Japanese Tsunami Case Study

Causes, social, economic and environmental impacts and responses

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  • Created on: 04-06-14 18:18
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Japanese Tsunami Case Study
Type of hazard Tsunami
Plate Boundary Oceanic to Continental convergence Pacific Plate
subducting under the Eurasian Plate
Date of event 11th March 2011
Location Japan
Economic development MEDC
Causes 9.0 magnitude earthquake lasting 6 minutes
Epicentre 130km east of Sendai
The earthquake led to 40m high tsunami
Social Impacts 15,000 ­ 21,000 dead
92% of deaths were due to drowning in the tsunami
6,142 injured
2,668 missing
Due to power outages 163 people became stuck in lifts
4.4 million houses without electricity
1.5 million houses without water
1.2 million buildings destroyed or damaged
452,000 people living in shelters
3.46 million stranded due to the failure of transport sustems
70,000 evacuated in a 12 mile radius of Fukishima and
136,000 in a zone extending a further 6 miles were advised
to leave/stay indoors
Economic Impacts Cost reached $309 billion/16 trillion yen
The yen fell sharply but recouped most of its decline
several hours later
Stocks in Tokyo fell
The area hit was responsible for 68% of the GDP for the
world's 3rd largest economy
22 manufacturing plants including Sony were shut
Only 2 power plants were operating 2 years on and
campaigners want those shut
Environmental Impacts 250 miles away on the Northern Honshu coastline the coast
dropped 2 feet
Honshu was shifted 8 feet east
A Level 7 nuclear meltdown
300 tons of radioactive water a day leaked into the Pacific
Radiation was 1000 times normal levels in the plant
Soil was contaminated with radioactive water
Response Short Term
A tsunami warning was issued 3 minutes after the
The prime minister Naoto Kan held an emergency Cabinet
A Meteorological Agency official appeared on TV to warn
people not to return home

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The Defence Ministry sent in 8 fighter jets to assess the
The Bank of Japan set up a disaster control team to assess
the impact on the economy
The train and subway system was inspected for damage
134 countries offered aid
39 international organisations offered assistance
Japan only asked for specific aid such as search and
rescue teams
Long Term
300,000 still in temporary housing 2 years on
23,000 public housing units were planned to be built for
those who could not rebuild their…read more


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