Tsunamis/Tsunami Case Study: Japan 2011

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1

What are the four causes of a tsunami?

-Underwater earthquake
-Underwater volcanic eruption
-Underwater landslide
-Large Meteor Strike

2

Explain the processes in a creation of a tsunami.

-Initiation
The sea floor rises and drops suddenly creating large columns of water

-Split
The initial tsunami then splits into two, one heads further into sea another heads towards shore

-Amplification
As the wave approaches shore, the height of the wave is amplified as the wave gathers energy as approaches shore

-Run Up
The leading wave is steepened, the wave does not break at this point, instead it acts like a wall of water smashing everything in it's path

3

When did the tsunami strike Japan?

11th March 2011

4

What was the cause of the tsunami?

-The Pacific Plate is subducted underneath the Eurasian plate, due to the constant friction many earthquakes happen here

-On March 11th 2011, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake was released, sending columns of water towards the coast of Honshu

5

What were the primary impacts due to the tsunami?

-15,854 were killed (according to National Police Agency Of Japan on September 11, 2011)
-The city of Sendai along with the other cities on the coast of Honshu were seriously affected (estimate 55,000 homes and buildings destroyed)
-The destruction of the Fukushima power plant released extreme amounts of radiation

6

What were the secondary impacts due to the tsunami?

-Evacuation of cities and towns near the Fukushima power plant to prevent harmful radiation
-Major decline for Japan's agricultural, livestock and fishing industries due to fear of contamination from radiation
-90,000 left homeless (according to National Police Agency Of Japan on June 12, 2011)

7

What were the immediate responses to the tsunami?

-Local emergency units were sent out to cool down the nuclear reactors of the Fukushima power plant
-The Red Cross and other related organisations assisted in the search for survivors.
-Relief organisations like ShelterBox distributed aid to Japan.
-Local emergency units and volunteers helped searching for the estimate 3,155 missing

8

What are the long term responses to the tsunami?

-Callback of certain seafood, livestock and agricultural products due to fear of contamination
-Rebuilding and repairing efforts have gone underway costing up as estimate 122 billion USD
-Relocation of people who have been forced to move out due to radiation of the Fukushima power plant
-Reconsideration of nuclear energy as a power source after the Fukushima accident


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