Photo by U.S. Navy via Getty Images On Dec. 26, 2004, the world's most powerful earthquake in more than 40 years struck deep under the Indian Ocean off the west coast of Sumatra. JAPAN EARTHQUAKE AND TSUNAMI: Immediate Response and Recovery Projects. The loss of electrical power halted cooling systems, causing heat to build up. [396], Researchers have also analysed the economic effects of this earthquake and have developed models of the nationwide propagation via interfirm supply networks of the shock that originated in the Tōhoku region.[397][398]. [345], Derailments were minimized because of an early warning system that detected the earthquake before it struck. The heat build-up caused the generation of hydrogen gas. [74] A quake of this magnitude usually has a rupture length of at least 500 km (310 mi) and generally requires a long, relatively straight fault surface. In comparison to the 1995 Great Hanshin earthquake, the East Japan earthquake brought serious damage to an extremely wide range. The strong ground motion registered at the maximum of 7 on the Japan Meteorological Agency seismic intensity scale in Kurihara, Miyagi Prefecture. ", The 2011 Japan Tsunami Was Caused By Largest Fault Slip Ever Recorded, [42] That clay traps water, rendering it quite slippery, he said. "[61], The 9.1-magnitude (Mw) undersea megathrust earthquake occurred on 11 March 2011 at 14:46 JST (05:46 UTC) in the north-western Pacific Ocean at a relatively shallow depth of 32 km (20 mi),[5][62] with its epicenter approximately 72 km (45 mi) east of the Oshika Peninsula of Tōhoku, Japan, lasting approximately six minutes. Railway operators gradually increased capacity over the next few days, until running at approximately 80% capacity by 17 March and relieving the worst of the passenger congestion. The tsunami was spawned by an 9.0 magnitude earthquake that reached depths of 24.4km- making it … Ustream Asia broadcast live feeds of NHK, Tokyo Broadcasting System, Nippon TV, Fuji TV, TV Asahi, TV Tokyo, Tokyo MX, TV Kanagawa, and CNN on the Internet starting on 12 March 2011. Experts calculate the fault—or the boundary between two tectonic plates—in the Japan trench slipped by as much as 164 feet (50 meters). [72] In 2007, the probability of an earthquake with a magnitude of Mw 8.1–8.3 was estimated as 99% within the following 30 years.[73]. A few cases of suicide are also included. [132][133] Just over an hour after the earthquake at 15:55 JST, a tsunami was observed flooding Sendai Airport, which is located near the coast of Miyagi Prefecture,[134][135] with waves sweeping away cars and planes and flooding various buildings as they traveled inland. Odaiba also experienced liquefaction, but damage was minimal. [79] Other major earthquakes with tsunamis struck the Sanriku Coast region in 1896 and in 1933. It was not as bad as the Chernobyl disaster, but worse than the Three Mile Island accident. [242] His body was found on 2 April 2011 along Ocean Beach in Fort Stevens State Park, Oregon, 530 km (330 mi) to the north. Journey into the Plastisphere Cooling is needed to remove decay heat after a Generation II reactor has been shut down, and to maintain spent fuel pools. The expressway did not reopen to general public use until 24 March 2011. [331], None of Japan's commercial wind turbines, totaling over 2300 MW in nameplate capacity, failed as a result of the earthquake and tsunami, including the Kamisu offshore wind farm directly hit by the tsunami. The plant's 14-metre-high (46 ft) seawall successfully withstood the tsunami. Kyodo News, "Survivors in trauma after life-changing nightmare day". [51] In addition, some three thousands extra deaths have been identified as "earthquake-related deaths",[209][210] bringing the total number of deaths caused by the disaster to 19,575 as of 2017 September. In response the Japanese government mobilized the Self-Defence Forces (under Joint Task Force – Tōhoku, led by Lieutenant General Eiji Kimizuka), while many countries sent search and rescue teams to help search for survivors. Damage Done -Caused by 9.0 magnitude earthquake -Traveled over 800 km/hour(500 mi/hour) -One wave was as high a 33 feet In the updated system, for a powerful earthquake that is capable of causing the JMA magnitude scale to saturate, no quantitative prediction will be released in the initial warning; instead, there will be words that describe the situation's emergency. This calculation is, in turn, based on the maximum amplitude of the seismic wave. The most important clue linking the tsunami in Japan and the earthquake in the Pacific Northwest comes from studies of tree rings (dendrochronology), which show that several " ghost forests " of red cedar trees in Oregon and Washington, killed by lowering of coastal forests into the tidal zone by the earthquake, have outermost growth rings that formed in 1699, the last growing season before the tsunami. An expedition named Japan Trench Fast Drilling Project have been conducted in year 2012–2013 to drill oceanfloor boreholes through the fault-zone of the earthquake and gathered important data about the rupture mechanism and physical properties of the fault that caused the huge earthquake and tsunami which devastated much of northeast Japan.[399][400]. [39] A 400-kilometre (250 mi) stretch of coastline dropped vertically by 0.6 metres (2 ft 0 in), allowing the tsunami to travel farther and faster onto land. Subsequent analysis found that many Japanese nuclear plants, including Fukushima Daiichi, were not adequately protected against tsunamis. [129] The actual height prediction varied, the greatest being for Miyagi at 6 metres (20 ft) high. [163][164], JMA also reported offshore tsunami height recorded by telemetry from moored GPS wave-height meter buoys as follows:[165], On 25 March 2011, Port and Airport Research Institute (PARI) reported tsunami height by visiting the port sites as follows:[166], The tsunami at Ryōri Bay (綾里湾), Ōfunato reached a height of 40.1 metres (132 ft) (run-up elevation). [93], The Earth's axis shifted by estimates of between 10 cm (4 in) and 25 cm (10 in). The next largest slip would probably be the Chile earthquake in 1960, said Wang, who was not involved in the research. [385], Atsushi Funahashi, director of Nuclear Nation notes that "when the overseas media was calling Fukushima a 'meltdown,' the Japanese government and media waited two months before admitting it. Rolling blackouts of approximately three hours were experienced throughout April and May while TEPCO scrambled to find a temporary power solution. The main iceberg measured 9.5 km × 6.5 km (5.9 mi × 4.0 mi) (approximately the area of Manhattan Island) and about 80 m (260 ft) thick. Most of these deaths occurred in Fukushima prefecture, where the prefecture government has suggested that they could be due to evacuations caused by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. [391][392] The Headquarters For Earthquake Research Promotion set up by Japanese government then reassessed the long term risk of trench-type earthquakes around Japan, and it was announced in November 2011 that research on the 869 Sanriku earthquake indicated that a similar earthquake with a magnitude of Mw 8.4–9.0 would take place off the Pacific coast of northeastern Japan, on average, every 600 years. The tsunami waves reached run-up heights (how far the wave surges inland above sea level) of up to 128 feet (39 meters) at Miyako city and traveled inland as far as 6 miles (10 km) in Sendai. NOAA modeled a tsunami train attacking Ocean Shores Washington in this animation. More than 2,500 people are still reported missing.Less than an hour after the earthquake, the first of many tsunami waves hit Japan's coastline. Fishing equipment was scattered on the high cliff above the bay. [92] A report by the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, published in Science on 2 December 2011, concluded that the seabed in the area between the epicenter and the Japan Trench moved 50 metres (160 ft) east-southeast and rose about 7 metres (23 ft) as a result of the quake. [98] Nearby Haneda Airport, built mostly on reclaimed land, was not damaged. Peak electricity consumption recorded by TEPCO during the period was 49.22GW, which is 10.77GW (18%) lower than the peak consumption in the previous year. It was at the point where the Pacific tectonic plate slides beneath the North American plate. [42], Soil liquefaction was evident in areas of reclaimed land around Tokyo, particularly in Urayasu,[96][97] Chiba City, Funabashi, Narashino (all in Chiba Prefecture) and in the Koto, Edogawa, Minato, Chūō, and Ōta Wards of Tokyo. [177] The United States National Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami warning for the coastal areas in most of California, all of Oregon, and the western part of Alaska, and a tsunami advisory covering the Pacific coastlines of most of Alaska, and all of Washington and British Columbia, Canada. [120] The system's software was subsequently modified to handle this kind of situation. The committee advised that future policy should be to protect against the highest possible tsunami. The aftershock at 06:25 UTC could be felt in Yuzhno-Kurilsk (MSK 5) and Kurilsk (MSK 4).[83]. [103], A month later, a major aftershock struck offshore on 7 April with a magnitude of 7.1 Mw. [40] The speed of the Earth's rotation increased, shortening the day by 1.8 microseconds due to the redistribution of Earth's mass. [246], Japan's National Police Agency said on 3 April 2011, that 45,700 buildings were destroyed and 144,300 were damaged by the quake and tsunami. [190] The surge in Chile was large enough to damage more than 200 houses,[191] with waves of up to 3 m (9.8 ft). [149][150] Other cities destroyed or heavily damaged by the tsunami include Kamaishi, Miyako, Ōtsuchi, and Yamada (in Iwate Prefecture), Namie, Sōma, and Minamisōma (in Fukushima Prefecture) and Shichigahama, Higashimatsushima, Onagawa, Natori, Ishinomaki, and Kesennuma (in Miyagi Prefecture). [76] The Japanese Meteorological Agency said that the earthquake may have ruptured the fault zone from Iwate to Ibaraki with a length of 500 km (310 mi) and a width of 200 km (120 mi). According to the JMA Meteorological Research Institute [ja], reasons for the underestimation include a saturated magnitude scale when using maximum amplitude as input, failure to fully take into account the area of the hypocenter, and the initial amplitude of the earthquake being less than that which would be predicted by an empirical relationship. Both interplate and intraplate earthquakes appeared in the aftershocks offshore Sanriku coast with considerable proportions.[81]. However, these scales "saturate" for earthquakes that are above a certain magnitude (magnitude 8 on the JMA scale); that is, in the case of very large earthquakes, the scales' values change little despite large differences in the earthquakes' energy. [68] Aftershocks follow Omori's law, which states that the rate of aftershocks declines with the reciprocal of the time since the main quake. [231][232], Japanese funerals are normally elaborate Buddhist ceremonies that entail cremation. [139] Wakabayashi Ward in Sendai was also particularly hard hit. The discrepancy arose as follows: in order to produce a quick prediction of a tsunami's height and thus to provide a timely warning, the initial earthquake and tsunami warning that was issued for the event was based on a calculation that requires only about 3 minutes. On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 8.9-9 megathrust earthquake off the north eastern coast of Japan triggered a large tsunami, with wave heights reaching up to 10m. Warnings were issued and evacuations were carried out in many countries bordering the Pacific. Its epicenter was underwater, 66 km (41 mi) off the coast of Sendai. "Nowhere else do we have such a massive monitoring system. An upthrust of 6 to 8 metres (20 to 26 ft) along a 180 kilometres (110 mi) wide seabed at 60 kilometres (37 mi) offshore from the east coast of Tōhoku resulted in a major tsunami that brought destruction along the Pacific coastline of Japan's northern islands. [266], According to the Japanese trade ministry, around 4.4 million households served by Tōhoku Electric Power (TEP) in northeastern Japan were left without electricity. 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