Japan Earthquake In 2011

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In 2011, Japan experienced one of the largest earthquakes the country has ever had to face. On March 11, 2011 near the northeast coast of the island, Honshu, Japan, there was a 9.0 magnitude earthquake which took thousands of lives and caused endless destruction. According to the United States Geological Survey, this was the fourth largest earthquake in the world since 1900 (USGS, 2012). Earthquakes are a violent shaking of the ground caused by a rapid release of energy as a result of tectonic plate motion. From an article on Earth Scope, the 2011 Japan earthquake was caused from thrust faulting near the convergent plate boundary between the North American Plate and the Pacific Plate. The lithosphere of the Western Pacific plate boundary …show more content…
Some of the hazards that occur along with earthquakes are fires, liquefaction, landslides, dam failures, tsunami’s, the release of hazardous materials, and more. Specifically, for the earthquake in Japan, the largest hazard that took place was a tsunami right after the earthquake. Based on an article from the Earth Magazine, the thrusting that occurred from the earthquake, moved the city of Honshu eastward, which set off tsunami waves. The tsunami destroyed houses, towns, and even flooded up to 10 kilometers on the island (Sorkhabi, 2011). The tsunami itself was one of the most devastating disasters in Japan as it knocked down hundreds of power lines and washed away homes, buildings, and cars out to the sea. The earthquake and tsunami both caused damage to the nuclear reactors which led to the evacuation of thousands of people. Other minor hazards were damaged roads and bridges, fires, landslides, and even the release of hazardous materials. Liquefaction was a new case that was witnessed by many as it caused buildings and houses to sink extremely low into the ground. The liquefaction was very extreme because the buildings that were sinking into the soil, were starting to ruin water and gas pipes (Ashford, 2011). According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, there was a gigantic explosion from the petrochemical complexes in the city …show more content…
This earthquake was one of the first earthquakes that was intensively recorded with regards to seismic events of the magnitude. As this was thoroughly recorded, it helped scientists understand how other events will affect the nation in the future and now there is information that can lessen any uncertainty in seismic hazards. Researchers also know about different effects and hazards of earthquakes, like liquefaction (Nyquist, 2012). Some of the social impacts were the amount of human lives that were taken, the number of residents that had to evacuate, electricity problems, and even problems with public transportation and commuting. Unfortunately, dealing with the economic impacts, the real GDP growth decreased drastically which caused Japan to fall into a temporary recession. When this disaster occurred, the financial impacts were just as massive as the social and environmental impacts. Financial institutions had to procure longer term money right and there was a very strong demand for loans. However, the insurance companies did not seem to

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