Okushiri Island 1993 Tsunami

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The 1993 southwest-off Hokkaido earthquake occurred at 22:17 on 12 July 1993 in the Sea of Japan near the island of Hokkaido. It had a magnitude of 7.7 on the moment magnitude scale (newer version of the Richter scale) and a maximum felt intensity of VIII on the Mercalli intensity scale. It triggered a major tsunami that caused deaths on Hokkaidō and in southeastern Russia, with a total of 239 fatalities recorded. The island of Okushiri was hardest hit, with 165 casualties from the earthquake, the tsunami and a large landslide. The earthquake occurred in the backarc region of the convergent boundary where the Pacific Plate subducted beneath the Eurasian Plate. The earthquake shaking caused moderately severe damage, VIII on the Mercalli scale. The jolting movement of the seabed made the water rise and fall, which set off a terrifying tsunami. The fast-moving waves spread in all directions. They hit Okushiri less than four minutes later. As they approached the island, they gained height and were from 5-10 metres tall when they struck the shore. The waves bent around the island so that they struck the shore. The waves bent around the island so that they attacked every coast, not just the west coast that faces the Sea of Japan. A tsunami warning was given 5 minutes after the earthquake by the Japanese Meteorological Agency. However, this was too late for the inhabitants of Okushiri. The quake caused fires to start in the town of Okushiri, adding greatly to the total damage. Parts of Okushiri Island were protected by concrete sea walls up to 4.5 metres high, designed to deflect the power of tsunami waves. However, the tsunami of 1993 broke through the walls. The waves smashed into coastal towns and villages. They hit buildings, cars and trucks, fishing boats, and other objects, smashing them into pieces. The debris was swept along in the water, acting as a

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