Japan and Earthquake/Tsunami Mitigation Paper
Mitigation efforts are the most genealogical of anywhere in the world, and ensuring people are prepared for such events has been an important task since the last devastating earthquake in 1995 in the city of Kobo. These efforts include building codes, early warning systems, coastline defenses and various others. Even after a year, Japan is still reeling from this event, and one wonders If they will ever bounce back from such a blow to their landscape, their people, and their economy.
The questions to be asked then are why did so many people perish In this disaster (even with the most advanced warning yester), and what can Japan do to revivalist itself with regards to physical, cultural, and economical adaptations? Japan’s Earthquake History The people of Japan have been recording their earthquakes since the dawn of imperialism – at least 1600 years ago (Presses, 2011) – and have since had various explanations for these rumblings.
According to Japanese folklore, the earthquakes were caused by an enormous catfish named Amaze who was buried in the ground and subsequently would cause the quakes with the shaking of his tail (Presses, 2011). Even with the modern era, naturalists would write off earthquakes as being enmeshment for greedy people by the gods. Only until recently have investigating the real cause of these earthquakes come to fruition.
Japan Lies within the “Ring of Fire”, an area In the Pacific Ocean subject to much cells actively, and Is situated where 4 of these great lithospheres plates (the Pacific, the Philippine, the Eurasian and the North American plate) collide and scrape past each other. Most of the earthquakes occur along Japan’s northern expansive coastline, and more often than not are followed by tsunamis of varying height. These earthquakes can occur in two different laces: within a plate or between plate boundaries, or inland in shallow crystal areas (Chichi and Sago 2007).
The latter of the two can cause more building damage, but with the earthquake being inland, they don’t usually cause a tsunami. The March 1 lath Earthquake was the 3rd Great (7. 0 or higher on the Richter scale) earthquake of the 20th century: the first was the Kant earthquake (Stanley and Irving 2001) In 1923 which killed over 130,000 people (slated as the deadliest quake in Japan’s history), and the second was the 1995 Kobo earthquake which took the lives of over 5,000 people (2002).
Amalgamation Techniques Pre-March 1 lath Japan has certainly always been the most prepared country with regards to earthquakes, especially vials-a-vials Its past quake events . Some areas are more protected than others, mostly in the northern coastal areas of the country. Before the March 1 lath earthquake, Japan set up a Wide Area Support System that would, in the event of an earthquake, immediately dispatch emergency response teams and other important rescue teams (EERIE 2011).
Also, Japan has the only Earthquake warning system in the world, using state of the art technology to warn individuals of earthquakes before they happen and prior to the March 1 lath earthquake the system had never been used before MOM 2012). This system would allow for people to mitigate themselves by quickly ducking or removing themselves from potentially harmful situations MOM 2012). The way the system works is that it sends out alerts via social media, I. E. Allophones, television, radio, and internet sites, which in turn automatically shut off any energy and industrial sites and halts transportation services such as buses and subways (Knight 2011). Also in the event of an earthquake, special buoys are set up out in the ocean that can detect the presence of an abnormally sized wave passing by, ultimately forecasting a tsunami (Knight 2011).
There are also mitigation techniques that can reduce the damage done to areas with lots of infrastructure. New buildings are being constructed with strict earthquake safety codes, and some of the older buildings are being retrofitted with some of these techniques. Structures have deeper foundations with some bases being able to move semi-independently from the rest of the structure in order to reduce resistance in he event of an earthquake (Empiric 2011). Shock absorbers are also being installed so as to allow the building to sway back and forth with the earthquake waves rather than resist and fail to hold up (Empiric 2011).
All of these techniques are probably what saved many of the buildings inland that felt the shakes from the March 1 lath earthquake. This does not account for why then so many people still died. What Went Wrong? The problem for the people of the Took region in Japan that day, March 1 lath, may not have been the soaring 9. 0 magnitude of the earthquake, but rather the inability to properly forecast the height of the impending tsunami. It has been determined in fact that the cause of most of the 20,000+ deaths that day (around 90%) was actually drowning (EERIE 2011).
The tsunami caused much more damage than the earthquake did, suggesting that indeed Japan’s earthquake mitigation efforts are in fact top of the line. What is lacking however is how Japan mitigates itself against tsunami waves, especially ones of this scale. The system that was in order before March 1 lath would try to estimate the exact size of the wave in the event on an earthquake. After a magnitude 8. Or higher earthquake struck, it was hard for the system to determine the size of the wave, and it would often drastically underestimate (Crankily 2011).
The system would determine a size from the initial waves of the earthquake, but ones of 8. 0 or higher can often last longer as well (Crankily 2011). Because of this, they can often increase in magnitude as time goes on. The initial earthquake waves suggested that the tsunami would only be 3 meters high, but a minute later the earthquake had reached a 9. 0 magnitude and the actual size was an astonishing 10 meters (Crankily 2011). This was only discovered 20 minutes after the initial showplace, and by then it was almost too late.
The evacuating process of the affected coastal cities was slow as most people were maltreatment Tanat ten wave would a De smaller (Crankily 2 ) IT ten Minimal readings had been correct, coastal areas would have had 20-40 minutes to evacuate to high ground, rather than be less concerned with this because of misinformation. Many lives could potentially have been saved, so it is a great disappointment that a mistake like this was made that day. Revitalization a Nation: Mitigation Post March lath There is no doubt that Japan’s morale was seriously battered after the magnitude 9. 0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami.
Whole cities had been destroyed, and hundreds of thousands of people had been left homeless. But what measures could be taken to revivalist the country and allow for its residents to heal and not have to live in fear of history repeating itself? The question now was whether or not Japan could use this disaster as a way of making sure something of this magnitude of disaster could never reoccur. Post March 1 lath, the government has been planning ND researching different ways to provide significant warning of earthquakes and their tsunami’s, and new technologies are in the process of being developed.
Japan has come up with ways of using outer space and the sea floor as new areas of mitigation. The government is in talks of laying out seismograph-connected cables near plate boundaries in order to detect possible increases in seismic energy (or increased pressure in subsection zones)(2012). Along with this, they would set up devices for observation purposes near the troublesome trench so as to keep a constant eye on the area for sudden movements (2012). These techniques will counter the problem associated with the Japan Meteorological Agency with accurately measuring an earthquake higher than an 8. On the Richter scale.
Along with the sea floor devices, satellites in space will also be put to good use in the event of an earthquake. The satellites will take pictures of impending tsunamis and determine their size with the birds-eye-view they will have associated with being in space (2012). To make sure communication with satellites isn’t disturbed in the event of an earthquake, extra-large dishes will be employed that can converse with these titillates via cellophane networks (2012). In the event of an emergency, this will be a lot more reliable.
Experts have also suggested that more building mitigation must be installed on tsunami affected coastlines. Higher sea walls might mean better protection from a tsunami, and flood gates in areas with ports could possibly reduce the chance of important waterways being destroyed (Dangler 2011). All of these mitigation efforts are however extremely expensive, and some people are wondering if it would even be of Japan’s best interest to bother now as catastrophic events such s the one on March 1 lath are tremendously rare.
Could it be beneficial for Japan to mitigate now rather than waiting? I believe yes. Although costly now, mitigation efforts will make sure that the economic woes this disaster brought on Japan won’t happen again. In the long-run, it will be beneficial. Some more natural mitigation techniques can be instated as well. There are ways to make sure tsunami waves may subside before hitting densely populated areas. Developing artificial coral reefs on tsunami affected coasts have been known to slow down waves by acting as a natural barrier.
These would also help to install a refection coastal habitat for ocean creatures, and possibly revivalist any damage done to the disaster affected fishing industries. This type of mitigation is especially important in areas where communities are reclaiming land from the ocean (Stood ) Also Important Is to plant sense vegetation along coastlines sun as mangroves or sturdy trees that could also act as a barrier against tsunamis. These can also provide animals with sufficient habitats and rejuvenate ecosystems that may have been damaged along the devastated coastal areas.
Individuals can help themselves as well by educating themselves on earthquakes ND tsunamis, and by making sure they know a route that they can take to higher ground in the event of such a thing. In more ideal situation, individuals could also relocate themselves more inland so as to avoid high impact areas. This isn’t as easy to do however, so making an escape route plan is the best option. In some communities, people have regular evacuation drills that are organized and helpful in the event of a tsunami (EERIE 2011).
In the areas that have these drills, most people were able to escape before the tsunami hit on March 1 lath (EERIE 2011). The hopes of al these ideas for continuing the safety of the affected regions is that people will accept them and realize that they can help in ensuring their own safety and those around them, but also to give them a base support of mitigation so that they don’t have to do it all on their own. The Quest for a Nuclear Phase Out This would not be a paper on the events of March 1 lath if it were not to mention the subsequent nuclear disaster that occurred as a result of the tsunami.
As of right now, the 4 of the reactors at the Fuchsia nuclear plant are in stage 7 meltdown – the highest a meltdown can be (Strickland 2011). After the initial earthquake, the plant automatically shut down, and emergency generators began running in order to maintain the cooling of the reactors. However, after the tsunami flooded the generator rooms, they ceased to work, and the reactors began to overheat (Strickland 2011). Subsequent to this, there have been several hydrogen explosions and related deaths.
Future deaths due to overexposure to radiation have been calculated to be very high, even though a 20 km radius around the plant was evacuated (Strickland 2011). This meltdown was the largest nuclear disaster to happen since the Coherency assister in 1986, even though it was only about 1/10th the size of Coherency. Overnight, Japan’s opinion on their dependency on nuclear energy was changed. Why would a country so prone to devastating earthquakes rely so heavily on fragile nuclear power plants? And why hasn’t Japan harnessed its abundant geothermal energy?
Nuclear power makes up 19% of Japan’s electricity producers, and geothermal is less than 1%. First, the negatives of this safer energy must be laid out so as to see why it might not immediately be accessible. For one thing, the cost of building geothermal power plants is very high, as large areas are needed. The initial drilling into the earth is also very expensive. Geothermal power can also be a little unreliable, as forces within the earth sometimes take breaks and may not go back online for years in some cases.
Considering all of these, I believe that the advantages heavily outweigh the disadvantages, especially for a country such as Japan. Geothermal plants, though expensive at first, can quickly pay themselves off with the amount of electricity that can be produced. The energy that comes out of it is much cleaner, and there are no devastating effects that this energy can have on the surrounding environment (not like nuclear). If Japan instated more geothermal plants Walt capacities AT 2 u megawatts can (Mamma Ana Slumlord 2 megawatts of energy could be produced from it alone (Toothily 2011).
Considering their location on the ring of fire, Japan could easily build plants in many areas and harness the forces that are so often devastating to them as a nation. The geothermal plants that already do exist in the country were able to remain online even during the earthquake that stalled so many nuclear plants. More than 80% of Japan’s population has gone anti-nuclear, and are rallying in support of shutting down all nuclear plants, ND phasing it out completely.
With this amount of support, the Japanese government is seriously considering this idea, and will hopefully make the switch within the next few decades. Here in Vancouver: The Wait Continues Being in Vancouver, another city in the Ring of Fire, one must consider that something as devastating as the March 1 lath earthquake could happen right here as well. Immediately after the events of that day, Vancouver went into evaluating its own situation and what mitigation could be done her to ensure that a disaster like that won’t have the same effects as it did on the Japanese.
Earthquake preparedness journals were abundant afterwards, with advice on what to do in the event of a large earthquake, and what items you may need to ensure that you can stay safe during and after the event. March 1 lath also made people worry if the seismic upgrades given to some of the older structures in Vancouver would be able to withstand an earthquake with a magnitude like the one in Japan. Like Japan, Vancouver could be subject to either an offshore super quake or a shallower more devastating inland quake. Are we prepared for such an occurrence? Also prevalent in the Lower
Mainland are infrastructure built on sandy deltas that could liquefy in minutes in the event of an earthquake. I don’t believe that our mitigation efforts are at all on par with Japan, and we would likely suffer greatly in the event of a super quake, let alone from a tsunami that could devastate Vancouver Island. We need to prepare more heavily for such an event, and ready ourselves individually so that we are not taken by surprise if and when this occurs. Japan’s Future Japan has in its past displayed many innovative and technologically forward efforts in the field of earthquake mitigation.
This is why the potentially devastating 9. 0 earthquake on March 1 lath managed to cause much less damage than it could have without the proper mitigation already in place. What Japan had not accounted for was a 10 meter tsunami that would stand to bring down the celebration of successful earthquake mitigation with a giant wall of water. The country had not secured itself against such an event, and this is why so many thousands of people perished that day. To say that there is a silver lining in all of this seems insensitive, but true.
As a result of the tsunami, the government is taking all steps necessary to cake sure that what happened on March 1 lath will be the last time devastation and loss of life is a subsequent result of a tsunami. Of course, there is no way to prevent tsunamis from happening in the first place, but there are things that can done to make sure it doesn’t affect people in the same way that it did. I believe in this way that the future of Japan looks bright, and that a country this strong and supportive of its people can only move forward from here. Reference List: Presses, D 2011 Holsters earthquakes In Japan.