Tsunamis/Tsunami Case Study: Japan 2011

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What are the four causes of a tsunami?

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


Explain the processes in a creation of a tsunami.

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

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

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


When did the tsunami strike Japan?

11th March 2011


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


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


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)


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


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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