2011 Earthquake In Japan

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This article will discuss the 2011 Earthquake In Japan, its cause, effects, and casualties.

What is Earthquake?

An earthquake is the sudden shaking of the earth that releases the energy in the earth’s lithosphere, causing the creation of seismic waves.

It may be due to volcanic eruptions, moving of tectonic plates, cave formation in small areas, or explosions.

It is also called a quake( or tremor or temblor).

It is measured with a Richter Magnitude scale.



  1. Measurement of Earthquake In Japan  

The Japanese “Shindo” scale is more commonly used for measuring earthquakes than the Richter scale.

Shindo is similar to the Modified Mercalli intensity scale used in the united states or the lieu scale used in China.

Shindo can be defined as an instrument used to measure the intensity of an earthquake in a given location. Or we can also say that Shindo refers to what peoples feel at a given location.

Whereas the Richter scale is the measure of the magnitude of an earthquake, or it also can be defined as the energy an earthquake releases at the epicenter.

The Shindo scale range from one to seven wherein Shindo one, a slight earthquake is felt by the people who are not moving, wherein on Shindo (2-4) minor earthquake occurs that does not cause any damage.

Whereas at Shindo five, objects start to fall, and heavier damage occurs at Shindo (6 and 7).

In this way, the earthquake range is measured on the Shindo scale.



  2. 2011 Earthquake In Japan (Source: Wikipedia & Japan Times)  

 Brief :

japan earthquake

~ This earthquake is also known as the Tōhoku Earthquake.

~ It was one of the biggest earthquakes in Japan’s history and the top 5 largest earthquakes in the history of the world after seismological recording began.

~ Earthquake strike occurred on March 11, 2011, at 05:46:23 UTC ( 14:46 JST).

~ 72 Km east of the Oshika Peninsula was the Hypocenter.

~ More than 20,000 death toll was recorded, including 15,898+Deaths and 2,531 people missings.

~ The magnitude of the earthquake was 9-9.1.

~ The estimated loss made by this earthquake was $360 billion +.

~ The shaking lasted for about 6 minutes.



  3. Cause of the 2011 Earthquake In Japan  

The main cause of this earthquake was the diving of the Pacific plate beneath the overriding Eurasian plate in eastern Japan.

A recent study showed that this earthquake resulted from the temblor completely after a century.

After the earthquake, scientists drilled into the subduction part of the earthquake and found a slippery clay layer lining the fault.

They also believe that this layer of clay leads to the sliding of plates to an incredible distance of about 50 m, causing earthquakes and tsunamis.



  4. Early Warning  

Thousands of lives were saved by an early warning system which alerted the citizens just a minute before the earthquake with the help of the alarm system and sending text messages.

This reduced the loss by alerting the railway department and industries’ assembly lines.



  5. Effects of Earthquake  


2011 japan earthquake


a. Deaths 

The Japanese government has confirmed  15,898 deaths as of June 10, 2016.

They also reported the missing of more than 2,531 citizens.

The only earthquake didn’t increase the death toll; many peoples died and missed because of the Tsunami.

We can also know the intensity of earthquakes from the death of 20,000 people in a country like Japan that is very forward in Technology and innovation.

b. Tsunami

A tsunami is also called Harbour Wave in the Japanese language.

A tsunami is an earthquake’s effect, so it is impossible without an earthquake.

Similarly, an Earthquake of 9.1 Magnitude caused the Tsunami to produce waves of up to 38 m (i.e., Height of 12-storey buildings).

The tsunami hit the coasts of Japan just after  30 minutes after the earthquake.

This also killed thousands of people, and many peoples were missed.

Another main effect of this Tsunami was a Nuclear meltdown.

c. Nuclear Meltdown in 2011 Earthquake in Japan

A nuclear meltdown in Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant is one of the biggest nuclear accidents since the 26 April 1986 Chornobyl disaster.

The main reason behind the meltdown was failing of cooling systems due to problems in reactor trips and grids.

This was caused by the hitting of high tidal waves on electrical power plants and the lower part of nuclear plants that failed the power supply system.

After the power cut, nuclear fission stopped and caused a meltdown.

Traces of radioactive isotopes like caesium-134 & caesium-137 was found on seawater during the test conducted in 2014 and 2015.

After the nuclear meltdown, an Evacuation zone of about a 20km radius was declared because of exposure to radiation in the atmosphere.



  6. Conclusion  

Although many earthquakes and tsunamis hit Japan every year, It recovers the wound given by nature in a dramatic way and again moves towards the peak of development & technology with discipline.


Read Also: Earthquake Resistant Buildings


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