Earthquake in Japan and in Szechuan

Topics: Earthquake, Subduction, Plate tectonics Pages: 2 (429 words) Published: March 24, 2013
Japan Earthquake 2011

The disaster that struck Japan occured on 11th March, known as the Tohoku Earthquake, the Great East Japan Earthquake or 3.11 earthquake.

The epicentre was located approximately 70 kilometres east of the Oshika Peninsula of Tōhoku. It was at the location of 38.297°N, 142.372°E. The magnitude was 9.0, and was the most powerful known earthquake to have struck Japan, and the fifth strongest earthquake to have struck the world since record keeping in 1900. The earthquake travelled up to 10 km inland. The earthquake shifted the Earth on its axis by estimates of between 10 cm (4 in) and 25 cm.

The Earthquake resulted from thrust faulting on or near the subduction zone plate boundary between the Pacific and North America plates. Subduction caused the oceanic plate to slip underneath the continental plate, and they dragged against one another. The friction causes force to build up over time, and the gigantic release of energy caused the earthquake, while the sudden shift of a massive amount of water caused the subsequent tsunami.

Peak tsunami height: 40.5 meters (133 feet) at Miyako — that's equivalent to a 13 storey building. How far the tsunami made it inland: up to 10 km (6 miles) at Sendai. Total land area covered by the tsunami:: 561 kilometers sq (217 sq miles). Total area of icebergs the tsunami wave broke off of Antarctica: 125 square kilometers. 

Due to the earthquake, reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant shut down and the tsunami wiped out the cooling systems. As a result, the reactor is overheating and releasing dangerous amounts of radiation into the atmosphere. This causes radiation poisoning, killing many Japanese and scaring tourism away.

Szechuan Earthquake 2008

On May 12, 2008, the earthquake measuring 7.9 or 8 on the Richter scale struck Sichuan Province, killing around 90,000 people and injuring nearly 363,000, destroying more than 15 million homes, leaving 10 million homeless and 1.5 million...
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