Case Study Summary_Shaban

My case study was the 2011 Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.  This was the worst catastrophes in Japanese histories resulting in almost 16,000 deaths and 2,500 people still missing to this day.  It was on March 11, 2011, and began with an earthquake in a subduction zone just off the shore of Japan along a fault line that caused a massive tsunami.  The earthquake lasted about 6 minutes and had a magnitude of 9.1and the tsunami had a height of 128 feet above sea level and flooded about 217 square miles inland, including the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.  This created a third disaster because the tsunami flooded 3 cooling towers and shut down all power and back up generators.

The resilience of the Japanese was astonishing during this catastrophe because it didn’t take as long as one may think for them to recover.  Just one year after the disaster, they were still cleaning up debris, but they had already began restoring buildings and searching for people.  I believe that it has to do with the Women’s World Cup because just a few months after the earthquake-tsunami double team they won the World Cup against the United States in penalties.  There’s many sources that show a positive shock to the economy after a country wins the World Cup where the entire economy will spike for a short period of time.  The disaster destroyed their economy, but winning the World Cup made up the difference for the citizens, as well as boosting morale so they knew they could make it through.

What’s interesting about this case, aside from a horrible chain reaction that no one could have predicted, was that Japan is equipped very well with preventative measures for natural disasters, but for they weren’t prepared for one of this magnitude.  Japan has a system in place that shuts down all public transportation and factories when a disaster occurs, as well as sending out a warning text message to every citizen, which during this disaster the text went out just one minute before the disaster that helped save more lives.  There was a lot of lives lost, but if they didn’t have the system set in place, it would have been worse.

Many deaths were caused by drowning, but there were also many fires that started and nuclear issues because of the Power Plant meltdown.  This was a horrible catastrophe that took many lives and caused many injuries, but the people of Japan still recovered well.  If they learned anything from this, it’s that they should look into more signs because there were some signs that the hazard would be this bad, but no one believed it.  Officials only thought the earthquake would be much smaller and didn’t expect the tsunami to be that big as well.  They also should adjust their preventative measures and increase their resiliency.





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Indonesian landslide kills 4, leaves more than 30 missing

April 6, 2017: At least four people have been confirmed dead and more than 30 others have been missing after a landslide struck Indonesia’s Java island.
According to Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, the landslide stretched 1.5 kilometers long which engulfed farmers harvesting ginger in Banaran village in East Java province’s Ponorogo district.
Seventeen people are having treatment at a community health centre, The Jakarta Post reported.

Double-TSUNAMI horror as Brits now at risk in Malaga and Marbella

This week Daily Star Online revealed shock figures that show Ibiza, Majorca, Minorca and Alicante are “most at risk” of a monster tsunami along the east coast.  But now we have learned that another earthquake could place the likes of Malaga – which includes Torremolinos and Fuengirola – and Marbella in danger in the south.  With 12 million Brits descending on sun-soaked Spain each year, holidaymakers across the popular region would have just 15 minutes to flee huge waves in the popular Costa hotspots.  But thousands may be able “to do nothing” with no tsunami detectors along the coast.  Despite being smaller than the threat in Costa Blanca, the potential Costa del Sol tsunami could still see relentless waves flooding popular resorts.  This latest discovery comes in a report by Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, which details what would happen in the event of a sea earthquake.  A tsunami along the southern coast of Spain would be caused by a quake striking in the Alboran Sea, north-east of Morocco, which is being squeezed between the Iberian and African plates.  The pressure caused would lead to a fault – the surface cracking – and trigger an earthquake, placing the entire Costa Del Sol in the firing line.  The report states most the region would face a danger level of two out of five.  This means there is a “severe land threat with maximum wave elevations”, according to the documents.  “In this area, especially on the coast of Granada, maximum wave elevations can locally exceed 1m,” the report states.  It details that the areas of Malaga and Granada would face a “land threat” with around one metre waves, while Algeria would face a “marine threat” with 0.5 metre waves.  But the report concludes an earthquake in northern Algeria, which threatens the eastern coast of Spain and Balearic Islands, holds a much higher risk.  “In general the Northern Algerian sources pose a greater risk to the Spanish coast than the Albertan Sea sources,” it states.  “Strike-slip faults of the Albertan basin, the Carboneras and Yusuf faults, do not have a high potential to generate destructive tsunamis, although they could generate tsunamis affecting the coast infrastructure with a short travel time, less than 4 min.”  Because of this, the documents state: “The province of Almeria (south east of Spain) is at a high risk of being affected by a tsunami because it can be reached by vitally all sources of the Albertan Sea and the North West of Algeria, although with a low threat level.”

Severe storms in forecast for US much of this week

Here is an article forecasting the rest of this week with a picture of what potential hazards we have:

Forecasters with the Storm Prediction Center say damaging winds and large hail are the biggest threats Monday, particularly in western Kentucky, northern Mississippi and western Tennessee, including the Memphis and Nashville areas.

Japanese Government Found Liable for Fukushima

The Maebashi District Court said the nuclear incident was “preventable,” arguing the government should have been more forceful in making TEPCO take precautionary measures. The court also blasted TEPCO as too financially motivated, at the expense of human safety.

“It was extremely significant that [a court] has acknowledged the responsibility of the state,” counsel for the plaintiffs, who were awarded 38.55 million yen between 137 people, said in a statement.

The 2011 meltdown was part of the broader disaster of the Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami, which claimed more than 15,000 lives. The quake measured a massive 9.0 on the Richter scale, the largest recorded earthquake ever to hit Japan.

For the rest of the article: 

Personal Experience

Hey everyone!  Not sure if this counts as a natural hazard, but this weekend I experienced some pretty crazy weather.  I was down in Williamsburg for work, I was working a soccer tournament, and we expected it to rain on Saturday, but what had actually happened was a lot more than what we planned for.  All day Saturday it was bright, sunny, windy and 70 degrees, which is a beautiful day for soccer!  I was constantly looking at the weather forecast on my phone, which changed every 5 minutes!  I thought it was crazy because we have all this technology to predict weather, but we still couldn’t tell when or if the storm was actually going to hit!  By 3:30-4 I saw the first lightning bolt.  For those that don’t know, once you see lightning you must wait for 30 minutes before you can start playing again and if it keeps on going, you keep restarting the 30 minutes until you go an entire 30 minutes without seeing any lightning.  So all of our games were put on pause, but no one was leaving the field because it wasn’t raining at this point.  I was under a tent even when the lightning was happening until it picked up its frequency and my boss told everyone to take shelter in either cars/buses or under this pavilion where the bathrooms were.  I stayed under the pavilion with all of my coworkers and within minutes it went from calm to torrential rain and wind.  We stood in front of the bathrooms so we were protected from the wind but everything else that wasn’t pinned down went flying everywhere!  My boss started freaking out because some of the gear we were selling flew out of our tent and the clothes were absolutely ruined.  This lasted all of maybe 30 minutes? And then it was completely cleared up.  We collected some of the debris that flew away, but once the rain let up we saw a rainbow and everything went back to normal.  We continued playing the rest of the regularly scheduled games and no one batted an eye about the horrible rainstorm that just happened.  Aside from the clothes we lost, there wasn’t much damage and thankfully no one was hurt.  I know some other crazy weather happened this weekend, but since I’ve been in this class I was looking for other things that I normally wouldn’t, like damage and recovery.

M4.4 tremor hits Dolakha, Nepal

February 4, 2017: An earthquake of magnitude 4.4 hit Lapilang area of Dolakha district at 5:58pm Saturday evening.
According to the Nepal Seismological Center, the epicenter was located SE of Kalinchowk Bhagwati temple.
Last earthquake in Dolakha was around four months ago, on October 12, 2016.
It is an aftershock of 2015 Gorkha earthquake. At least 476 aftershocks of magnitude 4 and greater have been recorded since the deadly earthquake.