Japan is situated in a place known as the Ring of Fire; this place experiences most active volcanoes. The Pacific Basin, which holds Japan, has oceanic trenches and experiences volcanoes around it. These volcanoes and oceanic trenches contribute to occurrence of earthquakes in Japan.Alexandra (2011) notes that earthquakes that occur under the sea floor unleash tsunamis; these tsunamis are more devastating than the earthquake itself. Violent movement of the earth’s crust displaces enormous quantities of water; these waves are known as tsunamis. Massive fires, generated by the earthquake, were blazing out of control leading to death, injuries, and the destruction of property. The quake left hundreds of people injured, dead or missing; it killed over 9,000 people. Tsunami wave destroyed power lines and swept homes, cars, ships, boats, trains, and massive islands of debris out to the ocean. Over four million buildings in Tokyo and its suburbs had no power after the quake. Reports indicated cases of landslides and collapse of buildings in several locations along the 2,100 kilometer stretch of coastline.Muddy water waves flowed over farmland near Sendai carrying buildings. Burst of gas pipes led to burning of houses and destruction of properties. Runways of the Sendai airport became inundated with trucks, buses, cars, and thick mud. Debris blocked the roads, and the communications systems, including the destruction of telephone lines. There was the suspension of train services in Tokyo and northeastern Japan, which serves around ten million people a day. The quake destroyed nuclear facilities located north of Tokyo. The government of Japan estimated the damage of the quake at $309 billion which was much higher compared to damage caused by the Hurricane Katrina in America.When earthquakes occur they cause tsunamis, this water moves in the form of waves and travels long distances at high speeds demolishing everything in their path. The magnitude of the quake, the volume of water displaced, and the topography of the ocean/sea floor determines the height and destructiveness of tsunamis. After the quake, strong waves hit Japan’s Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures damaging numerous coastal communities. Sequence of large foreshocks preceded the quake (Alexandra, 2011).According to USGS (2011), tsunami moving across the Pacific Ocean at 800 Km/h hit U. West Coast and Hawaii, but there was no serious
Aislinn, L. (2011). Japan Earthquake: What Causes Them? The Telegraph. Retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/japan/8375788/Japan-earthquake-what-causes-them.html
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Marcia, A.L. (2011). The 2011 Japan Disasters, Essential Events. Minneapolis: ABDO Publishing.
United States Geographical Survey (USGS). (2011). Magnitude 9.0-Near the East Coast of Honshu, Japan, 2011 March 11 05:46:24 UTC, Earthquake Summary. Retrieved from
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