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Cause and effect of the Japanese tsunami

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Cause and effect of the Japanese tsunami The word tsunami is Japanese for "harbor wave". They often happen in Japan and about 195 have been recorded. Tsunamis can devastate coastal regions. They are often referred to as ‘tidal waves’, but have nothing to do with tides. The 2011 TÅhoku earthquake with its resulting tsunami and flooding were caused by a 9.0-magnitude undersea megathrust earthquake off the coast of Japan that happened on Friday, 11 March 2011. It has been named the ‘Great Eastern Japan Earthquake’. The epicenter was approximately 45 miles east of the Oshika Peninsula of TÅhoku, with the hypocenter at an underwater depth of approximately 20 miles. This earthquake triggered extremely destructive tsunami waves of up to 30m that struck Japan minutes after the quake, in some cases traveling up to 6 miles inland, with smaller waves reaching many other countries after several hours. The flooding caused huge damage. What causes a tsunami? Tsunamis, also called seismic sea waves, are usually caused by earthquakes, less commonly by submarine landslides, infrequently by submarine volcanic eruptions and very rarely by a large meteorite impact in the ocean. ...read more.


The waves are not very high outat sea and can go unnoticed, but they are extremely long and also grow in height when they reach shallower water. Normal waves have a ?wavelength? of about 330ft, but a tsunami in the deep ocean will be about 120 miles long! It travels at over 500 miles per hour! When the wave enters shallow water, it slows down and its height increases. The wave further slows and amplifies as it hits land. Only the largest waves crest. Effects of a tsunami Tsunamis cause damage in two ways: the smashing force of a wall of water travelling at high speed, and the destructive power of a large volume of water draining off the land and carrying all with it, even if the wave did not look large. Both farmland and buildings are damaged or destroyed and many people drown or are killed by the force of the water and moving objects. For example, cars are lifted up and swept away with the rush of water, and people can be hit by them or simply drown. ...read more.


Conclusion The aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami included both a humanitarian crisis and a major economic impact. The tsunami resulted in over 300,000 refugees in the TÅhoku region, and shortages of food, water, shelter, medicine and fuel for survivors. The economic impact included both immediate problems, with industrial production stopped in many factories, and the longer term issue of the cost of rebuilding which has been estimated at 10 trillion yen - about £80 billion. The long term reinvestment in car factories such as Toyota will be hard to find. There will have to be a huge cleaning up process before rebuilding can begin, as well as clearing of farmland before new crops can be planted or animals are able to graze. Some rice farmers are thinking they should retire. The rice paddies on the outskirts of the tsunami-hit cities are ankle-deep in a black, salty sludge. Crumpled cars and uprooted trees lie scattered across them. The ground has to be cleared and the soil washed free of salt. Nothing would grow in such salty mud. Many fishing boats were destroyed, too, and Japan’s fishing industry is important. So, as well as being a nation in mourning for the dead, the Japanese have to find the strength to rebuild their cities, their farming, industries, transport network and tourism. ...read more.

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