The Great Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011

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The Great Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011 On March 11, 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake rocked Japan and sent a thirty-three foot tsunami raging down the coast to devastate their towns even further. To make matters even worse, the earthquake also triggered a nuclear emergency that has been compared to the Chernobyl disaster of 1986. (McCurry, 1) This earthquake was the worst earthquake in Japan’s recorded history. (McCurry, 1) It would not be surprising if people will still talk about it for centuries to come. The earthquake began off of the north-eastern coast of Honshu and caused catastrophic damage. The coastal areas were hammered by a “series of large tsunami waves that devastated many coastal areas of the country, most notably in the Tōhoku region (northeastern Honshu)”. (“Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011”, 1) According to Encyclopedia Britannica… The epicentre was located some 80 miles (130 km) east of the city of Sendai, Miyagi prefecture, and the focus occurred at a depth of 18.6 miles (about 30 km) below the floor of the western Pacific Ocean. The earthquake was caused by the rupture of a stretch of the subduction zone associated with the Japan Trench, which separates the Eurasian Plate from the subducting Pacific Plate. (Some geologists argue that this portion of the Eurasian Plate is actually a fragment of the North American Plate called the Okhotsk microplate.) A part of the subduction zone measuring approximately 190 miles (300 km) long by 95 miles (150 km) wide lurched as much as 164 feet (50 metres) to the east-southeast and thrust upward about 33 feet (10 metres). (“Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011, 1”) A series of extremely destructive tsunami waves followed the 9.0 earthquake along with the dozens of foreshocks and aftershocks that came with it. The city of Sendai, its surrounding area and airport were pounded by a wave

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