7.4 Magnitude earthquake strikes Japan killing 4 and injuring over 100

On March 16th a deadly earthquake struck Fukushima in Northern Japan, the same region devastated by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. In comparison Wednesdays quake had a magnitude of 7.4 in comparison to 2011’s 9.1. Although tragic, Wednesdays death toll stands at 4 people and a tsunami wave height of 8 inches as compared to 22,000 killed in 2011 and 30 foot high tsunami waves. This is in spite of the two quakes epicentres being within 55 miles of each other.

Disruption however was far spread, 78 people where trapped in a derailed bullet train In Fukushima having to wait hours for rescue. The Japanese meteorological society has also issued mudslide alerts in the region. However more disruptive is the 6 Thermal power plants that have been taken out of operation, some with damage that could leave them idle for months. The national government is calling for people to cut back on power consumption warning of power cuts and blackouts similar to those that followed the Wednesday quake. However temperatures have been recorded as low as 2 degrees celsius in Tokyo placing an increasing pressure on the limited power grid.



3 fires collectively scorch 34,000 acres in Florida

Following the destruction of 34,000 acres, much welcomed rain aided firefighters in containing each of the fires. The Bertha swamp road, Adkins avenue and star avenue fires are 60%, 95% and 95% contained respectively. Prior to this, the 2018, category 5 Hurricane Michael claimed 36 lives and caused enough to destruction to aid the fire in its spreading. Fallen trees and debris meant that over 100 tons/acre of forest fuel lay on the ground compared to a conventional 10 tons/acre. Floridas chief financial officer stated “It’s the storm that keeps on giving […] If you look at the path of the storm that it has taken when it hit here in October of 2018, it’s the exact same path the fire is taking.”




Flooding in Java, Indonesia

2 people have died, 1000 homes damaged and 5000 people affected by severe flooding in Java Indonesia. Water levels where recorded as high as 150 cm in some areas as these water levels and the increase in soil erosion perpetuated by flooding threatens local villages and communities. Indonesia is particularly susceptible to flooding events due to its high frequency high volume rainfall events. The ocean, islands, monsoons and topography all contribute to these events. However the intensity of peak flooding has increased still due to the effects of urbanisation. Impervious surfaces such as concrete are replacing penetrable surfaces such as grass in urbanisation and this reduces the country’s recharge capacity and increases surface run-off.