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2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami - causes and effects

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Introduction

2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami At 14:46 (local time) on 11 March 2011 magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck 70km off the coast of Japan. The epicentre of the quake was 32km down with the main shock lasting for over five minutes. Due to the intensity of the earthquake, it was felt across almost the whole of Japan, being the most powerful earthquake to ever hit Japan. Also, the fact that such a large earthquake happened at sea meant a devastating tsunami ensued. Causes Due to Japan lying on the boundary between two major plates (Eurasian and Pacific), it receives earthquakes quite frequently. This specific earthquake was caused when the Eurasian plate is dragged down by the Pacific plate until the pressure is too great and the plate 'unzips'. ...read more.

Middle

All of Japan's ports were closed. Immediate power outages in Tokyo and eight other areas reportedly affected some 4 million homes. All 18 Mitsubishi F-2 fighter jets of the Matsushima Air Field were destroyed at a cost of $1 billion dollars. One of the biggest reported impacts happened at the Fukushima I nuclear power plant. Although the reactors shut down automatically when the earthquake struck, the resultant tsunami disabled emergency generators required to cool the reactors. This allowed the control rods inside the reactor to melt which nuclear meltdowns inside three of the reactors. The IAEA has rated the events at level 7, the same as Chernobyl, and the highest on the scale - meaning that there is a major release of radioactive material with widespread health and environmental effects. ...read more.

Conclusion

In response to the nuclear disaster at Fukushima I, a nuclear exclusion zone was created and anyone within 20 km of the plant was ordered to leave and anyone within 30 km was urged at first to stay indoors and later evacuated. Recovery Following the earthquake, the Japanese stock market plummeted and many companies lost thousands of Yen due the disaster. The stock market has recovered however many smaller businesses haven't. Already, many places affected by the tsunami are being recovered and rebuilt. The town of Rikuzentakata, which was hit extremely hard, started having rubble cleared away in September but no sign of reconstruction has begun yet. The exclusion zone surrounding the power plant has started to be reduced and restrictions on residents living between 20-30 km of the plant have been eased but not completely lifted. ?? ?? ?? ?? Thomas Aird ...read more.

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