Japanese Tsunami 2011

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Japanese Tsunami - Location and Causes

  • Friday March 11th 2011
  • Magnitude 9.0
  • Lasted 6 minutes
  • 130km east of Japan - Pacific plate subducting underneath North American plate
  • Caused huge amounts of pressure in the Benioff zone - led to movement in the form of thrust faulting
  • The plate movement caused vertical displacement of the water above and therefore triggered a tsunami
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Japanese Tsunami - Impacts

  • Social impacts:
    • Over 15,000 deaths and 4,000 missing 
    • Over 100,000 buildings destroyed
    • Low relief agricultural land destroyed so livelihoods ruined 
    • Millions without power or water and 530,000 in shelters 
  • Economic impacts:
    • World Banks estimates cost of $189bn and 5 year rebuilding schedule
    • Quake hit north-eastern Japan - responsible for 6-8% of Japan's economy - third biggest in the world
    • Destroyed industry and infrastructure 
    • 3/6 nuclear reactors in meltdown 
    • Continues to leak radioactive water into the Pacific 
    • Small levels of radiation illnesses could be caused 
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Japanese Tsunami - Responses

  • Short term responses included:
    • Tsunami warning issued after the quake 
    • Meteorological Agency rep. appeared on TV urging people not to return home 
    • Search and rescue experts flew out on a plane with 11 tonnes of equipment on board
    • Strong police presence along with Special Defence Force
    • 91 countries offered aid such as blankets, food and military transport
  • Long term responses included:
    • Further 20 countries offering aid and assistance 
    • Japan requested assistance from Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and the US
    • Money donated by charities (NGOs offered over $1bn) and celebrities (Jackie Chan offered $3 million)
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