An earthquake occurred in Sendai, Japan on the 11th of March in 2011; this earthquake also resulted in a tsunami. The earthquake measured at magnitude 8.9-9.0 on the Richter scale, the scale is measured in powers of ten (e.g. magnitude 2.0 is ten times more than magnitude 1.0).
Japan sits on the Ring of Fire (an area encircling Pacific Ocean that has high volcanic and earthquake activity), Japan is therefore highly prone to earthquakes and constantly experience them, though on March 11, 2011 an earthquake like no-other that the Japanese people have experienced before occurred in Sendai (in the north of Japan) and other surrounding areas, it is listed as the 4th most violent earthquake in recorded history.
The disastrous earthquake was followed by a frightening tsunami that was estimated to be 10 metres high in some parts and reached up to five kilometres inland. After the tsunami there were still many aftershocks that worsened the impact on the Japanese people and their environment.
This natural disaster occurred because of the movements of two tectonic plates: the Pacific plate plunged under the North American plate forcing it upwards, Japan sits on the North American plate thus creating an earthquake in Sendai and surrounding areas (the epicentre was approximately 100 miles off the shore of Sendai).
The tsunami that followed the earthquake occurred because the earthquake was originally under water and as the North American plate moved upwards it displaced an immense amount of ocean water causing a tsunami. The waves produced started off long yet low and as it got closer to shore they became shorter and higher. The tsunami had possibly caused more damage than the earthquake.
The result of these two natural disasters is horrific, the death-toll had exceeded 10000 people and many more were injured, their homes destroyed, loved ones...