TSUNAMI QUAKE…8.9 Earthquake off the coast of Japan triggers huge Tsunami 11th March 2011
Facts and Causes…. Primary impacts…. Secondary impacts….Responses….How were many lives saved?
• Japans main Honshu island sits at the intersection of three continental plates, the Eurasian, Pacific and Philippine Sea plates, which are slowly grinding against each other, building up enormous seismic pressure that every so often is realised with ferocious force.• Japan accounts for about 20 per cent of the worlds earthquakes of magnitude six or greater and on average, an earthquake occurs there every five minutes.• When earthquakes occur under the sea floor, they unleash tsunamis which are often more devastating than the quake itself.• Tsunamis, from the Japanese word for harbour and wave, are vast quantities of water displaced by the violent movement of the earths crust.
As the epicentre was soclose to the coast it gavepeople very little warningtime before the tsunami hit.
The quake was the most powerful to hit Japan in recorded history and the tsunami it unleashed travelled across the Pacific Ocean, triggering tsunami warnings and alerts for 50 countries as far away as the western coasts of Canada, the U.S. and Chile .A Tsun
The quake triggered more than 160aftershocks in the first 24 hours -- 141measuring 5.0-magnitude or more.
The quake occurred as the Earthscrust ruptured along an area about 250miles long by 100 miles wide, astectonic plates slipped more than 18meters, said Shengzao Chen, a USGSgeophysicist.
Japan is located along the Pacific "ring of fire," an area of high seismic and volcanic activity stretching from New Zealand in the South Pacific up through Japan, across to Alaska and down the west coasts of North and South America. The quake was "hundreds of times larger" than the 2010 quake that ravaged Haiti, said Jim Gaherty at Columbia University.
One tectonic plate dove violently beneathanother, causing a nearly 300-mile (480-km) swath of the seafloor to lurch upward.The surface around that fault is pushed upand then dropped back down. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyKgamjegtQ
Roads destroyed. Communications difficult. Over 4 million homes without power. Watersupplies cut off.
TSUNAMI… 24 foot wall of water. 4 times as big as a 6 foot man.• http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/player/environment/env ironment-natural-disasters/tsunamis/tsunami-101.html? source=link_tw20110311tsunamivideo• http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12725646
Vehicles that were ready for shipping….impacts for the economy…http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12711226 http://www.abc.net.au/news/events/japan-quake-2011/beforeafter.htm before and afterimages.
Relief as tsunami runs out of steam…Ports and beaches were temporarily shutand islanders and coastal residents orderedto higher ground up and down LatinAmericas Pacific seaboard ahead of thetsunami surge triggered by the killerJapanese quake. But it did little damage.By the time the tsunami waves travelledacross the wide Pacific Ocean and into thesouthern hemisphere, only slightly higherwaters than normal came ashore in Mexico,Honduras and Colombia, EcuadorsGalapagos Islands, Chiles Easter Islandand Peru and Chiles mainlands.Waves as high as six feet crashed intoSouth America - in some cases sending thePacific surging into streets - after coastaldwellers rushed to close ports and schoolsand evacuated several hundred thousandpeople.Major evacuations were ordered in Ecuadorand Chile, where hundreds of thousands ofpeople moved out of low-lying coastalareas. After the devastating tsunami Chilesuffered following its major quake a year 5 people were swept out to sea andago, authorities werent taking any chances.Still, the danger waned as the day millions of dollars damage caused toprogressed and minimal damage was boats at Santa Cruz, USA.reported.
Explosion at nuclear reactor http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12721498 300 000 people evacuated from their homes after a leak isconfirmed. 22 suffered exposure to radiation. 12 mile exclusion zone.
OIL PRICES• Temporary drop in oil prices – Japanese oil refineries effected means USA oil shares improve!
Japan’s industrial heart escapes the heaviest blows• Toyota close all plants in Japan. Honda and Nissan also affected.• Sony suspended production at 8 plants.• As bad as the toll might eventually be in lives and property from Japan’s earthquake and tsunami, the fact that the disaster hit far from Japan’s industrial heartland will at least soften the economic blow, both at home and abroad.• “If this had been a couple hundred miles to the south, the economic and human toll would have been almost incomprehensible,” said Marcus Noland, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. “In that respect, Japan dodged an enormous bullet here.”• The rebuilding boom will be good news for the construction industry.
• Over 10 000 dead.• 9,500 people missing in the northern town of Minamisanriku. Rescue crews in Japan trying to reach those stranded in the ruins of Minamisanriku said the devastation resembled that of total apocalypse. Rescuers in helicopters attempted to land where they could, surrounded by a murky brown wasteland littered with debris and ruined buildings.• Troops found 300 to 400 bodies in the coastal city of Rikuzentakata which was almost totally wiped out by the tsunami. Minamisanriku
Japanese earthquake causes the day to get a tiny bit shorter….• You wont notice it, but the day just got a tiny bit shorter because of Fridays giant earthquake off the coast of Japan.• NASA geophysicist Richard Gross calculated that Earths rotation sped up by 1.6 microseconds. Thats because of the shift in Earths mass caused by the 8.9-magnitude earthquake. A microsecond is one-millionth of a second.• That change in rotation speed is slightly more than the one caused by last years larger Chile earthquake. But 2004s bigger Sumatra earthquake caused a 6.8- microsecond shortening of the day.
Japan has highly trained medical and searchand rescue teams ready for such a disaster.Japanese rescue teams were some of the firston the ground to help with the aftermath of theHaiti earthquake in 2010.
A border collie named Byron trained to detect the scent of live casualties was part of a59-strong group of specialists from the UK International Search and Rescue (UK-ISAR)team jetting off to Japan the day after the disaster, carrying with them 11 tons ofequipment. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12725504
• 2 days after the quake, the priorities are finding food and fuel. People queued for up to 2 miles at petrol stations.• People fill up containers with fresh water at standpipes.• Few shops are open. Supermarkets set up shop in car parks.• Text is the only way for many to communicate.• Little public transport.• Fires burn where fire crews cannot get access.
Preparedness saves lives…Hidden inside the skeletons of high-rise towers, extra steel bracing,giant rubber pads and embedded hydraulic shock absorbers makemodern Japanese buildings among the sturdiest in the world during amajor earthquake.All along the Japanese coast, tsunami warning signs, toweringseawalls and well-marked escape routes offer some protection fromwalls of water.These precautions, along with earthquake and tsunami drills that areroutine for every Japanese citizen, show why Japan is the best-prepared country in the world for the twin disasters of earthquakeand tsunami — practices that undoubtedly saved lives, though thefinal death toll is unknown.
– In Japan, where earthquakes are common, building codes are extremely stringent on specific matters like how much a building may sway during a quake.– After the Kobe earthquake in 1995, which killed about 6,000 people and injured 26,000, Japan put enormous resources into new research on protecting structures, as well as retrofitting the country’s older and more vulnerable structures. Japan has spent billions of dollars developing the most advanced technology against earthquakes and tsunamis.– Japan has gone much further than the United States in outfitting new buildings with advanced devices called base isolation pads and energy dissipation units to dampen the ground’s shaking during an earthquake. The isolation devices are essentially giant rubber-and-steel pads that are installed at the very bottom of the excavation for a building, which then simply sits on top of the pads. The dissipation units are built into a building’s structural skeleton. They are hydraulic cylinders that elongate and contract as the building sways, sapping the motion of energy.
• New apartment and office developments in Japan flaunt their seismic resistance as a marketing technique, a fact that has accelerated the use of the latest technologies, said Ronald O. Hamburger, a structural engineer in the civil engineering society.• “You can increase the rents by providing a sort of warranty — ‘If you locate here you’ll be safe,’ ” Mr. Hamburger said.• Although many older buildings in Japan have been retrofitted with new bracing since the Kobe quake, there are many rural residences of older construction that are made of very light wood that would be highly vulnerable to damage. The fate of many of those residences is still unknown.
Unlike Haiti, where shoddy construction vastly increased thedeath toll last year, or China, where failure to followconstruction codes worsened the death toll in the devastating2008 Sichuan earthquake, Japan enforces some of the world’smost stringent building codes. Japanese buildings tend to bemuch stiffer and stouter than similar structures in earthquake-prone areas in California as well, said Mr. Moehle, the Berkeleyengineer: Japan’s building code allows for roughly half as muchsway back and forth at the top of a high rise during a majorquake.
• The country that gave the world the word tsunami, especially in the 80s and 90s, built concrete seawalls in many communities, some as high as 40 feet, which amounted to its first line of defence against the water. In some coastal towns, in the event of an earthquake, networks of sensors are set up to set off alarms in individual residences and automatically shut down floodgates to prevent waves from surging upriver.• Critics of the seawalls say they are eyesores and bad for the environment. The seawalls, they say, can instil a false sense of security among coastal residents and discourage them from participating in regular evacuation drills. Moreover, by literally cutting residents’ visibility of the ocean, the seawalls reduce their ability to understand the sea by observing wave patterns, critics say.• Waves from Friday’s tsunami spilled over some seawalls in the affected areas. “The tsunami roared over embankments in Sendai city, washing cars, houses and farm equipment inland before reversing directions and carrying them out to sea,”
Amidst the turmoil and sudden adversity that many families will be facing, Google haslaunched its people finder on-line to help those who are looking for loved ones. Thisservice was also used for the Christchurch earthquake and many have found family andfriends via this useful and free service.
Comparisons with the Indian OceanTsunami 0f 2004?
• But Japan’s “massive public education programme” could in the end have saved the most lives, said Rich Eisner, a retired tsunami preparedness expert.• “For a trained population, a matter of 5 or 10 minutes is all you may need to get to high ground,” Mr. Francis said.• That would be in contrast to the much less experienced Southeast Asians, many of whom died in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami because they lingered near the coast. Reports in the Japanese news media indicate that people originally listed as missing in remote areas have been turning up in schools and community centres, suggesting that tsunami education and evacuation drills were indeed effective.
Your task:• Produce a newspaper front page/report about the Japanese earthquake/tsunami disaster of March 2011.• You should include information aboutWhat caused the disaster (include a diagram)What were the impacts – primary, secondary, short term, longer term, social, economic, environmental?What were the responses in terms of aid?How were many lives saved due to the actions of Japan before the disaster struck?
Revise for Risky World assessment next lesson…• The structure of the earth – core, mantle, crust.• Why do the earth’s plates move? Convection currents.• The name of the one big supercontinent (Pangea)• What evidence we have that this was the case.• The process of plates moving is called…. (continental drift)• The names of the 3 different types of plate boundaries and what the plates are doing at each.• What hazards (earthquakes or volcanoes or both) are found at each type of boundary.• What comes out of a volcano when it explodes? (two things)• What is meant by active, dormant, extinct?• What is a shield volcano?• What is a composite volcano?• Where are the most volcanoes in the world found?• What is a hotspot volcano?• Why do earthquakes happen?• Focus and epicentre?• What does a seismograph do?• How can we limit the damage caused by earthquakes?• Why is this harder to do in poor/developing countries?• What is a tsunami?• What is aid?• What kind of aid is needed immediately after a big disaster?• Choose ONE of the named examples we have studied – Mt St Helen’s volcano, Haiti Earthquake or Japan Tsunami – be able to say what caused it, what the impacts were and why it was such a big disaster. You will be able to draw diagrams if you wish.