Tom Williamson-Cary U6D
Sendai Earthquake and Tsunami enquiry

Title: What happened when the worst earthquake in 1000 years hit Honshu, Japan?

1. What was the cause of the earthquake? (Names of the plates involved, and the type of plate boundary) (map and diagram needed with explanation)
The epicenter of the earthquake is along the convergent margin where the Pacific Plate is being subducted beneath the Okhotsk Plate. The shaking of the sea-floor from the earthquake created the tsunami. The destructive nature of the Tohoku earthquake stemmed from its occurrence at a shallow depth (~20-30 km) that allowed the motion to shove crustal material eastwards, up and over the sea floor to cause the sea floor to bulge upwards by tens of meters in a matter of seconds.

2. Facts and figures:
a. Date and time of earthquake - 14:46 on Friday 11 March 2011
b. Location of epicenter - 150 km off the east coast of Japan
c. Magnitude on the Richter Scale – 9.0
d. Estimate of loss of life - 15,870 deaths, 6,114 injured, and 2,814 people missing. Over 92% of reported deaths were due to drowning.
e. Estimate of cost - $300 billion dollars

3. How did the earthquake and the tsunami affect the towns and cities in Japan? (pictures and comments)
a. Effects on people - The tsunami caused a cooling system failure at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, which resulted in a level-7 nuclear meltdown and release of radioactive materials.
The electrical power and backup generators were overwhelmed by the tsunami, and the plant lost its cooling capabilities. Oil refinery of Cosmo Oil Company was set on fire by the quake at Ichihara, Chiba Prefecture, to the east of Tokyo.
It was extinguished after ten days, injuring six people, and destroying storage tanks. The tsunami resulted in over 340,000 displaced people in the Tōhoku region, and shortages of food, water, shelter, medicine and fuel for survivors.
319 fishing ports, about 10% of Japan's fishing ports,...

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