility to be between 7 and 40 percent. “I hope disaster preparations are

reviewed based on the possibility that a super-gigantic quake, like the one that struck the Tohoku region, could also strike Hokkaido,” Asahi Shimbun quoted a seismology professor at the University of Tokyo, Naoshi Hirata, who headed the panel, as saying. In March 2011, a 9.0-magnitude earthquake hit Japan’s main island of Honshu, becoming the most powerful quake recorded in the country. Subsequent tsunami waves reached up to 40 meters (130ft) in height and crashed some 10km (6 miles) inland. READ MORE