An earthquake is the sudden shaking of the earth which 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, the formation of the cave in small area or explosions. It is also called quake( or tremor or temblor). It is measured with a Richter Magnitude scale. In this post, we will discuss the 2011 Earthquake in Japan.
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 of a given location. Or we can also say that Shindo refers to what people feel at a given location.
Whereas the Richter scale is the measures of the magnitude of an earthquake or it also can be defined as the energy an earthquake releases at the epicentre.
The Shindo scale range from one to seven wherein Shindo one, a slight earthquake is felt by the people who are not moving wherein Shindo (2-4) minor earthquake occurs which does not cause any damage. Whereas at Shindo five objects start to fall and at the Shindo (6 and 7) heavier damage occurs. In this way, the earthquake range measured in the Shindo scale.
2011 Earthquake In Japan (Source: Wikipedia & Japan Times)
~ This earthquake is also known as the Tōhoku Earthquake.
~ It was one of the biggest earthquakes in Japans history and 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 Billions +.
~ The shaking lasted for about 6 minutes.
Cause of the 2011 Earthquake In Japan
The main cause of this earthquake was diving of Pacific plate beneath the overriding Eurasian plate in eastern Japan. A recent study had shown that this earthquake was a result of the temblor completely after a century. After the earthquake, scientists drilled into the subduction part of the earthquake and found slippery clay layer lining the fault. They also believe that this layer of clay leads to sliding of plates to an incredible distance of about 50 m causing earthquake and tsunami.
Thousands of lives were saved by 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 reduces the loss by alerting railway department and industries assembly lines.
Effects of Earthquake
Japan 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 doesn’t increase the death toll; many peoples died and missed because of the Tsunami. We can also know the intensity of earthquake from the death of 20,000 peoples in a country like Japan that is very forward in Technology and innovation.
Tsunami is also called Harbour Wave in the Japanese language. Tsunami is the effect of the earthquake so it is not possible without an earthquake.
Similarly, Earthquake of 9.1 Magnitude caused the Tsunami producing the waves of the height of up to 38 m (i.e. Height of 12 storey building). The tsunami hit the coasts of Japan just after 30 minutes after the earthquake. This also killed thousands of peoples 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 accident happened in history since the 26 April 1986 Chernobyl 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 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; Evacuation zone of about 20km radius was declared because of exposure of radiation on the atmosphere.
Although many earthquakes and tsunami 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. Although many structures were destroyed by an earthquake; the Japanese never let it destroy their thought and feeling to move towards the peak.
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