Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Primary Impacts of the 2011 Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

by Nelly Rogers
  • Due to the 1m drop in the coast, the 10m walls in Tarou (built to protect the town after previous tsunamis) could not withstand the 10m high tsunami waves, causing total destruction.

  • The footage below shows the sheer power and scale of the tsunami as it hits Kesannuma port
  • Localised flooding and the appearance of cracks in pavements and roads were caused by liquefaction. You can actually see the ground moving in the video below:
  • The airport in Sendai opened only 4 years ago and has now been completely destroyed by the tsunami.

  • In the town of Rikuzentakata, 95% of buildings were destroyed, 10,000 people (1/2 population) were missing and the entire town was wiped off the map.
  • In the isolated mountain community of Kahoku, the river that runs through the town usually has little water until the tsunami hit. The tsunami caused the river to flood, flooding most of the area around it.
  • The initial earthquake did not cause any damage to the Fukushima nuclear power plant, but instead the tsunami afterwards did, causing an explosion in one of the reactor buildings.
  • Train lines were severely damaged.
  • The death toll has reached a staggering 15,850 deaths with 6,011 injured and 3,287 missing according to the National Police Agency.
  • Overall, most of the severe impacts were caused by the tsunami rather than the ground shaking during the earthquake. 

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