Japan's Earthquake Upgraded to 9.0 That's 1.5 times stronger than original estimate of 8.9 By Newser Editors and Wire Services Posted Mar 14, 2011 12:00 PM CDT 0 comments Comments Snow falls over the debris in Sendai, northern Japan. (AP Photo/Kyodo News) (Newser) – The US Geological Survey has upgraded the magnitude of Friday's deadly earthquake in Japan to 9.0. The move comes after Japan's Meteorological Agency did the same. US government scientists originally put the Japan quake at 8.9. The change to 9.0 means that the quake was about 1.5 times stronger than initially thought. The Japan quake is now the fourth largest in the world since 1900 behind the 2004 magnitude-9.1 Sumatra quake.