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Thoku Tsunami and Earthquake
By: Aniket Singh ChauhanClass: X ARoll No.: 06
Introduction The2011 earthquake off the Pacific coast of Thokuwas a magnitude9.0 (Mw)underseamegathrust earthquakeoff the coast ofJapanthat occurred at 14:46JST(05:46UTC) on Friday 11 March 2011,with theepicenterapproximately 70 kilometers (43mi) east of theOsaka PeninsulaofThoku and the hypocenterat an underwater depth of approximately 30km (19mi). On 10 March 2015, a JapaneseNational Police Agencyreport confirmed 15,894 deaths,6,152 injured,and 2,562 people missing across twentyprefectures, as well as 228,863 people living away from their home in either temporary housing or due to permanent relocation.A 10February 2014 agency report listed 127,290 buildings totally collapsed, with a further 272,788 buildings 'half collapsed', and another 747,989 buildings partially damaged. Early estimates placed insured losses from the earthquake alone at US$14.5 to $34.6billion.TheBank of Japanoffered 15trillion (US$183billion) to the banking system on 14 March in an effort to normalize market conditions. HeWorld Bank's estimated economic cost was US$235billion, making it the costliest natural disaster in world history.
Areas Affected The Epicenter with High, Medium and Low Tides
The states or Prefectures affected by the the Thuku Tsunami.
Extent of DamageTheNational Police Agencyhas confirmed 15,894 deaths,6,152 injured,and 2,562 people missingacross twenty prefectures. Of the 13,135 fatalities recovered by 11 April 2011, 12,143 or 92.5% died by drowning. Victims aged 60 or older accounted for 65.2% of the deaths, with 24% of total victims being in their 70s.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. Of the total confirmed victims, 14,308 drowned, 667 were crushed to death or died from internal injuries, and 145 perished from burns. The Japanese Foreign Ministry has confirmed the deaths of nineteen foreigners.Among them are two English teachers from the United States affiliated with theJapan Exchange and Teaching Program;a Canadian missionary inShiogama; and citizens of China, North and South Korea, Taiwan, Pakistan and the Philippines. The tsunami is reported to have caused several deaths outside Japan. One man was killed inJayapura,Papua, Indonesia after being swept out to sea.A man who is said to have been attempting to photograph the oncoming tsunami at the mouth of theKlamath River, south ofCrescent City, California, was swept out to sea. Estimates of the cost of the damage range well into the tens of billions ofUS dollars. Japan'sNational Police Agencysaid on 3 April 2011, that 45,700 buildings were destroyed and 144,300 were damaged by the quake and tsunami. The earthquake and tsunami created an estimated 2425million tons of rubble and debris in Japan. An estimated 230,000 automobiles and trucks were damaged or destroyed in the disaster. TheFukushima Daiichi,Fukushima Daini,Onagawa Nuclear Power PlantandTkai nuclear power stations, consisting of a total eleven reactors, wereautomatically shut downfollowing the earthquake. At Fukushima Daiichi and Daini, tsunami waves overtopped seawalls and destroyed diesel backup power systems, leading to severe problems at Fukushima Daiichi, including three large
explosions and radioactive leakage. explosions and radioactive leakage. Japan's transport network suffered severe disruptions. Many sections ofThoku Expressway serving northern Japan were damaged. A tsunami wave floodedSendai Airportat 15:55 JST,about 1 hour after the initial quake, causing severe damage.NaritaandHaneda Airportboth briefly suspended operations after the quake, but suffered little damage and reopened within 24 hours.Eleven airliners bound for Narita were diverted to nearbyYokota Air Base. Cellular and landline phone service suffered major disruptions in the affected area.Immediately after the earthquake cellular communication was jammed across much of Japan due to a surge of network activity. Matsushima Air Fieldof theJapan Self-Defense Forcein Miyagi Prefecture was struck by the tsunami, flooding the base and resulting in damage to all 18Mitsubishi F-2fighter jets of the 21st Fighter Training Squadron.
AftermathThe tsunami resulted in over 340,000 displaced people in the Thoku region, and shortages of food, water, shelter, medicine and fuel for survivors.Aid organizations both in Japan and worldwide also responded, with the Japanese Red Cross reporting $1billion in donations.The aftermath of the twin disasters also left Japan's coastal cities and towns with nearly 25 million tons of debris. In Ishinomaki alone, there were 17 trash collection sites 180 metres long and at least 4.5 metres high.According to Japan's foreign ministry, 116 countries and 28 international organizations offered assistance. Japan specifically requested assistance from teams fromAustralia,New Zealand,South Korea, and theUnited States.
Some of the nations which helped Japan during the crisis
Japanese Red Cross SocietyOrganisations ParticipatingJapanese Air Self-Defence Force
Japanese Self-Defence ForceFire and Disaster Management Agency
Tokyo Fire Department
National Police Agency (Japan)And many more..
How could the damages be minimized?(1) Sandbags to protect property : If flood water does get into the house, people can use a pump to remove this water. But this takes a lot of time, and damage can still be done. People can evacuate their houses, if there is time. They may take precious belongings, pets and essential items such as clothes, food and money. They will have to stay somewhere else during the flood. But damage is still done to the property and has to be dealt with when the owners return. Governments can spend money to make river banks higher. Soil or concrete can be used to make the river banks higher. This is called a levee. When there is more water in the river, it should stay in the channel as the banks are higher.(2) Raising banks before a flood :Sometimes a flood wall can be built by the river bank to protect the town from floods. If the river bursts its banks, the water should stay in front of the flood wall. The water will not reach the town as it is trapped between the river bank and the flood wall. Flood walls are usually white.(3) Dams : Dams are also used to control floods. In times of really heavy rainfall, more holes can be opened to allow more water to flow into the river downstream. The water can be released quickly before it has a chance to build up. Floodways are artificial river channels which can be built to divert the flow of extra water in rivers. The water then has two channels to flow through in times of heavy rainfall, meaning that the river banks shouldn't burst.(4) Floodways :Flood barriers can be built across rivers. These are like walls and are similar to dams. They are usually built near the mouth of a river. Flood barriers protect against floods caused by high tides or strong winds. The flood gate is closed to keep the water out of the river. In times of normal water level, the gates are kept open to allow ships to pass through. The Thames Flood Barrier is an example.
5) Buildings can be made of materials that are more flexible than traditional materials. They also build them on pads, that work sort of like Teflon, so buildings sort of slide a bit. They can put more thought into a design that allows for twisting motions.6)Field surveys of recent tsunamis and geological investigations of ancient waves will also help scientists and hazards planners to design structures and plan communities so that casualties and damage can be reduced.7)Involving communities in earthquake and tsunami preparedness programs helps.8)Mangrove forests minimize the efficiency of tsunami attacks. So steps must be taken to plant mangrove trees along the coastal regions.9)Student groups and several other organizations can educate the ignorant people about how to act during natural disasters like tsunami.
What measures to be adopted to save the coastal fishermen & villagers, hotelier and the tourists?
Many fishermen communities in India like Koli and Macchiyar have their settlements (villages) located near the seas. The Government along with NGOs should spread awareness and conduct mock drills to make these people ready for any situation. Also efforts should be made to make these fishermen live in houses which are tsunami resistant. The knowledge of crises management and reaction should be given to these people so that during the times of the disaster they are well prepared. To do this mock drills should be conducted on a regular bases.
Hotels places like Goa, Mumbai, Vishakhapatnam, etc. are places which always are under the threat of tsunamis and they also house many big seaside hotels; the structures which are located near the seas should undergo strict trials and tests for their agility during a natural disaster. The hotel staff should also be properly trained as its not possible to train all of the
the guests training the staff well will do. A fire or an electrical hazard can probably happen so the readiness to face these problems should be there. The hotel should be equipped with fire extinguishers, fire alarms, etc. Also there should be a place which is tsunami resilient inside the hotel premises itself so that in the times of the disaster there is a safe place to take shelter. As there are many tourists visiting sea beaches and seafront cities enough awareness should be spread amongst them to help themselves if they cannot find anyone. National agencies like the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) should conduct mock drills in cities and areas which are unde