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The Great East Japan Earthquake

About the The Great East Japan Earthquake

  • The Great East Japan Earthquake (Higashi Nihondai Shinsai) is a disaster caused by the 2011 off the Pacific Ocean coast of Tohoku Earthquake that occurred on March 11, 2011.Since it is a large-scale earthquake disaster, it is generally called a "major earthquake".
    Over 22,000 deaths (including disaster-related deaths) and missing persons have occurred in 12 prefectures due to large tremors in various parts of eastern Japan, large tsunamis and fires in the coastal areas facing the Pacific Ocean did.
    This is the second largest earthquake damage in Japan since the Meiji era, following the Great Kanto Earthquake and the Meiji Sanriku Earthquake, and even in Rikuzentakata City, the total number of dead and missing people in the The Great East Japan Earthquake exceeds 1,750.
    In the adjacent Ofunato City of Ofunato City, seismic intensity 6 lower to 5 lower was observed (Japan Meteorological Agency data missing), and the magnitude of the tsunami was 18.3 m in Hirota Bay (the bay seen from Takata-matsubara).
    At the time of the earthquake, the Capital Hotel 1000 (7 stories at that time), which was operating by the sea, was hit by the tsunami up to the 4th floor.
    The appearance of the tsunami destroying the coastal towns of eastern Japan and the meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station were reported all over the world, and it can be said that they had a great impact on a global scale.
    From the date of occurrence, "March 11", it is sometimes called 3/11 (santenichiichi) or 311 (sanichiichi).

Overview of earthquakes and tsunamis

Earthquake name2011 off the Pacific Ocean coast of Tohoku Earthquake
Date and time of occurrenceMarch 11, 2011 2:46 pm
Epicenter location38 degrees 6.21 minutes north latitude, 142 degrees 51.66 minutes east longitude, 24 km depth
scaleMagnitude 9.0
Maximum seismic intensity7(Kurihara City, Miyagi Prefecture)
Our city:6 weak(Estimated value from Ofunato City observation point)
Tsunami arrival timeThe time until the height of the tsunami exceeds 3 m is from 14:49 when the warning was announced, 26 minutes in Ofunato, Iwate Prefecture, 30 minutes in Ayukawa, Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture, 32 minutes in Miyako and Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture, Fukushima. 59 minutes in Soma prefecture, 2 hours 3 minutes in Hachinohe, Aomori prefecture.
It is said that there was only 3 minutes for Ofunato, 5 minutes for Miyako and Ishinomaki, and 2 minutes for Soma before the huge tsunami of about 7 to 8 m after exceeding 3 m.

History of tsunamis in the Sanriku coastal area that occurred in the last 200 years

  • Sanriku coastal area has historically been repeatedly damaged by the tsunami.
    The oldest recorded tsunami is said to have occurred on July 9, 869, and there are no records until the Edo period, but eight times during the Edo period. The tsunami has been recorded.
    In recent years, the Meiji Sanriku Tsunami on June 15, 1896, the Showa Sanriku Tsunami on March 3, 1933,
    The Chile earthquake and tsunami of May 24, 1960 caused enormous damage to the Sanriku coastal area.
1835 (Tenpo 6) Miyagiken-oki Earthquake <scale>Magnitude 7.5(Estimated)

Around 14:00 on July 20, 1835 (June 25, 1835), there was an earthquake of around M7.0 with an epicenter near latitude 38.5 degrees north and longitude 142.5 degrees east.Many dead.Sendai Castle was damaged.There is a tsunami.
1856 (3rd year of Ansei) Ansei Sanriku oki Earthquake<scale>Magnitude 8.0(Estimated)

On July 23, 1856 (around 12:00 on August 23, 1856), a strong earthquake struck from the Pacific Ocean side of the northern part of the Tohoku region to Hokkaido, centering on Hachinohe.In Mutsu, aftershocks were recorded in "Ebina Diary", "Tsugaru Clan Diary", and "Kakizaki Diary" until around December, and the aftershocks on the morning of July 26 were quite strong.According to the "Pre-Ishin Hokkaido Disaster Chronology", several earthquakes have been felt since July 19th.
1861 (first year of Bunkyu) Miyagiken-oki earthquake<scale>Magnitude 7.4(Estimated)

Around 4 o'clock on October 21, 1861 (September 18, 1861), there was a M7.3 earthquake with an epicenter near latitude 38.5 degrees north and longitude 142.0 degrees east.There are casualties.There is a tsunami.Edo also felt shaking.
1896 (1896) Meiji Sanriku Earthquake<scale>Magnitude 8.5
<Domestic damage>dead:21,915 people/Missing person:44 people/Injured person:4,398 people

The earthquake Sanriku off Sanriku, 200km east of Kamaishi cho, Kamihei-gun, Iwate Prefecture (currently Kamaishi City) in Japan.It was a huge earthquake with a magnitude of 8.2-8.5.In addition, a tsunami that recorded an altitude of 38.2 m above sea level, which was the highest run-up height in Honshu's history before the 2011 off the Pacific Ocean coast of Tohoku Earthquake, caused enormous damage.
1933 (1933) Showa Sanriku Earthquake<scale>Magnitude 8.1
<Domestic damage>1522 dead/Missing 1542 people/12053 injured

An earthquake that occurred about 200km east of Kamaishi Town, Kamihei District, Iwate Prefecture (currently Kamaishi City).The magnitude of the earthquake estimated by the Japan Meteorological Agency is M8.1.Hiroo Kanamori (Japanese seismologist, Professor Emeritus of California Institute of Technology, Doctor of Science, University of Tokyo) speculates that Mw 8.4, which is also adopted by the United States Geological Survey (USGS).
1952 (1952) Tokachi-oki Earthquake<scale>Magnitude 8.2
<Domestic damage>28 dead/5 missing people/287 injured

There was damage such as shaking and tsunami from Hokkaido to the northern part of Tohoku.The damage to the houses was 815 completely destroyed, 1324 partially destroyed, 6395 partially damaged, 91 washed away, 328 flooded, 20 burned, and 1621 non-residential damage.In addition, 451 ships were damaged.
1960 (1960) Chile earthquake<scale>Magnitude 9.5
<Domestic damage>142 dead / missing/855 injured

It is a huge earthquake that occurred in the sea near Biobio in central Chile to northern Aysén, with a length of about 1,000 km and a width of 200 km as the epicenter.After the earthquake, Japan to attack the tsunami in the ring Pacific Ocean whole area, including the major damage has occurred.Also known as the Valdivia Earthquake (1960).
1963 (1963) Earthquake off the island of Etorofu<scale>Magnitude 8.1

Occurred at 14:18 on October 13.The epicenter is the Kuril Trench.A tsunami of up to 15m occurred on Urup Island.A tsunami with a seismic intensity of 4 in Obihiro, Urakawa, Cape Erimo, and Shizunai, 1.2 m in Nemuro, and 1.3 m in Hachinohe, Aomori Prefecture has been observed.There was almost no damage in Japan.
1968 (1968) Tokachi-oki earthquake<scale>Magnitude 7.9
<Domestic damage>1 dead/1 missing person/849 injured

The epicenter is almost the same as the 1952 earthquake.The Japan Meteorological Agency named this earthquake the "2003 Tokachi-oki Earthquake".
2010 Chile Earthquake<scale>Magnitude 8.8

It was a major earthquake that occurred on February 27, 2010 at 3:34 on the central coast of Chile.The magnitude of the quake was 8.8 in moment magnitude (Mw), according to the USGS (US Geological Survey).Since 1900, it has become the second largest earthquake in Chile after the May 1960 Chile earthquake, and the fifth largest earthquake in the world at the time of its occurrence.
There was no human damage in Japan, but there were damages to the fishery such as the nets of aquaculture facilities being washed away mainly in the Pacific Ocean coastal area of the Tohoku region where the big tsunami warning was announced, and damages such as flooding of roads.
2011 (2011) Tohoku- Pacific Ocean Ocean Earthquake<scale>Magnitude 9.0
<Domestic damage>19,689 dead/2,563 missing persons/6,233 injured

The disaster was caused by the 2011 off the Pacific Ocean coast of Tohoku Earthquake that occurred on March 11, 2011, and the accompanying accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.

Scenery of Rikuzentakata City before the earthquake "Summer"※Image courtesy:Tokai Shinposha