The worlds’ continents are situated on several tectonic plates around the world, which are up to 100km thick or thicker, which move with molten magma under the earths crust in the mantle. The plates can translate – slide past each other, converge – slide into each other or diverge – slide away from each other. These movements cause natural disasters that greatly impact cities and countries. There are around 1,000,000 natural disasters that occur each year. Science has come up with solutions today to predict and/or limit the amount of destruction and damage caused by natural disasters.
The Eurasian plate is situated in the Pacific Ocean, Japan lies on the edge of the plate. In March 11 2011, a major earthquake hit 100km of the coast of Japan. The worst affected area was Fukushima, a prefecture located on the north Eastern Island of Honshu, facing the Pacific Ocean. The earthquake was 9.0 on the Richter scale, the largest in Japanese history. The city of Fukushima thrives in farming and agriculture and is one of the leading cities in nuclear power. When the initial quake hit waves of shock were sent from the plate edges. Waves that are sent from the quake location are known as primary waves (P-waves), Secondary waves (S-waves) and Love waves, P-waves travel at 5km a second and S-waves travel at 3km a second Love waves are the slowest waves, however they are the most devastating waves. The earthquake was instrumental in the destruction of Japan, but not as influential as the tidal waves that trailed, Waves as high as ten meters, struck Sendai and other low-lying coastal regions of the Miyagi prefecture. The tidal waves became more volatile as they approached shallow sand banks and areas. In the days to follow the earthquake the cities experienced hundreds of aftershocks.