Wednesday, February 26, 2020

The 2011 earthquake in Japan Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1250 words

The 2011 earthquake in Japan - Essay Example The 2011 Earthquake in Japan. Cause of the Earthquake. In March11, 2011, a destructive earthquake measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale struck Japan. The epicenter of the quake was near the East coast of Honshu, which was at a depth of 24.4 kilometers. According to Aislinn (2011), the movement along the two main plate boundaries caused the earthquake. Honshu Island is situated at the junction of three continental plates, the Pacific, Philippine, and Eurasian Sea plates. Earthquakes are generated by the tectonic plates that build up the surface of earth through bending, snagging, or breaking of these plates as they move past one another. Alexandra notes that thrust faulting caused the March 2011 earthquake; in thrust faulting, rocks positioned in the lower layer of the earth’s crust get pushed above the overlying layers. These faults occurred on or near the interface plate boundary between the North America and Pacific plates (Alexandra, 2011). This occurred near or along the boun dary where the Pacific Plate moves under Japan. The rate of convergence in the Pacific Plate’s border near Japan is much higher than in other zones. The Pacific plate thrusts beneath Japan at the Japan Trench, and plunges to the west underneath Eurasia; these plates are rocky and they creep past each other at a slow rate. The Pacific plate moves at a velocity of 3.2 inches per year westwards towards the North America plate. As the two plates shift past one another, they release seismic pressure and energy which cause earthquakes (Aislinn, 2011). 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. Damages of the Earthquake. Alexandra (2011) notes that earthquakes that occur under the sea floor unleash tsunamis; these tsunamis are more devastating t han 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 s ystems, 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. Effects of the Earthquak

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