Tsunami and earthquake in Japan


The 11 March 2011 magnitude 9.0Honshu, Japan earthquake (38.297 N, 142.373 E, depth 29 km) generated a tsunami

that was observed all over the Pacific region and caused tremendous devastation locally*

. TheNational Police Agency of

Japan reports that as of March 8, 2012, there are 15,854 deaths and 3,203missing in Japan. The tsunami also caused one

death in Jakarta, Indonesia and one death in Klamath River, California. The earthquake and tsunami caused over $200

billion damage in Japan and resulted in a nuclear accident with explosions and leaks in three reactors at the Fukushima I

(Daiichi) Nuclear Power station. The tsunami also caused damage over 16,000 km away at Isla Chiloe, Chile; $6 million in

losses to the fishing industry in Tongoy, Chile; $30 million damage in Hawaii; and $70 million damage in California. This

was the first time observational evidence from satelliteslinked a tsunami to ice-shelf calving in Antarctica.

This is the fourth largest earthquake in the world and the largest in Japan since instrumental recordings began in 1900.

The earthquake generated the deadliest tsunami since the 2004 magnitude 9.1 Sumatra earthquake and tsunami caused

nearly 230,000 deaths and $10 billion in damage. This is the most devastating earthquake to occur in Japan since the 1995

Kobe earthquake caused over 5,500 deaths and the deadliest tsunami since the 1993 Hokkaido earthquake generated a

tsunami which was responsible for over 200 deaths.

>>link: http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/hazard/tsunami/pdf/2011_0311.pdf<<


Field survey results indicate the highest runup height was 38.9meters (tide removed) in Iwate Prefecture

(39.533757N, 142.046279 E)(http://www.coastal.jp/tsunami2011/). Runup is the difference between the

elevation of maximum tsunami penetration (inundation line) and the sea level at the time of the tsunami. Tide

gauge recordings in Japan range from 1 to 9meters. Two meter waves were observed at tide gauges in Russia,

South America, Hawaii, and the west coast of the United States. The highest wave ever recorded by an oceanbottom sensor was measured at 1.8 meters by DART® station 21418 located 450 nautical miles northeast of

Tokyo (see display on p. 4).NGDC will continue to update the historic tsunami database as eyewitness and field

survey reports are received.


At the time of this event (March 3, 2011), according to the NOAA National Geophysical Data Center / World Data

Service forGeophysics / (http://ngdc.noaa.gov/hazard) Global Historical Event databases, 2,111 tsunamis

(validity > 1

) had occurred in the world since 2000 B.C. and 281 (13%) of these tsunamis caused deaths. In the

Japanese region, 304 tsunamis (validity > 1

) had been observed since 684 A.D., and 78 (26%) of these events

caused deaths. The majority of Japanese tsunamis were generated by earthquakes (87%), the remainder resulted

from volcanic eruptions (5%) and unknown causes (8%). The most fatal Japanese earthquakes and tsunamis are

listed below:

1293 Kamakura earthquake caused 23,024 deaths and generated a small tsunami

1498 Enshunada Sea earthquake-generated tsunami caused 31,000 deaths

1586 Ise Bay earthquake and tsunami caused over 8,000 deaths

1771 Ryukyu Islands earthquake-generated tsunami caused over 13,000 deaths

1792 Mt. Unzen eruption generated a tsunami. The eruption and tsunami caused over 15,000 deaths

1847 Zenkoji earthquake caused 12,000 deaths

1855 Tokyo earthquake caused 6,757 deaths and generated a small tsunami

1891 Mino-Owari earthquake caused 7,273 deaths

1896 Sanriku earthquake and tsunami caused over 27,000 deaths

1923 Sagami Gulf earthquake caused over 99,000 deaths and generated a tsunami that caused over

2,000 deaths

1995 Kobe earthquake caused 5,502 deaths and generated a small tsunami