2011 Japanese Tsunami

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Good morning ladies. Today I will be talking to you about the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11th, 2011 at 2:46pm (local time). This was the most powerful earthquake recorded in Japanese history with an estimated 8.9 -9.0 on the Richter scale. This catastrophic earthquake struck off the coast of Honshu, Japan. The tremors were the result of a violent uplift of the sea floor 80 miles off the coast of Sendai, where the Pacific tectonic plate slid beneath the plate Japan sits on. Tens of miles of crust ruptured along the trench where the tectonic plates meet. This triggered a 10m high tsunami reaching 5km inland. The waves swept away cars, homes, buildings, railways, and boats. According to the official toll, the disaster left 15,839 dead, 5,950 injured, and 3,642 missing. A tsunami is a series of waves, generated in the ocean or other body of water by a disturbance such as an earthquake, landslide, volcanic eruption or meteorite impact. Tsunamis can cause huge destruction when they hit coastlines.

Japan sits near the boundary of four tectonic plates: the Pacific, North American, Eurasian and Filipino plates. The earthquake occurred where the pacific plate was thrusting underneath the North American plate. Northern Japan sits on the west tip of the North American plate. In the Japan trench the pacific plate usually moves westward about three and a quarter inches a year. The earthquake was a result of thrust faulting a violent movement of the pacific plate compressing underneath the North American plate forcing it upwards. The upward movement of the plate released large amounts of energy and displaced vast amounts of ocean water causing a tsunami. The seismic waves on the Pacific Ocean floor set off tsunami waves traveling at the speed of a jet plane (about 700 kilometers per hour) The Japan Tsunami was classified as a disaster due to the number of casualties, which was 15,839...
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