Japan Earthquake and Tsunami by Justin Formosa, 3.04
By Justin Formosa Form 304
The Tohoku earthquake and tsunamiThe 2011 Tōhoku earthquake, officially named the Great East JapanEarthquake,was a magnitude 9.0 (Mw) undersea megathrust earthquake offthe coast of Japan that occurred at 14:46 JST on Friday, 11 March2011, with the epicentreapproximately 72 km east of the Oshika Peninsulaof Tohoku and the Hypocenter at an underwater depth of approximately32 km. It was the most powerful known earthquake to have hit Japan, andone of the five most powerful earthquakes in the world overall sincemodern record-keeping began in 1900. The earthquaketriggered extremely destructive tsunami waves of up to 38 meters thatstruck Japan, in some cases traveling up to 10 km inland. In addition to lossof life and destruction of infrastructure, the tsunami caused a numberof nuclear accidents.
of which by far the most serious was an ongoing level 7 event and 20 kmevacuation zone around the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant . In Japan,the overall event is known as the "Eastern Japan Great EarthquakeDisaster“. The overall cost could exceed $300 billion, making it the mostexpensive natural disaster on record
The Japanese National Police Agency has confirmed 14,616deaths, 5,278 injured,and 11,111 people missing acrosseighteen prefectures, as well as over 125,000 buildingsdamaged or destroyed. The earthquake and tsunami causedextensive and severe structural damage in Japan, includingheavy damage to roads and railways as well as fires in manyareas, and a dam collapse. Around 4.4 million households innortheastern Japan were left without electricity and 1.5 millionwithout water.. Many electrical generators were taken down,and at least three nuclear reactors suffered explosions due tohydrogen gas that had built up within their outer containmentbuildings after cooling system failure. Residents within a 20 kmradius of the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant and a 10 kmradius of the Fukushima II Nuclear Power Plant wereevacuated. In addition, the U.S. recommended that its citizensevacuate up to 80 km of the plant.
Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said, "In the 65 years after theend of World War II, this is the toughest and the most difficult crisisfor Japan." The earthquake moved Honshu 2.4 m east and shifted theEarth on its axis by almost 10 cm.Early estimates placed insured lossesfrom the earthquake alone at US$14.5 to $34.6 billion. The Bank ofJapan offered ¥15 trillion (US$183 billion) to the banking system on 14March in an effort to normalize market conditions.