Topic: Entertainment & MediaEvents

Last updated: April 3, 2019

This report will investigate the Tsunami and earthquake that occurred in japan in 2011. It will look into the effects that this disaster had on the environment and people along with the damage it has caused. It will look at the basic science behind why and how this disaster occurred and ways that scientists are looking at to predict future disasters like this one.
On the 11 of March 2011, a 9-9.1 magnitude earthquake hit the pacific coast of Tohoku. This earthquake caused a tsunami up to 40.5 m high which travelled 10.5km inland japan. The epicentre of this earthquake was located roughly 70km east of Oshika Peninsula along a subduction zone where the subduction of the pacific plate and the plate beneath northern Honshu were taking place. This event caused 15,896 deaths, 6,167 injuries and 2,537 people missing. The tsunami left 120,00 building destroyed and a million others damaged. The result of the insufficient amount of shelter was 300,000 refugees in Tohoku looking for food, water and medicine. The economic damage included the money that is tolls up to ¥25 trillion ($300 billion) in just in direct material damage alone. Approximately 23,600 hectares of farmland were damaged by the tsunami as the salt left in the soil by seawater greatly affects the growth of crops such rice. The sheer magnitude of this event lead to the debris washing up several years later on the coast of North America.
Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster is a disaster caused by the tsunami of the 2011 earthquake & tsunami disaster. When the Fukushima Daichi nuclear power plant was hit by the tsunami. It caused the emergency power generator which kept the reactors cool to shut down. This lead to three nuclear meltdowns and hydrogen air explosions which released radioactive material. This incident has caused 1 confirmed death from radiation related cancer and 39 non-fatal injuries. This event is the second to be given the level 7 event classification in the international nuclear event scale due to its size.
Earthquakes occur when rocks underground suddenly break along a Faultline. When this happens, it releases a sudden wave of seismic energy which causes the ground to shake. When two tectonic plates rub against each other, the rocks are constantly pushing against each other and as this motion is not smooth, it builds up pressure where the rocks are touching. Eventually this pressure becomes too much for the rocks to handle and it breaks causing an earthquake. The longer the build-up of this motion occurs, the more pressure is built up and therefore the larger the earthquake is. The 2011 earthquake and tsunami were cause by the subduction of the pacific plate and the plate beneath northern Honshu. Subduction occurs when the boundaries of one tectonic plate is pushed underneath another into the mantle due to gravity. The subduction zone is the zone in which this take event takes place.
Tsunamis occur when the water gets disturbed by big natural events such as an earthquake, an underwater landslide or a volcanic eruption. These events creating overlapping layers of water which send out waves in all different directions away from the centre of event similar to the ripples in a lake when a rock would land in it. The 2011 tsunami was caused by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake on the ocean floor. When this happened, the shaking caused the surface of the ocean to fold over creating huge waves.
Scientists have tried many ways to predict earthquakes. However, none of them have been successful yet. Scientist have found that common toads excel at predicting earthquakes as studies found that 96 % of male toads in a population abandoned their breeding site five days before an earthquake struck L’Aquila, Italy, in 2009. They believe that toads can tell this by the release in gasses and charged particles but has yet unable to prove anything. Although no methods of earthquake prediction are yet to succeed, scientist can predict where major earthquakes are likely to occur as if an area along a Faultline hasn’t received any major earthquakes within the past 50 years, it is likely the pressure is building up and is about to release a huge amount of energy.


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