The economic impact included both immediate problems, with industrial production suspended in many factories, and the longer term issue of the cost of rebuilding which has been estimated at ¥10 trillion ($122 billion). [374], The aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami included both a humanitarian crisis and a major economic impact. Because of conservation of angular momentum, such changes of inertia result in small changes to the Earth's rate of rotation. [5][6] The earthquake was initially reported as 7.9 Mw by the USGS before it was quickly upgraded to 8.8 Mw, then to 8.9 Mw,[63] and then finally to 9.0 Mw. [256][257], The Fujinuma irrigation dam in Sukagawa ruptured,[258] causing flooding and the washing away of five homes. [365], JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) evacuated the Tsukuba Space Center in Tsukuba, Ibaraki. [336] Most Tokyo area train lines resumed full service by the next day—12 March. "We think that's responsible for allowing the incredibly large slip we observed near the trench. Japan's National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention (NIED) calculated a peak ground acceleration of 2.99 g (29.33 m/s2). The heat build-up caused the generation of hydrogen gas. [5][65] Following the main earthquake on 11 March, a 7.4 Mw aftershock was reported at 15:08 JST (6:06 UTC), succeeded by a 7.9 Mw at 15:15 JST (6:16 UTC) and a 7.7 Mw at 15:26 JST (6:26 UTC). This earthquake occurred where the Pacific Plate is subducting under the plate beneath northern Honshu. [138] A 4-metre-high (13 ft) tsunami hit Iwate Prefecture. [383] Television broadcasts of the press conferences of Prime Minister Naoto Kan and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano included simultaneous JSL interpreters standing next to the Japanese flag on the same platform. In Russia, the main shock could be felt in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk (MSK 4) and Kurilsk (MSK 4). [391][392] The Headquarters For Earthquake Research Promotion set up by Japanese government then reassessed the long term risk of trench-type earthquakes around Japan, and it was announced in November 2011 that research on the 869 Sanriku earthquake indicated that a similar earthquake with a magnitude of Mw 8.4–9.0 would take place off the Pacific coast of northeastern Japan, on average, every 600 years. At this time Japan's Disaster Management Office (Naikakufu Bosai Keikaku) published a bi-lingual guide in Japanese and English, Disaster Management in Japan, to outline the several varieties of natural disaster and the preparations being made for the eventuality of each. When the roads clear, experts will be dispatched to conduct further investigations. Four dams within the quake area were unreachable. The North Coast is California’s leader in tsunami planning and preparedness. [345], Derailments were minimized because of an early warning system that detected the earthquake before it struck. [66] Over eight hundred aftershocks of magnitude 4.5 Mw or greater have occurred since the initial quake,[67] including one on 26 October 2013 (local time) of magnitude 7.1 Mw. [387], Also, following the earthquake, for the first time in Japanese history, the Emperor addressed the nation in a pre-recorded television broadcast.[388][389]. (See "Japan Tsunami: 20 Unforgettable Pictures."). [159] The tsunami washed away the sole bridge to Miyatojima, Miyagi, isolating the island's 900 residents. [140] At least 101 designated tsunami evacuation sites were hit by the wave. Foreign species hitchhiked across the Pacific on debris from the 2011 Japanese tsunami—now researchers along the North American coast are scrambling to detect them before they take hold. [288] Others halted production due to safety checks and power loss. [149][150] Other cities destroyed or heavily damaged by the tsunami include Kamaishi, Miyako, Ōtsuchi, and Yamada (in Iwate Prefecture), Namie, Sōma, and Minamisōma (in Fukushima Prefecture) and Shichigahama, Higashimatsushima, Onagawa, Natori, Ishinomaki, and Kesennuma (in Miyagi Prefecture). There was a small white blip, persistent on the horizon. [112], As of 11 March 2016[update] there had been 869 aftershocks of 5.0 Mw or greater, 118 of 6.0 Mw or greater, and 9 over 7.0 Mw as reported by the Japanese Meteorological Agency. The amplitude of the seismic wave is measured using the JMA magnitude scale, which is similar to Richter magnitude scale. It's difficult to say whether something like this could happen elsewhere, said Wang, because no other submarine trench has as many instruments monitoring it. [10], The degree and extent of damage caused by the earthquake and resulting tsunami were enormous, with most of the damage being caused by the tsunami. The center, which houses a control room for part of the International Space Station, was shut down and some damage was reported. [242] His body was found on 2 April 2011 along Ocean Beach in Fort Stevens State Park, Oregon, 530 km (330 mi) to the north. The damaged buildings included 29,500 structures in Miyagi Prefecture, 12,500 in Iwate Prefecture and 2,400 in Fukushima Prefecture. [392] However, occurring as it did 373 km (232 mi) north east of Tokyo, the Tōhoku earthquake came as a surprise to seismologists. Problems in issuing updates also contributed to delays in evacuations. [121], An upthrust of 6 to 8 metres (20 to 26 ft) along a 180 kilometres (110 mi) wide seabed at 60 kilometres (37 mi) offshore from the east coast of Tōhoku[122] resulted in a major tsunami that brought destruction along the Pacific coastline of Japan's northern islands. About 90 seconds after an earthquake, an additional report on the possibility of a tsunami will also be included in observation reports, in order to warn people before the JMA magnitude can be calculated. Victims aged 60 or older accounted for 65.2% of the deaths, with 24% of total victims being in their 70s. [187] Some other South Pacific countries, including Tonga and New Zealand, and US territories American Samoa and Guam, experienced larger-than-normal waves, but did not report any major damage. [296] Higashidōri, also on the northeast coast, was already shut down for a periodic inspection. [190] Peru reported a wave of 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in) and more than 300 homes damaged. [264], In the immediate aftermath of the calamity, at least 1.5 million households were reported to have lost access to water supplies. [51] The earthquake and tsunami also caused extensive and severe structural damage in north-eastern Japan, including heavy damage to roads and railways as well as fires in many areas, and a dam collapse. Most of these deaths occurred in Fukushima prefecture, where the prefecture government has suggested that they could be due to evacuations caused by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. [313], Radioactive iodine was detected in the tap water in Fukushima, Tochigi, Gunma, Tokyo, Chiba, Saitama, and Niigata, and radioactive caesium in the tap water in Fukushima, Tochigi and Gunma. [147][148] Also largely destroyed was Rikuzentakata, where the tsunami was three stories high. The Japanese government estimated that 5 million tons of debris was swept up by the event, with about 70 percent sinking to the seafloor and 1.5 million tons left floating. “TOHOKU Pacific Coast” refers to the eastern coastal area of Tohoku , Japan. The 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami has been assigned GLIDE identifier EQ-2011-000028-JPN by the Asian Disaster Reduction Center. Helen Jung and Jeff Manning, "Waves bring destruction to Oregon's south coast", 「津波 太平洋を往復」Nikkei 2 May 2014 Morning News, Inajima, Tsuyoshi; Okada, Yuji (11 March 2011). [337] Twenty thousand stranded visitors spent the night of 11–12 March inside Tokyo Disneyland. [5], The main earthquake was preceded by a number of large foreshocks, with hundreds of aftershocks reported. On the day of the quake itself American broadcaster NPR was unable to reach anyone in Sendai with a working phone or access to the Internet. [379] Other nationwide Japanese and international TV networks also broadcast uninterrupted coverage of the disaster. [213], For the purpose of relief fund distribution, an "earthquake-related death" is defined as a case where the earthquake did not directly kill a person, but acted as a contributory factor that indirectly caused their death. [346], The Tōhoku Shinkansen line was worst hit, with JR East estimating that 1,100 sections of the line, varying from collapsed station roofs to bent power pylons, will need repairs. [69] The seismic moment (M0), which represents a physical size for the event, was calculated by the USGS at 3.9×1022 joules,[85] slightly less than the 2004 Indian Ocean quake. The aftershocks will thus taper off in time, but could continue for years. [171], A Japanese government study found that 58% of people in coastal areas in Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima prefectures heeded tsunami warnings immediately after the quake and headed for higher ground. [285] Workers were evacuated,[291] but tsunami warnings hindered efforts to extinguish the fire until 14 March, when officials planned to do so. [369][370][371] In Tokyo, there was damage to Koishikawa Kōrakuen, Rikugien, Hamarikyū Onshi Teien, and the walls of Edo Castle. [74] A quake of this magnitude usually has a rupture length of at least 500 km (310 mi) and generally requires a long, relatively straight fault surface. [260][261][262] Reportedly, some locals had attempted to repair leaks in the dam before it completely failed. [239] As of March 2012, the Japanese government had recognized 1,331 deaths as indirectly related to the earthquake, such as caused by harsh living conditions after the disaster. On March 11, 2011 a 9.0 earthquake struck Japan. Subsequent analysis found that many Japanese nuclear plants, including Fukushima Daiichi, were not adequately protected against tsunamis. [93], The Earth's axis shifted by estimates of between 10 cm (4 in) and 25 cm (10 in). There are plans to install new teleseismometers with the ability to measure larger earthquakes, which would allow the calculation of a quake's moment magnitude scale in a timely manner. [248] The earthquake and tsunami created an estimated 24–25 million tons of rubble and debris in Japan. [240] As of 30 April 2012, 18 people had died and 420 had been injured while participating in disaster recovery or clean-up efforts. [190] The surge in Chile was large enough to damage more than 200 houses,[191] with waves of up to 3 m (9.8 ft). The US geological survey said the quake struck 219 kilometres south-southeast of Severo on the Kuril chain far north of Japan… [393][394], The quake gave scientists the opportunity to collect a large amount of data to model the seismic events that took place in great detail. [169] Also, at the slope of a nearby mountain from 400 metres (1,300 ft) away at Aneyoshi fishery port (姉吉漁港) of Omoe peninsula (重茂半島) in Miyako, Iwate, Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology found estimated tsunami run up height of 38.9 metres (128 ft). It was at the point where the Pacific tectonic plate slides beneath the North American plate. The tsunami height that had been initially predicted by the tsunami warning system was lower than the actual tsunami height; this error contributed to the delayed escape of some residents. [101], The first sign international researchers had that the earthquake caused such a dramatic change in the Earth's rotation came from the United States Geological Survey which monitors Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) stations across the world. This helped confirm the fact that something else was going on—namely the clay lubrication. The tsunami was spawned by an 9.0 magnitude earthquake that reached depths of 24.4km- making it … Journey into the Plastisphere [231][232], Japanese funerals are normally elaborate Buddhist ceremonies that entail cremation. In the area near the trench, the coupling coefficient is high, which could act as the source of the large tsunami. The surface energy of the seismic waves from the earthquake was calculated to be 1.9×1017 joules,[84] which is nearly double that of the 9.1 Mw 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami that killed 230,000 people. [130] The tsunami inundated a total area of approximately 561 square kilometres (217 sq mi) in Japan. Rolling blackouts of approximately three hours were experienced throughout April and May while TEPCO scrambled to find a temporary power solution. "[386], Nine days after the earthquake hit, a visualization and sonification were uploaded to YouTube allowing listeners to hear the earthquake as it unfolded in time. [161], On 13 March 2011, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) published details of tsunami observations recorded around the coastline of Japan following the earthquake. Both interplate and intraplate earthquakes appeared in the aftershocks offshore Sanriku coast with considerable proportions.[81]. [223] The quake and tsunami killed 378 elementary, middle-school, and high school students and left 158 others missing. [318] Many radioactive hotspots were found outside the evacuation zone, including Tokyo. [377], According to Japan's foreign ministry, 116 countries and 28 international organizations offered assistance. [175][176] Russia evacuated 11,000 residents from coastal areas of the Kuril Islands. A ship washed ashore during the 2011 Japan tsunami lies amidst wreckage in Kesennuma, Miyagi, Japan. [361], Matsushima Air Field of the Japan Self-Defense Force in Miyagi Prefecture was struck by the tsunami, flooding the base and resulting in damage to all 18 Mitsubishi F-2 fighter jets of the 21st Fighter Training Squadron. You can think of friction like a brake, Chester explained. [373] There was no damage to the Historic Monuments and Sites of Hiraizumi in Iwate Prefecture, and the recommendation for their inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List in June was seized upon as a symbol of international recognition and recovery. The unprecedented data haul that enabled Chester and colleagues to figure out what happened during the 2011 earthquake is courtesy of a rapid response by the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, said Emily Brodsky, a geophysicist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a co-author of one of the studies. The volcano had previously erupted in January 2011; it is not known if the later eruption was linked to the earthquake. The break caused the sea floor to rise by several metres. How people could best prepare People could best prepare for a tsunami by evacuating their area, espescially if they live by the shore. The 2011 test was preempted by the real tsunami from Japan. When the earth below the ocean moved or cracked it made a small wave that gets bigger while it moves toward the more shallow waters. [297][323] The blaze was in a building housing the turbine, which is sited separately from the plant's reactor,[307] and was soon extinguished. [173][174], In response to the aforementioned shortcomings in the tsunami warning system, JMA began an investigation in 2011 and updated their system in 2013. [372] Information on the condition of collections held by museums, libraries and archives is still incomplete. Tsunami waves also swept across the Pacific, causing damage or disruptions in Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. [263] On 12 March 252 dams were inspected and it was discovered that six embankment dams had shallow cracks on their crests. The plant's three reactors automatically shut down without damage and all safety systems functioned as designed. It was not as bad as the Chernobyl disaster, but worse than the Three Mile Island accident. [321] As late as July 2013 slightly elevated levels of radioactivity were found in beef on sale at Tokyo markets. [68] Aftershocks follow Omori's law, which states that the rate of aftershocks declines with the reciprocal of the time since the main quake. The motorcycle was among the first items lost in the tsunami to reach the west coast of North America. [381], It was noted that the Japanese news media has been at times overly cautious to avoid panic and reliance on confusing statements by experts and officials. [212] As of March 2012, Japanese police data showed that 70% of the 3,279 still missing were aged 60 or over, all found, including 893 in their 70s and 577 in their 80s. The bulletin also included initial tsunami observation details, as well as more detailed maps for the coastlines affected by the tsunami waves. [100] In Antarctica, the seismic waves from the earthquake were reported to have caused the Whillans Ice Stream to slip by about 0.5 metres (1 ft 8 in). [36][141], Like the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, the damage by surging water, though much more localized, was far more deadly and destructive than the actual quake. [319] Food products were also found contaminated by radioactive matter in several places in Japan. The Japanese Foreign Ministry confirmed the deaths of nineteen foreigners. [333][334] All railway services were suspended in Tokyo, with an estimated 20,000 people stranded at major stations across the city. [173][174], Shortly after the earthquake, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) in Hawaii issued tsunami watches and announcements for locations in the Pacific. [298] Over 200,000 people were evacuated. Because of the unquestioning nature of most Japanese media to hold to the "party line", many Japanese mid-level officials and experts spoke to foreign media to get their opinions and observations publicized. The sea walls in several cities had been built to protect against tsunamis of much lower heights. [113], The number of aftershocks was associated with decreased health across Japan. The earthquake and the tragic losses had been served as a significant inspiration for the Japan women's national football team, in which, in the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup, managed to create the greatest giant-killing ever in the history where Japan came from nothing to become world champions despite the devastating earthquake and lack of funding for the team; the Nadeshiko itself also unveiled banner to thank global support despite adverse situations at home. The Japanese government's response to the earthquake, the efforts of Japanese citizens to help with recovery, and the disaster itself have inspired many works from Japanese creators. In the fall of 2016 Japan's National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Resilience (NIED; Japanese abbreviation, Bosai Kaken; full name Bousai Kagaku Gijutsu Kenkyusho) launched the online interactive "Disaster Chronology Map for Japan, 416–2013" (map labels in Japanese) to display in visual form the location, disaster time, and date across the islands. Also, many people caught in the tsunami thought they were on high enough ground to be safe. Services on the Tōhoku Shinkansen partially resumed only in Kantō area on 15 March, with one round-trip service per hour between Tokyo and Nasu-Shiobara,[347] and Tōhoku area service partially resumed on 22 March between Morioka and Shin-Aomori. [375], The aftermath of the twin disasters also left Japan's coastal cities and towns with nearly 25 million tons of debris. Of these, only nine reactors in five power plants were operating after having been restarted post-2011. [246], Japan's National Police Agency said on 3 April 2011, that 45,700 buildings were destroyed and 144,300 were damaged by the quake and tsunami. [368], 754 cultural properties were damaged across nineteen prefectures, including five National Treasures (at Zuigan-ji, Ōsaki Hachiman-gū, Shiramizu Amidadō, and Seihaku-ji); 160 Important Cultural Properties (including at Sendai Tōshō-gū, the Kōdōkan, and Entsū-in, with its western decorative motifs); one hundred and forty-four Monuments of Japan (including Matsushima, Takata-matsubara, Yūbikan, and the Site of Tagajō); six Groups of Traditional Buildings; and four Important Tangible Folk Cultural Properties. According to the JMA Meteorological Research Institute [ja], reasons for the underestimation include a saturated magnitude scale when using maximum amplitude as input, failure to fully take into account the area of the hypocenter, and the initial amplitude of the earthquake being less than that which would be predicted by an empirical relationship. [396], Researchers have also analysed the economic effects of this earthquake and have developed models of the nationwide propagation via interfirm supply networks of the shock that originated in the Tōhoku region.[397][398]. A powerful tsunami travelling 800km per hour with 10m-high waves swept over the east coast of Japan, killing more than 18,000 people. [9] A man who is said to have been attempting to photograph the oncoming tsunami at the mouth of the Klamath River, south of Crescent City, California, was swept out to sea. 2021 National Geographic Partners, LLC. [123][124][125] Chile's Pacific coast, one of the furthest from Japan at about 17,000 kilometres (11,000 mi) away, was struck by waves 2 metres (6.6 ft) high,[126][127][128] compared with an estimated wave height of 38.9 metres (128 ft) at Omoe peninsula, Miyako city, Japan. [51] In addition, some three thousands extra deaths have been identified as "earthquake-related deaths",[209][210] bringing the total number of deaths caused by the disaster to 19,575 as of 2017 September. The quake—magnitude 9.0, the strongest ever recorded in Japan—also was highly destructive,… [224] One elementary school in Ishinomaki, Miyagi, Okawa Elementary, lost 74 of 108 students and 10 of 13 teachers and staff.[225][226][227]. © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society, © 2015- The Tohoku earthquake caused a tsunami. A few cases of suicide are also included. [145][146], Large parts of Kuji and the southern section of Ōfunato including the port area were almost entirely destroyed. "[61], The 9.1-magnitude (Mw) undersea megathrust earthquake occurred on 11 March 2011 at 14:46 JST (05:46 UTC) in the north-western Pacific Ocean at a relatively shallow depth of 32 km (20 mi),[5][62] with its epicenter approximately 72 km (45 mi) east of the Oshika Peninsula of Tōhoku, Japan, lasting approximately six minutes. [39][74] The Pacific plate, which moves at a rate of 8 to 9 cm (3.1 to 3.5 in) per year, dips under Honshu's underlying plate, building large amounts of elastic energy. [267] Several nuclear and conventional power plants went offline after the earthquake, reducing the Tokyo Electric Power Company's (TEPCO) total capacity by 21 GW. In Sendai, a 145,000-barrel (23,100 m3)-per-day refinery owned by the largest refiner in Japan, JX Nippon Oil & Energy, was also set ablaze by the quake. An expedition named Japan Trench Fast Drilling Project have been conducted in year 2012–2013 to drill oceanfloor boreholes through the fault-zone of the earthquake and gathered important data about the rupture mechanism and physical properties of the fault that caused the huge earthquake and tsunami which devastated much of northeast Japan.[399][400]. [37][52] Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said, "In the 65 years after the end of World War II, this is the toughest and the most difficult crisis for Japan. [55] By summer the Vice-minister for Economy, Trade and Industry, the head of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, and the head of the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy had all lost their jobs. [110], As of 16 March 2012 aftershocks continued, totaling 1887 events over magnitude 4.0; a regularly updated map showing all shocks of magnitude 4.5 and above near or off the east coast of Honshu in the last seven days[111] showed over 20 events. "But clay almost removes any braking properties.". [235] The single crematorium in Higashimatsushima, for example, could only handle four bodies a day, although hundreds were found there. [253] A total of 319 fishing ports, about 10% of Japan's fishing ports, were damaged in the disaster. [129] The actual height prediction varied, the greatest being for Miyagi at 6 metres (20 ft) high. [57] The Bank of Japan offered ¥15 trillion (US$183 billion) to the banking system on 14 March in an effort to normalize market conditions. Hence, earthquakes in this area with magnitudes of about 7 since 1926 had only released part of the accumulated energy. [354][355] Within Japan, only a few websites were initially unreachable. [37] Residents of Sendai had only eight to ten minutes of warning, and more than a hundred evacuation sites were washed away. [255], The Port of Tokyo suffered slight damage; the effects of the quake included visible smoke rising from a building in the port with parts of the port areas being flooded, including soil liquefaction in Tokyo Disneyland's parking lot. Of those who didn't heed the warning, 49% were hit by the water. [69], This megathrust earthquake was a recurrence of the mechanism of the earlier 869 Sanriku earthquake, which has been estimated as having a magnitude of at least 8.4 Mw, which also created a large tsunami that inundated the Sendai plain. 2. [132][133] Just over an hour after the earthquake at 15:55 JST, a tsunami was observed flooding Sendai Airport, which is located near the coast of Miyagi Prefecture,[134][135] with waves sweeping away cars and planes and flooding various buildings as they traveled inland. The large number of views made the video one of the most popular examples of sonification on the web. 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