On 11 Mar 2011 05:46 UTC, an 8.9 magnitude earthquake struck 400km (250 miles) north-east of Tokyo off the coast of Japan, triggering a tsunami. Because the earthquake’s hypocenter, or rupture point, was 24.4 kilometers (15.2 miles) deep, it is considered a shallow earthquake, the most dangerous type of quake.
The level of destruction is still not clear and is likely to be some days before a clearer picture emerges as to the extent of damage. The most affected areas are near the coastal city of Sendai in Miyagi Prefecture which has a population of one million and is 300 km northeast of Tokyo.
The Government of Japan (GOJ) says more than 1,231buildings have been destroyed and another 4,000 damaged. Approximately 1,450 roads, eight railways and 22 bridges are damaged or washed away. An irrigation dam has reportedly burst sweeping away houses in Fukushima.
The Government is currently putting the number of casualties at 464 with 771 people missing but the extent of the destruction along the lengthy stretch of coastline suggests the death toll is more likely in the 1000’s, most of these are attributed to the Tsunami. A massive tsunami, as much as 10 meters deep, swept up to six miles inland devastating large swaths of Japanese coastal areas.
- The quake was the fifth-largest in the world since 1900 and nearly 8,000 times stronger than the one which devastated Christchurch, New Zealand, last month.
- Fires have broken throughout the region and continue to burn
- 145 of the 70 hospitals designated for acute emergencies are fully operational in Tokyo and Tohoku; 2 0f 7 hospitals in Sendai are not operational.
GOVERNMENT OF JAPAN
Government of Japan website:
US GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONS
- New Research Identifies Japan’s Elevated Risk from Tsunamis – Researcher says 4 quakes could trigger huge tsunami (enformable.com)
- Federal Role and Response to Disasters (enformable.com)
- Catastrophe in Japan – Cascadia Subduction Zone – West Coast at Risk (enformable.com)
- September 23, 2011 – Congressional Research Service – Japan-U.S. Relations: Issues for Congress (enformable.com)
- 10/21/2011 List of Alerts of Physical Examination of Products from Japan Due to Radionuclide Contamination (enformable.com)
- March 11th, 2011 – I’m sure you have heard about the 8.9 earthquake off the coast of Japan – We should be prepared to brief on our tsunami research. Maybe also seismic. (enformable.com)
- March 11th, 2011 – Information more significant than official reports out (enformable.com)