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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Japan: Are You Ready To Survive A Real Disaster?

Here's a story from AP, dated April 1, 2012 and written by Elaine Kurtenbach.

It's an interesting story about how Japan is ill-prepared to survive a really big tsunami that they predict will one day hit.

First off, the report does not state who is actually qualified to make these predictions nor how they have made these predictions.

Also, while the report says that a tsunami of 112 feet (34 meters) high could be released by a 9.0 Magnitude earthquake from the Nankai Trough.


Has that happened before? When? Is it likely to happen at all? What did they use to determine that it is likely.

I will assume it is possible, what with the country of Japan part of the Ring Of Fire... but really... another 9.0 Magnitude earthquake... the one from March 11, 2011 - was one of the strongest earthquakes ever (Top 4 or 5) since proper measurements began 150 years ago.

What are the odds that it will happen again in our lifetime? Our kid's lifetime? Or our grandkid's lifetime?

Well... anything is possible. Apparently stronger earthquakes had the planet millenia ago...

Still... take what you will from the article below. There's nothing wrong with being prepared if one lives in an earthquake, volcano or tornado or tsunami or fire or whatever zone.

Here in Toronto, I have to be wary of construction and weather that could be rainy, sunny, cloudy and snowy. We did get an earthquake a couple of years ago. I thought it was a loud truck rumbling by on the street.    

By Elaine Kurtenbach
TOKYO - Much of Japan's Pacific coast could be inundated by a tsunami more than 112 feet (34 meters) high if a powerful earthquake hits offshore, according to revised estimates by a government panel.
The panel of experts says any tsunami unleashed by a magnitude-9.0 earthquake in the Nankai trough, which runs east of Japan's main island of Honshu to the southern island of Kyushu, could top 34 meters at its highest.
An earlier forecast in 2003 put the potential maximum height of such a tsunami at less than 66 feet (20 meters).
Last March's magnitude-9.0 earthquake spawned a 45-foot (14-meter) wave that devastated most of Japan's northeastern coast and triggered meltdowns at a nuclear power plant.
The revised tsunami projections, contained in a report released Saturday and posted on a government website, are based on new research following last March's magnitude-9.0 earthquake and tsunami, which devastated a long stretch of Japan's northeastern coast and killed about 19,000 people.

Sweeping reviews
Last year's catastrophe and the ensuing crisis at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, prompted sweeping reviews of Japan's disaster preparedness and criticism over apparent failures to take into account potential risks.
The tsunami knocked out power at the 40-year-old coastal nuclear plant, leading to the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986. Tens of thousands of residents have had to leave the area, and it's unclear whether some will ever be able to move back.
The Fukushima plant was designed to withstand a 20-foot (6-meter) tsunami, less than half the height of the surge that hit it on March 11, 2011.
The latest forecast shows a tsunami of up to 69 feet (21 meters) could strike near the Hamaoka nuclear plant. Its operator, Chubu Electric Power Co., is building a 59-foot-high (18-meter-high) sea wall to counter tsunamis. The wall is due to be completed next year.
The plant was shut down in 2011, due to estimates that it has a 90 percent chance of being hit by a magnitude 8.0 or higher quake within 30 years.

More unsettling news
Another government report shows that a strong earthquake hitting the Tokyo Bay region could shake the Tokyo-Yokohama metropolitan area — home to more than 33 million people — at the maximum seismic intensity of 7 on the Japanese scale.
The report, issued Friday by the Ministry of Education, came in the form of mapping that shows that much of the Tokyo region would likely experience severe shaking from a magnitude-7.3 earthquake inside Tokyo Bay.
The study prompted calls for Tokyo residents to be better prepared for such disasters. Although they live with the constant threat of a major earthquake that experts have long said is overdue for the region, not all living in the region keep recommended water and other supplies on hand.
A report in the newspaper Asahi Shimbun listed troubles that might be expected from a major quake, such as electricity outages that could persist for more than a week and water supply disruptions that could last for nearly a month, based on government estimates.
The revised tsunami forecast for a possible Nankai earthquake says Tokyo could expect waves up to 7.6 feet (2.3 meters) high. But at the coastal town of Kuroshio, on the island of Shikoku, the tsunami could top 112 feet (34 meters), it shows.
The computer modeling for the revised forecasts assumes a high tide for the highest estimates.

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