Japan: The Devastation of the Massive Earthquake and Tsunami

Japan: The Devastation of the Massive Earthquake and Tsunami

A massive 8.9 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Japan triggered a tsunami that damaged much of the country’s coastline. The quake set off a huge oil-refinery fire north of Tokyo, where high-rise buildings designed to withstand major earthquakes swayed for several minutes. More than 30 aftershocks were reported, the largest measuring 7.1.

The tsunami waves that followed reached upwards of 30 feet high and devastated Japan’s northeastern shoreline. Waves pushed over ships, carried smaller vessels inland, knocked buildings off their foundation, tossed cars about like toys, and reversed the direction of a river. The tsunami was so devastating because the quake happened near a deep trench in the sea floor that marks the boundary between two plates of the earth’s crust.

In addition, the quake resulted in a nuclear crisis unfolding at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, unlike any seen in history: multiple failures, fires and radiation leaks from at least four separate reactors. While damage from the earthquake and tsunami was instantly visible, the nuclear impact has taken days to unfold and could affect far larger swaths of Japan and neighboring countries.

What the sea so violently ripped away, it has now begun to return. On Monday, various reports from police officials and news agencies said that as many as 2,000 bodies had now washed ashore along the coastline, overwhelming the capacity of local officials. About 350,000 people have reportedly been left homeless and are staying in shelters, awaiting news of friends and relatives among the many thousands who remain unaccounted for. The national police said early Tuesday that more than 15,000 were missing, though just 2,475 deaths had been confirmed since the quake.

Japan: The Devastation of the Massive Earthquake and Tsunami

Slide Show: Japan/The Devastation of the Massive Earthquake and Tsunami

(Please Click Image to View Slide Show)

Please Share This:


%d bloggers like this: