2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami

# 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami

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The 2011 earthquake off the Pacific coast of Tohoku, also known as the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, or the Great East Japan Earthquake, (Japanese: ) was a magnitude
Moment magnitude scale
The moment magnitude scale is used by seismologists to measure the size of earthquakes in terms of the energy released. The magnitude is based on the seismic moment of the earthquake, which is equal to the rigidity of the Earth multiplied by the average amount of slip on the fault and the size of...

9.0 (Mw) undersea
Submarine earthquake
A submarine, undersea, or underwater earthquake is an earthquake that occurs underwater at the bottom of a body of water, especially an ocean. They are the leading cause of tsunamis...

megathrust earthquake
Megathrust earthquake
Megathrust earthquakes occur at subduction zones at destructive plate boundaries , where one tectonic plate is forced under another. Due to the shallow dip of the plate boundary, which causes large sections to get stuck, these earthquakes are among the world's largest, with moment magnitudes ...

off the coast of Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

that occurred at 14:46 JST
Japan Standard Time
Japan Standard Time or JST is the standard timezone of Japan, and is 9 hours ahead of UTC. For example, when it is midnight in UTC, it is 09:00 in Japan Standard Time. There is no daylight saving time, though its introduction has been debated several times. Japan Standard Time is the same as...

(05:46 UTC) on Friday, 11 March 2011, with the epicenter
Epicenter
The epicenter or epicentre is the point on the Earth's surface that is directly above the hypocenter or focus, the point where an earthquake or underground explosion originates...

approximately 70 kilometres (43 mi) east of the Oshika Peninsula
Oshika Peninsula
The Oshika Peninsula is a peninsula which projects southeast into the Pacific Ocean from the coast of Miyagi Prefecture in northeast Honshu, the main island of Japan....

of Tōhoku
Tohoku region
The is a geographical area of Japan. The region occupies the northeastern portion of Honshu, the largest island of Japan. The region consists of six prefectures : Akita, Aomori, Fukushima, Iwate, Miyagi and Yamagata....

and the hypocenter
Hypocenter
The hypocenter refers to the site of an earthquake or a nuclear explosion...

at an underwater depth of approximately 32 km (20 mi). It was the most powerful known earthquake ever to have hit Japan, and one of the five most powerful earthquakes in the world overall since modern record-keeping began in 1900. The earthquake triggered powerful tsunami
Tsunami
A tsunami is a series of water waves caused by the displacement of a large volume of a body of water, typically an ocean or a large lake...

waves, which reached heights of up to 40.5 metres (133 ft) in Miyako
Miyako, Iwate
is a city located in Iwate, Japan.It was founded on February 11, 1941.The city lies along the coast where the flows into the Pacific Ocean. It is connected to Morioka by an east-west train line and highway and the coastal highway also goes through the town...

in Tōhoku's Iwate Prefecture
Iwate Prefecture
is the second largest prefecture of Japan after Hokkaido. It is located in the Tōhoku region of Honshū island and contains the island's easternmost point. The capital is Morioka. Iwate has the lowest population density of any prefecture outside Hokkaido...

, and which in the Sendai area travelled up to 10 km (6 mi) inland. In addition to loss of life and destruction of infrastructure, the tsunami
Tsunami
A tsunami is a series of water waves caused by the displacement of a large volume of a body of water, typically an ocean or a large lake...

caused a number of nuclear accidents
2011 Japanese nuclear accidents
This is a list of articles describing aspects of the nuclear shut-downs, failures, and nuclear meltdowns triggered by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.-Fukushima nuclear power plants:* Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant...

, primarily the ongoing level 7
International Nuclear Event Scale
The International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale was introduced in 1990 by the International Atomic Energy Agency in order to enable prompt communication of safety significance information in case of nuclear accidents....

meltdown
Nuclear meltdown
Nuclear meltdown is an informal term for a severe nuclear reactor accident that results in core damage from overheating. The term is not officially defined by the International Atomic Energy Agency or by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission...

s at three reactors in the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant
Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant
The , also known as Fukushima Dai-ichi , is a disabled nuclear power plant located on a site in the towns of Okuma and Futaba in the Futaba District of Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. First commissioned in 1971, the plant consists of six boiling water reactors...

complex, and the associated evacuation zones affecting hundreds of thousands of residents.

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan
Naoto Kan
is a Japanese politician, and former Prime Minister of Japan. In June 2010, then-Finance Minister Kan was elected as the leader of the Democratic Party of Japan and designated Prime Minister by the Diet to succeed Yukio Hatoyama. On 26 August 2011, Kan announced his resignation...

said, "In the 65 years after the end of World War II, this is the toughest and the most difficult crisis for Japan."

The Japanese National Police Agency
National Police Agency (Japan)
The is an agency administered by the National Public Safety Commission of the Cabinet Office in the cabinet of Japan, and is the central coordinating agency of the Japanese police system....

confirmed and across eighteen prefectures
Prefectures of Japan
The prefectures of Japan are the country's 47 subnational jurisdictions: one "metropolis" , Tokyo; one "circuit" , Hokkaidō; two urban prefectures , Osaka and Kyoto; and 43 other prefectures . In Japanese, they are commonly referred to as...

, as well as over 125,000 buildings damaged or destroyed. The earthquake and tsunami caused extensive and severe structural damage in Japan, including heavy damage to roads and railways as well as fires in many areas, and a dam collapse. Around 4.4 million households in northeastern Japan were left without electricity and 1.5 million without water. Many electrical generators were taken down, and at least three nuclear reactors suffered explosions due to hydrogen gas that had built up within their outer containment buildings after cooling system failure. Residents within a 20 km (12 mi) radius of the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant
Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant
The , also known as Fukushima Dai-ichi , is a disabled nuclear power plant located on a site in the towns of Okuma and Futaba in the Futaba District of Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. First commissioned in 1971, the plant consists of six boiling water reactors...

and a 10 km (6.2 mi) radius of the Fukushima II Nuclear Power Plant
Fukushima II Nuclear Power Plant
The , or Fukushima Dai-ni , is a nuclear power plant located on a site in the town of Naraha and Tomioka in the Futaba District of Fukushima Prefecture, Japan...

were evacuated. In addition, the U.S. recommended that its citizens evacuate up to 80 km (50 mi) of the plant.

Early estimates placed insured losses from the earthquake alone at US$14.5 to$34.6 billion. The Bank of Japan
Bank of Japan
is the central bank of Japan. The Bank is often called for short. It has its headquarters in Chuo, Tokyo.-History:Like most modern Japanese institutions, the Bank of Japan was founded after the Meiji Restoration...

offered ¥
Japanese yen
The is the official currency of Japan. It is the third most traded currency in the foreign exchange market after the United States dollar and the euro. It is also widely used as a reserve currency after the U.S. dollar, the euro and the pound sterling...

15 trillion (US$183 billion) to the banking system on 14 March in an effort to normalize market conditions. The overall cost could exceed US$300 billion, making it the most expensive natural disaster on record.

The earthquake moved Honshu
Honshu
is the largest island of Japan. The nation's main island, it is south of Hokkaido across the Tsugaru Strait, north of Shikoku across the Inland Sea, and northeast of Kyushu across the Kanmon Strait...

2.4 m (8 ft) east and shifted the Earth on its axis by estimates of between 10 cm (4 in) and 25 cm (10 in).

## Earthquake

The 9.0-magnitude
Moment magnitude scale
The moment magnitude scale is used by seismologists to measure the size of earthquakes in terms of the energy released. The magnitude is based on the seismic moment of the earthquake, which is equal to the rigidity of the Earth multiplied by the average amount of slip on the fault and the size of...

(MW
Moment magnitude scale
The moment magnitude scale is used by seismologists to measure the size of earthquakes in terms of the energy released. The magnitude is based on the seismic moment of the earthquake, which is equal to the rigidity of the Earth multiplied by the average amount of slip on the fault and the size of...

) undersea
Submarine earthquake
A submarine, undersea, or underwater earthquake is an earthquake that occurs underwater at the bottom of a body of water, especially an ocean. They are the leading cause of tsunamis...

megathrust earthquake
Megathrust earthquake
Megathrust earthquakes occur at subduction zones at destructive plate boundaries , where one tectonic plate is forced under another. Due to the shallow dip of the plate boundary, which causes large sections to get stuck, these earthquakes are among the world's largest, with moment magnitudes ...

occurred on 11 March 2011 at 14:46 JST
Japan Standard Time
Japan Standard Time or JST is the standard timezone of Japan, and is 9 hours ahead of UTC. For example, when it is midnight in UTC, it is 09:00 in Japan Standard Time. There is no daylight saving time, though its introduction has been debated several times. Japan Standard Time is the same as...

(05:46 UTC) in the western Pacific Ocean at a relatively shallow depth of 32 km (19.9 mi), with its epicenter
Epicenter
The epicenter or epicentre is the point on the Earth's surface that is directly above the hypocenter or focus, the point where an earthquake or underground explosion originates...

approximately 72 km (45 mi) east of the Oshika Peninsula
Oshika Peninsula
The Oshika Peninsula is a peninsula which projects southeast into the Pacific Ocean from the coast of Miyagi Prefecture in northeast Honshu, the main island of Japan....

of Tōhoku
Tohoku region
The is a geographical area of Japan. The region occupies the northeastern portion of Honshu, the largest island of Japan. The region consists of six prefectures : Akita, Aomori, Fukushima, Iwate, Miyagi and Yamagata....

, Japan, lasting approximately six minutes. The nearest major city to the quake was Sendai, on the main island of Honshu
Honshu
is the largest island of Japan. The nation's main island, it is south of Hokkaido across the Tsugaru Strait, north of Shikoku across the Inland Sea, and northeast of Kyushu across the Kanmon Strait...

, 130 km (81 mi) away. The quake occurred 373 km (232 mi) from Tokyo. The main earthquake was preceded by a number of large foreshock
Foreshock
A foreshock is an earthquake that occurs before a larger seismic event and is related to it in both time and space. The designation of an earthquake as foreshock, mainshock or aftershock is only possible after the event....

s, and hundreds of aftershock
Aftershock
An aftershock is a smaller earthquake that occurs after a previous large earthquake, in the same area of the main shock. If an aftershock is larger than the main shock, the aftershock is redesignated as the main shock and the original main shock is redesignated as a foreshock...

s were reported. The first major foreshock was a 7.2 MW event on 9 March, approximately 40 km (25 mi) from the location of the 11 March quake, with another three on the same day in excess of 6.0 MW. Following the quake, a 7.0 MW aftershock was reported at 15:06 JST, followed by a 7.4 at 15:15 JST and a 7.2 at 15:26 JST. Over eight hundred aftershocks of magnitude 4.5 or greater have occurred since the initial quake. Aftershocks follow Omori's Law, which states that the rate of aftershocks declines with the reciprocal of the time since the main quake. The aftershocks will thus taper off in time but could continue for years.

One minute before the earthquake was felt in Tokyo, the Earthquake Early Warning
Earthquake Early Warning (Japan)
The is a warning issued just after an earthquake in Japan is detected. The warnings are issued mainly by the Japan Meteorological Agency , and they issue tips on how to react to the warnings.-Introduction:...

system, which includes more than 1,000 seismometer
Seismometer
Seismometers are instruments that measure motions of the ground, including those of seismic waves generated by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and other seismic sources...

s in Japan, sent out warnings of impending strong shaking to millions. It is believed that the early warning by the Japan Meteorological Agency
Japan Meteorological Agency
The or JMA, is the Japanese government's weather service. Charged with gathering and reporting weather data and forecasts in Japan, it is a semi-autonomous part of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport...

(JMA) saved many lives. The warning for the general public was delivered about 8 seconds after the first P wave was detected, or about 31 seconds after the earthquake occurred. However, the estimated intensities were smaller than the actual ones in some places in Kanto and Tohoku regions. This was thought to be because of smaller estimated earthquake magnitude, smaller estimated fault plane, shorter estimated fault length, not having considered the shape of the fault, etc.

Initially reported as 7.9 MW by the USGS, the magnitude was quickly upgraded to 8.8, then again to 8.9, and then finally to 9.0.

### Geology

This earthquake occurred where the Pacific Plate
Pacific Plate
The Pacific Plate is an oceanic tectonic plate that lies beneath the Pacific Ocean. At 103 million square kilometres, it is the largest tectonic plate....

is subducting
Subduction
In geology, subduction is the process that takes place at convergent boundaries by which one tectonic plate moves under another tectonic plate, sinking into the Earth's mantle, as the plates converge. These 3D regions of mantle downwellings are known as "Subduction Zones"...

under the plate beneath northern Honshu; which plate is a matter of debate amongst scientists. The Pacific plate, which moves at a rate of 8 to 9 cm (3.1 to 3.5 in) per year, dips under Honshu's underlying plate releasing large amounts of energy. This motion pulls the upper plate down until the stress builds up enough to cause a seismic event. The break caused the sea floor to rise by several meters. A quake of this magnitude usually has a rupture length of at least 480 km (300 mi) and generally requires a long, relatively straight fault surface. Because the plate boundary and subduction zone in the area of the rupture is not very straight, it is unusual for the magnitude of an earthquake to exceed 8.5; the magnitude of this earthquake was a surprise to some seismologists. The hypocentral region
Hypocenter
The hypocenter refers to the site of an earthquake or a nuclear explosion...

of this earthquake extended from offshore Iwate Prefecture
Iwate Prefecture
is the second largest prefecture of Japan after Hokkaido. It is located in the Tōhoku region of Honshū island and contains the island's easternmost point. The capital is Morioka. Iwate has the lowest population density of any prefecture outside Hokkaido...

to offshore Ibaraki Prefecture
Ibaraki Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan, located in the Kantō region on the main island of Honshu. The capital is Mito.-History:Ibaraki Prefecture was previously known as Hitachi Province...

. The Japanese Meteorological Agency said that the earthquake may have ruptured the fault zone from Iwate to Ibaraki with a length of 500 km (310 mi) and a width of 200 km (120 mi). Analysis showed that this earthquake consisted of a set of three events. The earthquake may have had a mechanism similar to that of another large earthquake in 869
869 Sanriku earthquake and tsunami
The struck the area around Sendai in the northern part of Honshu on 9 July 869 . The earthquake had an estimated magnitude of 8.6 on the surface wave magnitude scale...

with an estimated surface wave magnitude
Surface wave magnitude
The surface wave magnitude scale is one of the magnitude scales used in seismology to describe the size of an earthquake. It is based on measurements in Rayleigh surface waves that travel primarily along the uppermost layers of the earth...

(Ms
Surface wave magnitude
The surface wave magnitude scale is one of the magnitude scales used in seismology to describe the size of an earthquake. It is based on measurements in Rayleigh surface waves that travel primarily along the uppermost layers of the earth...

) of 8.6, which also created a large tsunami. Other major earthquakes with tsunamis struck the Sanriku Coast
Sanriku Coast
The is a coastal region on the Pacific Ocean, extending from southern Aomori prefecture, through Iwate prefecture and northern Miyagi prefecture in northeastern Honshū, which is Japan's main island...

region in 1896
1896 Meiji-Sanriku earthquake
The 1896 Meiji-Sanriku earthquake was highly destructive, generating one of the most devastating tsunamis in Japanese history, destroying about 9,000 homes and causing at least 22,000 deaths. This magnitude 7.2 event occurred at 19:32 on June 15, 1896...

and in 1933
1933 Sanriku earthquake
The was a major earthquake whose associated tsunami caused widespread damage to towns on the Sanriku coast of the Tōhoku region of Honshū, Japan on March 2, 1933.-History:The epicenter of the 1933 Sanriku earthquake was located offshore,...

.

The strong ground motion registered at the maximum of 7 on the Japan Meteorological Agency seismic intensity scale
Japan Meteorological Agency seismic intensity scale
The Japan Meteorological Agency seismic intensity scale is a seismic scale used in Japan and Taiwan to measure the intensity of earthquakes. It is measured in units of...

in Kurihara
Kurihara, Miyagi
is a city located in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. As of 2008, the city has an estimated population of 77,012 and a population density of 95.7 persons per km². The total area is 804.93 km². Previously a district consisting of nine towns and one village, on April 1, 2005, the towns and village...

, Miyagi Prefecture
Miyagi Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan in the Tōhoku Region on Honshu island. The capital is Sendai.- History :Miyagi Prefecture was formerly part of the province of Mutsu. Mutsu Province, on northern Honshu, was one of the last provinces to be formed as land was taken from the indigenous Emishi, and became the...

. Three other prefectures—Fukushima
Fukushima Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Tōhoku region on the island of Honshu. The capital is the city of Fukushima.-History:Until the Meiji Restoration, the area of Fukushima prefecture was known as Mutsu Province....

, Ibaraki
Ibaraki Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan, located in the Kantō region on the main island of Honshu. The capital is Mito.-History:Ibaraki Prefecture was previously known as Hitachi Province...

and Tochigi
Tochigi Prefecture
is a prefecture located in the Kantō region on the island of Honshū, Japan. The capital is the city of Utsunomiya.Nikkō, whose ancient Shintō shrines and Buddhist temples UNESCO has recognized by naming them a World Heritage Site, is in this prefecture...

—recorded an upper 6 on the JMA scale. Seismic stations in Iwate
Iwate Prefecture
is the second largest prefecture of Japan after Hokkaido. It is located in the Tōhoku region of Honshū island and contains the island's easternmost point. The capital is Morioka. Iwate has the lowest population density of any prefecture outside Hokkaido...

, Gunma
Gunma Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the northwest corner of the Kantō region on Honshu island. Its capital is Maebashi.- History :The remains of a Paleolithic man were found at Iwajuku, Gunma Prefecture, in the early 20th century and there is a public museum there.Japan was without horses until...

, Saitama
Saitama Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kantō region of the island of Honshu. The capital is the city of Saitama.This prefecture is part of the Greater Tokyo Area, and most of Saitama's cities can be described as suburbs of Tokyo, to which a large amount of residents commute each day.- History...

and Chiba Prefecture
Chiba Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kantō region and the Greater Tokyo Area. Its capital is Chiba City.- History :Chiba Prefecture was established on June 15, 1873 with the merger of Kisarazu Prefecture and Inba Prefecture...

measured a lower 6, recording an upper 5 in Tokyo.

In Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, the main shock could be felt in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk
Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk
-Demographics:Most residents are ethnic Russians, but there also exists a sizable population of Koreans. Of the 43,000 Sakhalin Koreans, half are estimated to live in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, comprising roughly 12% of the city's population...

(MSK 4) and Kurilsk
Kurilsk
Kurilsk ; , Shana) is a town in Sakhalin Oblast, Russia, situated on the island of Iturup. It is the administrative center of Kurilsky District. Population: 2,233 ; 2,699 .-History:...

(MSK 4). The aftershock at 06:25 UTC could be felt in Yuzhno-Kurilsk
Yuzhno-Kurilsk
Yuzhno-Kurilsk is an urban-type settlement in Sakhalin Oblast, Russia. It is the largest settlement on the Kunashir Island of the Kuril Islands. Population: 5,751 ; 6,344 ....

(MSK 5) and Kurilsk (MSK 4).

### Energy

This earthquake released a surface energy (Me) of joule
Joule
The joule ; symbol J) is a derived unit of energy or work in the International System of Units. It is equal to the energy expended in applying a force of one newton through a distance of one metre , or in passing an electric current of one ampere through a resistance of one ohm for one second...

s, dissipated as shaking and tsunamic energy, which is nearly double that of the 9.1-magnitude 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami that killed 230,000 people. If harnessed, the surface energy from this earthquake would power a city the size of Los Angeles for an entire year. The total energy released, also known as the seismic moment
Seismic moment
Seismic moment is a quantity used by earthquake seismologists to measure the size of an earthquake. The scalar seismic moment M_0 is defined by the equationM_0=\mu AD, where*\mu is the shear modulus of the rocks involved in the earthquake...

(M0), was more than 200,000 times the surface energy and was calculated by the USGS at 3.9×1022 joules, slightly less than the 2004 Indian Ocean quake. This is equivalent to 9,320 gigatons of TNT
TNT equivalent
TNT equivalent is a method of quantifying the energy released in explosions. The ton of TNT is a unit of energy equal to 4.184 gigajoules, which is approximately the amount of energy released in the detonation of one ton of TNT...

, or approximately 600 million times the energy of the Hiroshima bomb
Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
During the final stages of World War II in 1945, the United States conducted two atomic bombings against the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan, the first on August 6, 1945, and the second on August 9, 1945. These two events are the only use of nuclear weapons in war to date.For six months...

.
Japan's National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention (NIED) calculated a peak ground acceleration
Peak ground acceleration
Peak ground acceleration is a measure of earthquake acceleration on the ground and an important input parameter for earthquake engineering, also known as the design basis earthquake ground motion...

of 2.99 g
G-force
The g-force associated with an object is its acceleration relative to free-fall. This acceleration experienced by an object is due to the vector sum of non-gravitational forces acting on an object free to move. The accelerations that are not produced by gravity are termed proper accelerations, and...

(29.33 m/s²). The largest individual recording in Japan was 2.7g, in the Miyagi Prefecture, 75 km from the epicentre; the highest reading in the Tokyo metropolitan area was 0.16g.

### Geophysical effects

The quake moved portions of northeastern Japan by as much as 2.4 m (7.9 ft) closer to North America, making portions of Japan's landmass wider than before. Portions of Japan closest to the epicenter experienced the largest shifts. A 400 km (250 mi) stretch of coastline dropped vertically by 0.6 m (2.0 ft), allowing the tsunami to travel farther and faster onto land. One early estimate suggested that the Pacific plate may have moved westward by up to 20 m (66 ft), and another early estimate put the amount of slippage at as much as 40 m (130 ft). On 6 April the Japanese coast guard said that the quake shifted the seabed near the epicenter 24 meters (79 ft) and elevated the seabed off the coast of Miyagi prefecture by 3 meters.
The earthquake shifted the Earth's axis
Rotation around a fixed axis
Rotation around a fixed axis is a special case of rotational motion. The fixed axis hypothesis exclude the possibility of a moving axis, and cannot describe such phenomena as wobbling or precession. According to Euler's rotation theorem, simultaneous rotation around more than one axis at the same...

by estimates of between 10 cm (4 in) and 25 cm (10 in). This deviation led to a number of small planetary changes, including the length of a day and the tilt of the Earth. The speed of the Earth's rotation increased, shortening the day by 1.8 microseconds due to the redistribution of Earth's mass. The axial shift was caused by the redistribution of mass on the Earth's surface, which changed the planet's moment of inertia
Moment of inertia
In classical mechanics, moment of inertia, also called mass moment of inertia, rotational inertia, polar moment of inertia of mass, or the angular mass, is a measure of an object's resistance to changes to its rotation. It is the inertia of a rotating body with respect to its rotation...

. Because of conservation of angular momentum, such changes of inertia
Inertia
Inertia is the resistance of any physical object to a change in its state of motion or rest, or the tendency of an object to resist any change in its motion. It is proportional to an object's mass. The principle of inertia is one of the fundamental principles of classical physics which are used to...

result in small changes to the Earth's rate of rotation. These are expected changes for an earthquake of this magnitude.

Soil liquefaction
Soil liquefaction
Soil liquefaction describes a phenomenon whereby a saturated soil substantially loses strength and stiffness in response to an applied stress, usually earthquake shaking or other sudden change in stress condition, causing it to behave like a liquid....

was evident in areas of reclaimed land around Tokyo, particularly in Urayasu
Urayasu, Chiba
is a city located in the far western corner of northern Chiba Prefecture, Japan. As of February 2011, the city had an estimated population of 164,822 and a population density of 9530 persons per km²...

, Chiba City
Chiba, Chiba
is the capital city of Chiba Prefecture, Japan. It is located approximately 40 km east of the center of Tokyo on Tokyo Bay. Chiba City became a government designated city in 1992. Its population as of 2008 is approximately 960,000....

, Funabashi
Funabashi, Chiba
is a city located in northwestern Chiba Prefecture, Japan. As of February 2011, the city had an estimated population of 609,157 and a population density of 7110 persons per km². The total area was 85.64 km². It is the 7th most populous city in Greater Tokyo....

, Narashino
Narashino, Chiba
is a city located in northern Chiba, Japan. As of February 2011, the city had an estimated population of 164,809 and a population density of 7850 persons per km². The total area was 20.99 km².-Geography:...

(all in Chiba Prefecture
Chiba Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kantō region and the Greater Tokyo Area. Its capital is Chiba City.- History :Chiba Prefecture was established on June 15, 1873 with the merger of Kisarazu Prefecture and Inba Prefecture...

) and in the Koto
Koto, Tokyo
is one of the 23 special wards of Tokyo, Japan. As of 2008, the ward has an estimated population of 442,271 and a population density of 11,070 persons per km². The total area is 39.48 km². The ward refers to itself as Kōtō City in English....

, Edogawa
Edogawa, Tokyo
is one of the 23 special wards of Tokyo, Japan. It takes its name from the river that runs from north to south along the eastern edge of the ward. In English, it uses the name Edogawa City....

, Minato
Minato, Tokyo
is one of the 23 special wards of Tokyo, Japan. As of 1 March 2008, it had an official population of 217,335 and a population density of 10,865 persons per km². The total area is 20.34 km².Minato hosts 49 embassies...

, Chūō
Chuo, Tokyo
is one of the 23 special wards that form the heart of Tokyo, Japan. The ward refers to itself as Chūō City in English.Its Japanese name literally means "Central Ward," and it is historically the main commercial center of Tokyo, although Shinjuku has risen to challenge it since the end of World War II...

, and Ōta
Ota, Tokyo
is one of the 23 Special wards of Tokyo, Japan.As of May 1, 2011, the ward has an estimated population of 676,458, with 348,492 households, and a population density of 11,376.69 persons per km²...

Wards of Tokyo. Approximately 30 homes or buildings were destroyed and 1,046 other buildings were damaged to varying degrees. Nearby Haneda Airport, built mostly on reclaimed land, was not damaged. Odaiba
Odaiba
is a large artificial island in Tokyo Bay, Japan, across the Rainbow Bridge from central Tokyo. It was initially built for defensive purposes in the 1850s, dramatically expanded during the late 20th century as a seaport district, and has developed since the 1990s as a major commercial, residential...

also experienced liquefaction, but damage was minimal.

Shinmoedake
Shinmoedake
Shinmoedake is a volcano in Kagoshima Prefecture, Kyūshū, Japan, and a part of the Mount Kirishima cluster of volcanoes. It is believed to have formed between 7,300 and 25,000 years ago....

, a volcano in Kyushu
Kyushu
is the third largest island of Japan and most southwesterly of its four main islands. Its alternate ancient names include , , and . The historical regional name is referred to Kyushu and its surrounding islands....

, erupted two days after the earthquake. The volcano had previously erupted in January 2011; it is not known if the later eruption was linked to the earthquake. In Antarctica, the seismic waves from the earthquake were reported to have caused the Whillans Ice Stream
Whillans Ice Stream
Whillans Ice Stream , a glaciological feature of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, formerly known as Ice Stream B, renamed in 2001 in honor of Ohio State University glaciologist Dr. Ian Whillans.-Recent Research:...

to slip by about 0.5 m (1.6 ft).
The first sign international researchers had that the earthquake caused such a dramatic change in the Earth’s rotation came from the United States Geographical Survey which monitors Global Positioning Satellite stations across the world. The Survey team had several GPS monitors located near the scene of the earthquake. The GPS station located nearest the epicenter moved almost 13 feet (4 m). This motivated government researchers to look into other ways the earthquake may have had large scale effects on the planet. Scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory did some calculations and determined that the Earth’s rotation was changed by the earthquake to the point where the days are now one point eight (1.8) microseconds shorter.
Dr. Richard Gross, one of the head researchers working for NASA, explained that even a difference of 1.8 microseconds is important to his team because it affects the way that spacecraft being sent to Mars are navigated. Not taking the changes into account could increase the chances of failure of the mission. Gross noted that the way the Earth rotates is not very smooth, like an old car wobbling on its axle. The earthquake's effect was as if a person took a hammer and whacked the car's axle, causing it to shift and the car to drive differently. The powerful earthquake hit the Earth’s axle, causing it to spin in a slightly different way.

### Aftershocks

Japan experienced over 900 aftershocks since the earthquake, with about 60 registering over magnitude 6.0 Mw and at least three over 7.0 Mw. A magnitude 7.7 Mw and a 7.9 Mw quake occurred on 11 March and the third one struck offshore on 7 April with a disputed magnitude. Its epicenter was underwater, 66 km (41 mi) off the coast of Sendai. The Japan Meteorological Agency
Japan Meteorological Agency
The or JMA, is the Japanese government's weather service. Charged with gathering and reporting weather data and forecasts in Japan, it is a semi-autonomous part of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport...

assigned a magnitude of 7.4 MJMA, while the U.S. Geological Survey lowered it to 7.1 Mw. At least four people were killed, and electricity was cut off across much of northern Japan including the loss of external power to Higashidori Nuclear Power Plant
Higashidori Nuclear Power Plant
The is a nuclear power plant located in the town of Higashidōri in eastern Aomori Prefecture, on the Shimokita Peninsula, facing the Pacific Ocean. It is unique in Japan in that at this four-unit site, two units are run by one company, the Tōhoku Electric Power Company and two units are run by the...

and Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant
Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant
The is a nuclear reprocessing plant with an annual capacity of 800 tons of uranium or 8 tons of plutonium, owned by Japan Nuclear Fuel Limited located in the village of Rokkasho in northeast Aomori Prefecture, Japan approximately 17 miles north of the US Air Force's Misawa Air Base...

. Four days later on 11 April, another strong magnitude 6.6 Mw aftershock
April 2011 Fukushima earthquake
The was a potent magnitude 6.6 Mw intraplate aftershock that occurred at 17:16 JST on Monday, 11 April 2011. With a shallow focal depth of 10 km , it was centered inland about 36 km west of Iwaki, Japan, resulting in widespread moderate to localized strong shaking...

struck Fukushima, causing additional damage and killing a total of three people.

As of 3 June 2011 aftershocks continued; a regularly updated map showing all shocks of magnitude 4.5 and above near or off the east coast of Honshu in the last seven days showed over 20 events. shocks in the past week had dropped to 13.

## Tsunami

The earthquake which was caused by 5 to 8 meters upthrust on a 180-km wide seabed at 60 km offshore from the east coast of Tōhoku resulted in a major tsunami
Tsunami
A tsunami is a series of water waves caused by the displacement of a large volume of a body of water, typically an ocean or a large lake...

which brought destruction along the Pacific
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

coastline of Japan's northern islands and resulted in the loss of thousands of lives and devastated entire towns. The tsunami propagated across the Pacific, and warnings were issued and evacuations carried out. In many countries bordering the Pacific, including the entire Pacific coast of North and South America from Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

to Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

; however, while the tsunami was felt in many of these places, it caused only relatively minor effects. Chile's section of Pacific coast is one of the furthest from Japan, at about 17,000 km (11,000 mi) away, but still was struck by tsunami waves 2 m (6.6 ft) high. A wave height of 38.9 meters (128 ft) was estimated at Omoe peninsula, Miyako city, Iwate prefecture.

### Japan

The tsunami warning issued by the Japan Meteorological Agency
Japan Meteorological Agency
The or JMA, is the Japanese government's weather service. Charged with gathering and reporting weather data and forecasts in Japan, it is a semi-autonomous part of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport...

was the most serious on its warning scale; it rated as a "major tsunami", being at least 3 m (9.8 ft) high. The actual height predicted varied, the greatest being for Miyagi at 6 m (20 ft) high. The tsunami inundated a total area of approximately 561 km² (216.6 sq mi) in Japan.
The earthquake took place at 14:46 JST around 67 km (42 mi) from the nearest point on Japan's coastline, and initial estimates indicated the tsunami would have taken 10 to 30 minutes to reach the areas first affected, and then areas farther north and south based on the geography of the coastline. Just over an hour after the earthquake at 15:55 JST, a tsunami was observed flooding Sendai Airport
Sendai Airport
is an airport located in Natori, Miyagi, south southeast of Sendai Station, Sendai, Japan.-History:In 1940, the Imperial Japanese Army built Sendai Airport in order to use it for the Kumakaya Army Flight School, Masda Branch School Trainee Training Center. It was called by several names: Natory...

, which is located near the coast of Miyagi Prefecture
Miyagi Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan in the Tōhoku Region on Honshu island. The capital is Sendai.- History :Miyagi Prefecture was formerly part of the province of Mutsu. Mutsu Province, on northern Honshu, was one of the last provinces to be formed as land was taken from the indigenous Emishi, and became the...

, with waves sweeping away cars and planes and flooding various buildings as they traveled inland. The image of the tsunami sweeping cars on the street in Sendai was caught by an in-car camera. The impact of the tsunami in and around Sendai Airport was filmed by an NHK
NHK
NHK is Japan's national public broadcasting organization. NHK, which has always identified itself to its audiences by the English pronunciation of its initials, is a publicly owned corporation funded by viewers' payments of a television license fee....

News helicopter, showing a number of vehicles on local roads trying to escape the approaching wave and being engulfed by it. A 4 m high tsunami hit Iwate Prefecture
Iwate Prefecture
is the second largest prefecture of Japan after Hokkaido. It is located in the Tōhoku region of Honshū island and contains the island's easternmost point. The capital is Morioka. Iwate has the lowest population density of any prefecture outside Hokkaido...

. Wakabayashi Ward
Wakabayashi-ku, Sendai
is a ward located in Sendai in Miyagi, Japan.As of 2005, the ward has an estimated population of 130,478 and the density of 2609.56 persons per km². The total area is 50 km²...

in Sendai was also particularly hard hit. At least 101 designated tsunami evacuation sites were hit by the wave.

Like the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, the damage by surging water, though much more localized, was far more deadly and destructive than the actual quake. There were reports of entire towns destroyed from tsunami-hit areas in Japan, including 9,500 missing in Minamisanriku
Minamisanriku, Miyagi
, also spelled Minami Sanriku, is a resort town on a coastline of wooded islands and mountainous inlets. The town is in Motoyoshi District, Miyagi, Japan. It has an area of , and as of October 1, 2004 the population of the area was 19,170...

; one thousand bodies had been recovered in the town by 14 March 2011.

Among several factors causing the high death toll from the tsunami, one was the unexpectedly large size of the water surge. The tsunami walls at several of the affected cities were based on much smaller tsunami heights. Also, many people caught in the tsunami thought that they were located on high enough ground to be safe.
Large parts of Kuji and the southern section of Ōfunato including the port area were almost entirely destroyed Also largely destroyed was Rikuzentakata
Rikuzentakata, Iwate
is a city in Iwate, Japan.In the quinquennial census of 2010, the city had a population of 23,302 . With a total area of 232.29 km² the density is 100 persons per km². The city was founded on January 1, 1955. The 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami caused extensive damage to the city.- Politics...

, where the tsunami was reportedly three stories high. Other cities reportedly destroyed or heavily damaged by the tsunami include Kamaishi
Kamaishi, Iwate
is a small, historic city located on the Sanriku rias coast of Iwate, Japan. As of 2008, the city has an estimated population of 41,022 and a density of 92.9 persons per km². The total area is 441.42 km². It is famous in modern times for its steel production and most recently for its promotion...

, Miyako
Miyako, Iwate
is a city located in Iwate, Japan.It was founded on February 11, 1941.The city lies along the coast where the flows into the Pacific Ocean. It is connected to Morioka by an east-west train line and highway and the coastal highway also goes through the town...

, Ōtsuchi
Otsuchi, Iwate
is a town located in Kamihei District, Iwate, Japan.As of 2003, the town had an estimated population of 16,727 and a density of 83.39 persons per km². The total area is 200.58 km²....

is a town located in Shimohei District, Iwate, Japan.As of 2003, the town has an estimated population of 20,413 and a population density of 77.49 persons per km². The total area is 263.44 km²....

(in Iwate Prefecture), Namie
Namie, Fukushima
is a town located in Futaba District, Fukushima, Japan.As of 2003, the town had an estimated population of 22,068 and a density of 98.92 persons per km². The total area is 223.10 km². The town was heavily damaged in the 11 March 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami and hastily evacuated shortly...

, Sōma
Soma, Fukushima
is a coastal city located in Fukushima, Japan, approximately 30 kilometers South of Sendai. Japan National Route 6 runs through Sōma, since 2001 augmented by the Route 6 Sōma Bypass, which runs up to 2 km East of the original route, around the city center....

and Minamisōma
Minamisoma, Fukushima
is a city located in Fukushima, Japan. As of May 1, 2011, the city had an estimated population of 68,745. The city was founded on January 1, 2006, by merging with Haramachi, Odaka, and Kashima.-2011 earthquake and tsunami:...

(in Fukushima Prefecture) and Shichigahama
Shichigahama, Miyagi
is a town located in Miyagi District, Miyagi, Japan.As of January 1, 2011, the town has an estimated population of 20,396. The total area is 13.27 km².-Geography:...

, Higashimatsushima
Higashimatsushima, Miyagi
is a city located in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan.It was created on April 1, 2005, when the towns of Naruse and Yamoto, both formally of Monou District, merged to form the new city....

, Onagawa
Onagawa, Miyagi
is a town located in Oshika District, Miyagi, Japan. The town was formed in 1926. The town takes pride in the fact that it still has beaches with "squeaking sand", which has apparently become rare in Japan due to human induced environmental changes. Onagawa is a port town, and right at the...

, Natori
Natori, Miyagi
is a city located in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan.As of 2010, the city has an estimated population of 72,757 and a population density of 727 persons per km². The total area is officially 100.07 km²....

, Ishinomaki
Ishinomaki, Miyagi
is a city located in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan.As of January 1, 2010, the city had an estimated population of 164,294 and a population density of 295.83 persons per km²...

, and Kesennuma
Kesennuma, Miyagi
is a city located in the extreme northeast of Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, founded on June 1, 1953. It wraps around the western part of Kesennuma Bay, and also includes the island of Ōshima...

(in Miyagi Prefecture). The most severe effects of the tsunami were felt along a 670-km (420 mi)-long stretch of coastline from Erimo
Erimo, Hokkaido
is a town located in Horoizumi District, Hidaka, Hokkaidō, Japan.Erimo is famous for its strong winds, kelp , and its scenic cape, Cape Erimo erimo-misaki. The cape was made famous by Shinichi Mori's enka song. It is supposed to be a romantic place to visit. The cape hosts a population of Kurile...

in the north to Ōarai in the south, with most of the destruction in that area occurring in the hour following the earthquake. Near Ōarai, people captured images of a huge whirlpool
Whirlpool
A whirlpool is a swirling body of water usually produced by ocean tides. The vast majority of whirlpools are not very powerful. More powerful ones are more properly termed maelstroms. Vortex is the proper term for any whirlpool that has a downdraft...

that had been generated by the tsunami. The tsunami washed away the sole bridge to Miyatojima, Miyagi, isolating the island's 900 residents. A two meter high tsunami hit Chiba Prefecture
Chiba Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kantō region and the Greater Tokyo Area. Its capital is Chiba City.- History :Chiba Prefecture was established on June 15, 1873 with the merger of Kisarazu Prefecture and Inba Prefecture...

about 2 1/2 hours after the quake, causing heavy damage to cities such as Asahi
Asahi, Chiba
is a city located in northern Chiba, Japan. As of February 2011, the city had an estimated population of 69,000 and a population density of 531 persons per km². The total area was 129.91 km².-Geography:...

.

On 13 March 2011, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) published details of tsunami observations recorded around the coastline of Japan following the earthquake. These observations included tsunami maximum readings of over 3 m (9.8 ft) at the following locations and times on 11 March 2011, following the earthquake at 14:46 JST:
• 15:12 JST – off Kamaishi
Kamaishi, Iwate
is a small, historic city located on the Sanriku rias coast of Iwate, Japan. As of 2008, the city has an estimated population of 41,022 and a density of 92.9 persons per km². The total area is 441.42 km². It is famous in modern times for its steel production and most recently for its promotion...

– 6.8 m (22 ft)
• 15:15 JST – Ōfunato – 3.2 m (10 ft) or higher
• 15:20 JST – Ishinomaki-shi Ayukawa
Ishinomaki, Miyagi
is a city located in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan.As of January 1, 2010, the city had an estimated population of 164,294 and a population density of 295.83 persons per km²...

– 3.3 m (11 ft) or higher
• 15:21 JST – Miyako
Miyako, Iwate
is a city located in Iwate, Japan.It was founded on February 11, 1941.The city lies along the coast where the flows into the Pacific Ocean. It is connected to Morioka by an east-west train line and highway and the coastal highway also goes through the town...

– 4.0 m (13.1 ft) or higher
• 15:21 JST – Kamaishi – 4.1 m (13 ft) or higher
• 15:44 JST – Erimo-cho Shoya
Erimo, Hokkaido
is a town located in Horoizumi District, Hidaka, Hokkaidō, Japan.Erimo is famous for its strong winds, kelp , and its scenic cape, Cape Erimo erimo-misaki. The cape was made famous by Shinichi Mori's enka song. It is supposed to be a romantic place to visit. The cape hosts a population of Kurile...

– 3.5 m (11 ft)
• 15:50 JST – Sōma
Soma, Fukushima
is a coastal city located in Fukushima, Japan, approximately 30 kilometers South of Sendai. Japan National Route 6 runs through Sōma, since 2001 augmented by the Route 6 Sōma Bypass, which runs up to 2 km East of the original route, around the city center....

– 7.3 m (24 ft) or higher
• 16:52 JST – Ōarai – 4.2 m (14 ft)

These readings were obtained from recording stations maintained by the JMA around the coastline of Japan. Many areas were also affected by waves of 1 to 3 meters (3.3 to 9.8 ft) in height, and the JMA bulletin also included the caveat that "At some parts of the coasts, tsunamis may be higher than those observed at the observation sites." The timing of the earliest recorded tsunami maximum readings ranged from 15:12 to 15:21, between 26 and 35 minutes after the earthquake had struck. The bulletin also included initial tsunami observation details, as well as more detailed maps for the coastlines affected by the tsunami waves.

On 23 March 2011, Port and Airport Research Institute reported tsunami height by visiting the port sites or by telemetry
Telemetry
Telemetry is a technology that allows measurements to be made at a distance, usually via radio wave transmission and reception of the information. The word is derived from Greek roots: tele = remote, and metron = measure...

from offshore as follows:
• Port of Hachinohe
Port of Hachinohe
The is a seaport on the Pacific coast of Aomori Prefecture, in the city of Hachinohe in the Tōhoku region of northern Honshū, Japan. It is classified as a by the Japanese government as an official port of entry into Japan with associated immigration and customs facilities...

– 5–6 m (16–19 ft)
• Port of Hachinohe area – 8–9 m (26–29 ft)
• Port of Kuji
Kuji, Iwate
is a city located in Iwate, Japan.-History:The city was founded on November 3, 1954. In 2003, the city had an estimated population of 36,596 and the population density of 111.70 persons per km²...

– 8–9 m (26–29 ft)
• Mooring GPS wave height meter at offshore of central Iwate
Iwate Prefecture
is the second largest prefecture of Japan after Hokkaido. It is located in the Tōhoku region of Honshū island and contains the island's easternmost point. The capital is Morioka. Iwate has the lowest population density of any prefecture outside Hokkaido...

(Miyako
Miyako, Iwate
is a city located in Iwate, Japan.It was founded on February 11, 1941.The city lies along the coast where the flows into the Pacific Ocean. It is connected to Morioka by an east-west train line and highway and the coastal highway also goes through the town...

) – 6 m (20 ft)
• Port of Kamaishi
Kamaishi, Iwate
is a small, historic city located on the Sanriku rias coast of Iwate, Japan. As of 2008, the city has an estimated population of 41,022 and a density of 92.9 persons per km². The total area is 441.42 km². It is famous in modern times for its steel production and most recently for its promotion...

– 7–9 m (23–30 ft)
• Mooring GPS wave height meter at offshore of southern Iwate
Iwate Prefecture
is the second largest prefecture of Japan after Hokkaido. It is located in the Tōhoku region of Honshū island and contains the island's easternmost point. The capital is Morioka. Iwate has the lowest population density of any prefecture outside Hokkaido...

(Kamaishi
Kamaishi, Iwate
is a small, historic city located on the Sanriku rias coast of Iwate, Japan. As of 2008, the city has an estimated population of 41,022 and a density of 92.9 persons per km². The total area is 441.42 km². It is famous in modern times for its steel production and most recently for its promotion...

) – 6.5 m (22 ft)
• Port of Ōfunato
Ofunato, Iwate
is a coastal city located in Iwate, Japan.It was founded on April 1, 1952.On November 15, 2001, the town of Sanriku, from Kesen District, was merged into Ōfunato....

– 9.5 m (31 ft)
• Run up height, port of Ōfunato
Ofunato, Iwate
is a coastal city located in Iwate, Japan.It was founded on April 1, 1952.On November 15, 2001, the town of Sanriku, from Kesen District, was merged into Ōfunato....

area – 24 m (79 ft)
• Mooring GPS wave height meter at offshore of northern Miyagi
Miyagi Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan in the Tōhoku Region on Honshu island. The capital is Sendai.- History :Miyagi Prefecture was formerly part of the province of Mutsu. Mutsu Province, on northern Honshu, was one of the last provinces to be formed as land was taken from the indigenous Emishi, and became the...

– 5.6 m (18 ft)
• Fishery port of Onagawa
Onagawa, Miyagi
is a town located in Oshika District, Miyagi, Japan. The town was formed in 1926. The town takes pride in the fact that it still has beaches with "squeaking sand", which has apparently become rare in Japan due to human induced environmental changes. Onagawa is a port town, and right at the...

– 15 m (50 ft)
• Port of Ishinomaki
Ishinomaki, Miyagi
is a city located in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan.As of January 1, 2010, the city had an estimated population of 164,294 and a population density of 295.83 persons per km²...

– 5 m (16 ft)
• Mooring GPS wave height meter at offshore of central Miyagi
Miyagi Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan in the Tōhoku Region on Honshu island. The capital is Sendai.- History :Miyagi Prefecture was formerly part of the province of Mutsu. Mutsu Province, on northern Honshu, was one of the last provinces to be formed as land was taken from the indigenous Emishi, and became the...

– could not measure
• Shiogama section of Shiogama
Shiogama, Miyagi
is a city located in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan.As of 2005, the city has an estimated population of 59,429 and a population density of 3,329 persons per km², making it the most densely populated conurbation in Tōhoku...

-Sendai port – 4 m (13 ft)
• Sendai section of Shiogama-Sendai port – 8 m (26 ft)
• Sendai Airport
Sendai Airport
is an airport located in Natori, Miyagi, south southeast of Sendai Station, Sendai, Japan.-History:In 1940, the Imperial Japanese Army built Sendai Airport in order to use it for the Kumakaya Army Flight School, Masda Branch School Trainee Training Center. It was called by several names: Natory...

area – 12 m (39 ft)

A joint research team from Yokohama National University
Yokohama National University
, or is a national university in Hodogaya-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. It offers Doctoral degrees in education as part of a coalition with Tokyo Gakugei University, Saitama University, and Chiba University. It is noted for its Business Administration program.-History:The predecessor...

and the University of Tokyo
University of Tokyo
, abbreviated as , is a major research university located in Tokyo, Japan. The University has 10 faculties with a total of around 30,000 students, 2,100 of whom are foreign. Its five campuses are in Hongō, Komaba, Kashiwa, Shirokane and Nakano. It is considered to be the most prestigious university...

also reported that the tsunami at Ryōri Bay (綾里白浜), Ōfunato was about 30 m high. They found fishing equipment scattered on the high cliff above the bay. At Tarō, Iwate
Taro, Iwate
was a town located in Shimohei District, Iwate, Japan.On June 6, 2005 Tarō, along with the village of Niisato, was merged into the expanded city of Miyako and no longer exists as an independent municipality....

, a University of Tokyo researcher reported an estimated tsunami height of 37.9 m (124 ft) reached the slope of a mountain some 200 m (656 ft) away from the coast
Coast
A coastline or seashore is the area where land meets the sea or ocean. A precise line that can be called a coastline cannot be determined due to the dynamic nature of tides. The term "coastal zone" can be used instead, which is a spatial zone where interaction of the sea and land processes occurs...

line. Also, at slope of nearby mountain from 400 m (1,312 ft) Aneyoshi fishery port (姉吉漁港) of Omoe peninsula (重茂半島) in Miyako, Iwate
Miyako, Iwate
is a city located in Iwate, Japan.It was founded on February 11, 1941.The city lies along the coast where the flows into the Pacific Ocean. It is connected to Morioka by an east-west train line and highway and the coastal highway also goes through the town...

, Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology
Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology
is a national university in Japan. The main campus is located in Minato, Tokyo and another campus is in Koto, Tokyo.- History :...

found estimated tsunami run up height of 38.9 m (127 ft). This height is deemed the record in Japan historically, as of reporting date, that exceeds 38.2 m (125 ft) from the 1896 Meiji-Sanriku earthquake
1896 Meiji-Sanriku earthquake
The 1896 Meiji-Sanriku earthquake was highly destructive, generating one of the most devastating tsunamis in Japanese history, destroying about 9,000 homes and causing at least 22,000 deaths. This magnitude 7.2 event occurred at 19:32 on June 15, 1896...

. It was also estimated that the tsunami reached heights of up to 40.5 metres (133 ft) in Miyako in Tōhoku's Iwate Prefecture.

A Japanese government study found that only 42% of people in coastal areas in Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima prefectures heeded tsunami warnings immediately after the quake and headed for higher ground. Of those who attempted to evacuate after hearing the warning, only five percent were caught in the tsunami. Of those who didn't heed the warning, 49% were hit by the water.

### Elsewhere across the Pacific

Shortly after the earthquake, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center
Pacific Tsunami Warning Center
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center is one of two tsunami warning centers that are operated by NOAA in the United States. Headquartered in Ewa Beach, Hawaii, the PTWC is part of an international tsunami warning system program and serves as the operational center for TWS of the Pacific issuing...

(PTWC) in Hawaii issued tsunami watches and announcements for locations in the Pacific. At 07:30 UTC, PTWC issued a widespread tsunami warning covering the entire Pacific Ocean. Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

evacuated 11,000 residents from coastal areas of the Kuril Islands
Kuril Islands
The Kuril Islands , in Russia's Sakhalin Oblast region, form a volcanic archipelago that stretches approximately northeast from Hokkaidō, Japan, to Kamchatka, Russia, separating the Sea of Okhotsk from the North Pacific Ocean. There are 56 islands and many more minor rocks. It consists of Greater...

. The United States West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center
West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center
The West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center is one of two tsunami warning centers that are operated by NOAA in the United States. Headquartered in Palmer, Alaska, the WCATWC is part of an international tsunami warning system program and serves as the operational center for TWS of all coastal...

issued a tsunami warning for the coastal areas of most of California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

, all of Oregon
Oregon
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

, and the western part of Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

, and a tsunami advisory covering the Pacific coastlines of most of Alaska, and all of Washington
Washington State
Washington State may refer to:* Washington , often referred to as "Washington state" to differentiate it from Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States* Washington State University, a land-grant college in that state- See also :...

and British Columbia
British Columbia
British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

and Oregon
Oregon
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

, up to 2.4 m (8 ft) high tsunami surges hit some areas, damaging docks and harbors and causing over US$10 million in damage. In Curry County, Oregon Curry County, Oregon Curry County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oregon. In 2010, its population was 22,364. The county is named for George Law Curry, a governor of the Oregon Territory. The seat of the county is Gold Beach.-Economy:...$7 million in damages occurred including the destruction of 3600 feet (1,097.3 m) of dockspace at the Brookings
Brookings, Oregon
Brookings is a city in Curry County, Oregon, United States. It was named after John E. Brookings, president of the Brookings Lumber and Box Company, which founded the city in 1908. As of the 2010 census the population was 6,336. The total population of the Brookings area is over 13,000, which...

harbor; the county has received over $1 million in FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency The Federal Emergency Management Agency is an agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security, initially created by Presidential Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1978 and implemented by two Executive Orders... emergency grants. Surges of up to 1 m (3.3 ft) hit Vancouver Island Vancouver Island Vancouver Island is a large island in British Columbia, Canada. It is one of several North American locations named after George Vancouver, the British Royal Navy officer who explored the Pacific Northwest coast of North America between 1791 and 1794... in Canada prompting some evacuations, and causing boats to be banned from the waters surrounding the island for 12 hours following the wave strike, leaving many island residents in the area without means of getting to work. In the Philippines Philippines The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam... , waves up to 0.5 m (1.6 ft) high hit the eastern seaboard of the country. Some houses along the coast in Jayapura, Indonesia were destroyed. Authorities in Wewak Wewak Wewak is the capital of the East Sepik province of Papua New Guinea. It is located on the northern coast of the island of New Guinea. It is the largest town between Madang and Jayapura. It is the see city of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wewak.... , East Sepik East Sepik East Sepik is a province in Papua New Guinea. Its capital is Wewak. East Sepik has an estimated population of 343,180 people and is roughly 42,800 km square in size.-History:... , Papua New Guinea evacuated 100 patients from the city's Boram Hospital before it was hit by the waves, causing an estimated US$4 million in damages. Hawaii estimated damage to public infrastructure alone at US$3 million, with damage to private properties, including resort hotels such as Four Seasons Resort Hualalai Four Seasons Resort Hualalai Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Kaūpūlehu is a Four Seasons resort in Kaūpūlehu, on the Kona-Kohala Coast of the island of Hawaii. The resort was designed by Hill Glazier Architects, with original interior design by Wilson & Associates . Landscape architecture was by Bensley Design,... , estimated at tens of millions of dollars. It was reported that a 1.5 m (5 ft) high wave completely submerged Midway Atoll's Midway Atoll Midway Atoll is a atoll in the North Pacific Ocean, near the northwestern end of the Hawaiian archipelago, about one-third of the way between Honolulu, Hawaii, and Tokyo, Japan. Unique among the Hawaiian islands, Midway observes UTC-11 , eleven hours behind Coordinated Universal Time and one hour... reef inlets and Spit Island, killing more than 110,000 nesting seabirds at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. Some other South Pacific countries, including Tonga Tonga Tonga, officially the Kingdom of Tonga , is a state and an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, comprising 176 islands scattered over of ocean in the South Pacific... and New Zealand, and U.S. territories American Samoa American Samoa American Samoa is an unincorporated territory of the United States located in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of the sovereign state of Samoa... and Guam Guam Guam is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is one of five U.S. territories with an established civilian government. Guam is listed as one of 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories by the Special Committee on Decolonization of the United... , experienced larger-than-normal waves, but did not report any major damage. However in Guam some roads were closed off and people were evacuated from low-lying areas. Along the Pacific Coast of Mexico Mexico The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of... and South America, tsunami surges were reported, but in most places caused little or no damage. Peru reported a wave of 1.5 m (5 ft) and more than 300 homes damaged. The surge in Chile was large enough to damage more than 200 houses, with waves of up to 3 m (9.8 ft). In the Galapagos Islands Galápagos Islands The Galápagos Islands are an archipelago of volcanic islands distributed around the equator in the Pacific Ocean, west of continental Ecuador, of which they are a part.The Galápagos Islands and its surrounding waters form an Ecuadorian province, a national park, and a... , 260 families received assistance following a 3 m (9.8 ft) surge which arrived 20 hours after the earthquake, after the tsunami warning had been lifted. There was a great deal of damage to buildings on the islands and one man was injured but there were no reported fatalities. The tsunami broke iceberg Iceberg An iceberg is a large piece of ice from freshwater that has broken off from a snow-formed glacier or ice shelf and is floating in open water. It may subsequently become frozen into pack ice... s off the Sulzberger Ice Shelf in Antarctica, 13000 kilometres (8,077.8 mi) away. The main iceberg measured 9.5 by 6.5 km (5.9 by 4 mi) (approximately the area of Manhattan Island) and about 80 metres (262.5 ft) thick. A total of 125 km² (48.3 sq mi; 30,888.1 acre) of ice broke away. ## Land subsidence Geospatial Information Authority of Japan Geospatial Information Authority of Japan The , or GSI, is the national institution responsible for surveying and mapping the national land of Japan. The former name of the organization, since 1949 to March 2010 was Geographical Survey Institute. It is an organization attached to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism... reported land subsidence Subsidence Subsidence is the motion of a surface as it shifts downward relative to a datum such as sea-level. The opposite of subsidence is uplift, which results in an increase in elevation... on the height of triangulation station Triangulation station A triangulation station, also known as a triangulation pillar, trigonometrical station, trigonometrical point, trig station, trig beacon or trig point, and sometimes informally as a trig, is a fixed surveying station, used in geodetic surveying and other surveying projects in its vicinity... measured by GPS Global Positioning System The Global Positioning System is a space-based global navigation satellite system that provides location and time information in all weather, anywhere on or near the Earth, where there is an unobstructed line of sight to four or more GPS satellites... from previous value on 14 April 2011. • Miyako, Iwate Miyako, Iwate is a city located in Iwate, Japan.It was founded on February 11, 1941.The city lies along the coast where the flows into the Pacific Ocean. It is connected to Morioka by an east-west train line and highway and the coastal highway also goes through the town... – 0.50 m (1.64 ft) • Yamada, Iwate Yamada, Iwate is a town located in Shimohei District, Iwate, Japan.As of 2003, the town has an estimated population of 20,413 and a population density of 77.49 persons per km². The total area is 263.44 km².... – 0.53 m (1.73 ft) • Ōtsuchi, Iwate Otsuchi, Iwate is a town located in Kamihei District, Iwate, Japan.As of 2003, the town had an estimated population of 16,727 and a density of 83.39 persons per km². The total area is 200.58 km².... – 0.35 m (1.14 ft) • Kamaishi, Iwate Kamaishi, Iwate is a small, historic city located on the Sanriku rias coast of Iwate, Japan. As of 2008, the city has an estimated population of 41,022 and a density of 92.9 persons per km². The total area is 441.42 km². It is famous in modern times for its steel production and most recently for its promotion... – 0.66 m (2.16 ft) • Ōfunato, Iwate Ofunato, Iwate is a coastal city located in Iwate, Japan.It was founded on April 1, 1952.On November 15, 2001, the town of Sanriku, from Kesen District, was merged into Ōfunato.... – 0.73 m (2.39 ft) • Rikuzentakata, Iwate Rikuzentakata, Iwate is a city in Iwate, Japan.In the quinquennial census of 2010, the city had a population of 23,302 . With a total area of 232.29 km² the density is 100 persons per km². The city was founded on January 1, 1955. The 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami caused extensive damage to the city.- Politics... – 0.84 m (2.75 ft) • Kesennuma, Miyagi Kesennuma, Miyagi is a city located in the extreme northeast of Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, founded on June 1, 1953. It wraps around the western part of Kesennuma Bay, and also includes the island of Ōshima... – 0.74 m (2.42 ft) • Minamisanriku, Miyagi Minamisanriku, Miyagi , also spelled Minami Sanriku, is a resort town on a coastline of wooded islands and mountainous inlets. The town is in Motoyoshi District, Miyagi, Japan. It has an area of , and as of October 1, 2004 the population of the area was 19,170... – 0.69 m (2.26 ft) • Oshika Peninsula Oshika Peninsula The Oshika Peninsula is a peninsula which projects southeast into the Pacific Ocean from the coast of Miyagi Prefecture in northeast Honshu, the main island of Japan.... , Miyagi Miyagi Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan in the Tōhoku Region on Honshu island. The capital is Sendai.- History :Miyagi Prefecture was formerly part of the province of Mutsu. Mutsu Province, on northern Honshu, was one of the last provinces to be formed as land was taken from the indigenous Emishi, and became the... – 1.2 m (3.93 ft) • Ishinomaki, Miyagi Ishinomaki, Miyagi is a city located in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan.As of January 1, 2010, the city had an estimated population of 164,294 and a population density of 295.83 persons per km²... – 0.78 m (2.55 ft) • Higashimatsushima, Miyagi Higashimatsushima, Miyagi is a city located in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan.It was created on April 1, 2005, when the towns of Naruse and Yamoto, both formally of Monou District, merged to form the new city.... – 0.43 m (1.41 ft) • Iwanuma, Miyagi Iwanuma, Miyagi is a city located in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan.As of July 1, 2010, the city has an estimated population of 44,379 and a population density of 731 persons per km²... – 0.47 m (1.54 ft) • Sōma, Fukushima Soma, Fukushima is a coastal city located in Fukushima, Japan, approximately 30 kilometers South of Sendai. Japan National Route 6 runs through Sōma, since 2001 augmented by the Route 6 Sōma Bypass, which runs up to 2 km East of the original route, around the city center.... – 0.29 m (0.95 ft) Scientists say that the subsidence is permanent. As a result, the communities in question are now more susceptible to flooding during high tides. ## Casualties The National Police Agency National Police Agency (Japan) The is an agency administered by the National Public Safety Commission of the Cabinet Office in the cabinet of Japan, and is the central coordinating agency of the Japanese police system.... has confirmed and across eighteen prefectures Prefectures of Japan The prefectures of Japan are the country's 47 subnational jurisdictions: one "metropolis" , Tokyo; one "circuit" , Hokkaidō; two urban prefectures , Osaka and Kyoto; and 43 other prefectures . In Japanese, they are commonly referred to as... . Of the 13,135 fatalities recovered by 11 April 2011, 12,143 or 92.5% died by drowning. Victims aged 60 or older accounted for 65.2% of the deaths, with 24% of total victims being in their 70s. Save the Children Save the Children Save the Children is an internationally active non-governmental organization that enforces children's rights, provides relief and helps support children in developing countries... reports that as many as 100,000 children were uprooted from their homes, some of whom were separated from their families because the earthquake occurred during the school day. Two-hundred and thirty-six children were orphaned by the disaster. The quake and tsunami, as of 28 April 2011, killed 378 elementary, middle-school, and high school students and left 158 others missing. One elementary school in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Ishinomaki, Miyagi is a city located in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan.As of January 1, 2010, the city had an estimated population of 164,294 and a population density of 295.83 persons per km²... , Okawa Elementary, lost 74 of 108 students and 10 of 13 teachers and staff. The Japanese Foreign Ministry has confirmed the deaths of nineteen foreigners. Among them are two English teachers from the United States affiliated with the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program JET Programme or is a Japanese government initiative that brings college graduates—mostly native speakers of English—to Japan as Assistant Language Teachers and Sports Education Advisors in Japanese kindergartens, elementary, junior high and high schools, or as Coordinators for International Relations in... ; a Canadian missionary in Shiogama Shiogama, Miyagi is a city located in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan.As of 2005, the city has an estimated population of 59,429 and a population density of 3,329 persons per km², making it the most densely populated conurbation in Tōhoku... ; and citizens of China, North and South Korea, Taiwan, Pakistan and the Philippines. By 9:30 UTC on 11 March, Google Person Finder, which was previously used in the Haitian 2010 Haiti earthquake The 2010 Haiti earthquake was a catastrophic magnitude 7.0 Mw earthquake, with an epicentre near the town of Léogâne, approximately west of Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital. The earthquake occurred at 16:53 local time on Tuesday, 12 January 2010.By 24 January, at least 52 aftershocks... , Chilean 2010 Chile earthquake The 2010 Chile earthquake occurred off the coast of central Chile on Saturday, 27 February 2010, at 03:34 local time , having a magnitude of 8.8 on the moment magnitude scale, with intense shaking lasting for about three minutes. It ranks as the sixth largest earthquake ever to be recorded by a... , and Christchurch, New Zealand earthquakes, was collecting information about survivors and their locations. The Next of Kin Next of kin Next of kin is a term with many interpretations depending on the jurisdiction being referred to. In some jurisdictions, such as the United States, it is used to describe a person's closest living blood relative or relatives... Registry (NOKR) is assisting the Japanese government in locating next of kin for those missing or deceased. Japanese funeral Japanese funeral A Japanese funeral A Japanese funeral A Japanese funeral (葬儀 sōgi or 葬式 sōshiki）includes a wake, the cremation of the deceased, a burial in a family grave, and a periodic memorial service. According to 2007 statistics, 99.81% of deceased Japanese are cremated... s are normally elaborate Buddhist ceremonies which entail cremation. The thousands of bodies, however, exceeded the capacity of available crematoriums and morgue Morgue A morgue or mortuary is used for the storage of human corpses awaiting identification, or removal for autopsy or disposal by burial, cremation or otherwise... s, many of them damaged, and there were shortages of both kerosene—each cremation requires 50 liters—and dry ice Dry ice Dry ice, sometimes referred to as "Cardice" or as "card ice" , is the solid form of carbon dioxide. It is used primarily as a cooling agent. Its advantages include lower temperature than that of water ice and not leaving any residue... for preservation. The single crematorium in Higashimatsushima Higashimatsushima, Miyagi is a city located in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan.It was created on April 1, 2005, when the towns of Naruse and Yamoto, both formally of Monou District, merged to form the new city.... , for example, could only handle four bodies a day, although hundreds were found there. Governments and the military were forced to bury many bodies in hastily dug mass grave Mass grave A mass grave is a grave containing multiple number of human corpses, which may or may not be identified prior to burial. There is no strict definition of the minimum number of bodies required to constitute a mass grave, although the United Nations defines a mass grave as a burial site which... s with rudimentary or no rites, although relatives of the deceased were promised that they would be cremated later. The tsunami is reported to have caused several deaths outside of Japan. One man was killed in Jayapura Jayapura Jayapura City is the capital of Papua province, Indonesia, on the island of New Guinea. It is situated on Yos Sudarso Bay . Its approximate population in 2002 was 200,000.... , Papua, Indonesia after being swept out to sea. A man who is said to have been attempting to photograph the oncoming tsunami at the mouth of the Klamath River Klamath River The Klamath River is an American river that flows southwest through Oregon and northern California, cutting through the Cascade Range to empty into the Pacific Ocean. The river drains an extensive watershed of almost that stretches from the high desert country of the Great Basin to the temperate... , south of Crescent City, California Crescent City, California Crescent City is the county seat and only incorporated city in Del Norte County, California. Named for the crescent-shaped stretch of sandy beach south of the city, Crescent City had a total population of 7,643 in the 2010 census, up from 4,006 in the 2000 census... , was swept out to sea. His body was found on 2 April along Ocean Beach in Fort Stevens State Park, Oregon, some 330 miles (531.1 km) to the north. As of 27 May 2011, three Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Japan Ground Self-Defense Force The , or JGSDF, is the army of Japan. The largest of the three services of the Japan Self-Defense Forces, the Ground Self-Defense Force operates under the command of the chief of the ground staff, based in the city of Ichigaya, Tokyo. The present chief of ground staff is General Yoshifumi Hibako... members had died while conducting relief operations in Tōhoku. ## Damage and effects The degree and extent of damage caused by the earthquake and resulting tsunami were enormous, with most of the damage being caused by the tsunami. Video footage of the towns that were worst affected shows little more than piles of rubble, with almost no parts of any structures left standing. Estimates of the cost of the damage range well into the tens of billions of US dollars; before-and-after satellite Satellite In the context of spaceflight, a satellite is an object which has been placed into orbit by human endeavour. Such objects are sometimes called artificial satellites to distinguish them from natural satellites such as the Moon.... photographs of devastated regions show immense damage to many regions. Although Japan has invested the equivalent of billions of dollars on anti-tsunami seawalls which line at least 40% of its 34,751 km (21,593 mi) coastline and stand up to 12 m (39 ft) high, the tsunami simply washed over the top of some seawalls, collapsing some in the process. Japan's National Police Agency National Police Agency (Japan) The is an agency administered by the National Public Safety Commission of the Cabinet Office in the cabinet of Japan, and is the central coordinating agency of the Japanese police system.... said on 3 April 2011, that 45,700 buildings were destroyed and 144,300 were damaged by the quake and tsunami. The damaged buildings included 29,500 structures in Miyagi Prefecture, 12,500 in Iwate Prefecture and 2,400 in Fukushima Prefecture. Three hundred hospitals with 20 beds or more in Tōhoku were damaged by the disaster, with 11 being completely destroyed. The earthquake and tsunami created an estimated 24–25 million tons of rubble and debris in Japan. An estimated 230,000 automobiles and trucks were damaged or destroyed in the disaster. As of the end of May 2011, residents of Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima prefectures had requested deregistration of 15,000 vehicles, meaning that the owners of those vehicles were writing them off as unrepairable or unsalvageable. ### Ports All of Japan's ports were briefly closed after the earthquake, though the ones in Tokyo and southwards soon re-opened. Fifteen ports were located in the disaster zone. The north-eastern ports of Hachinohe, Sendai, Ishinomaki and Onahama were destroyed, while the Port of Chiba Port of Chiba The is the largest seaport in Japan, located in Chiba Prefecture on the interior of Tokyo Bay. The Port spans 24,800 ha across the cities of Ichikawa, Funabashi, Narashino, Chiba, Ichihara, and Sodegaura.-History:... (which serves the hydrocarbon industry) and Japan's ninth-largest container port at Kashima Kashima, Ibaraki is a port city located in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan.As of October 1, 2010, the city has an estimated population of 66,249 and a population density of 708.02 persons per km². The total area is 93.57 km². Kashima was formerly a town in Kashima District and became a city after merging with the... were also affected though less severely. The ports at Hitachinaka, Hitachi, Soma, Shiogama, Kesennuma, Ofunato, Kamashi and Miyako were also damaged and closed to ships. All 15 ports reopened to limited ship traffic by 29 March 2011. A total of 319 fishing ports, about 10% of Japan's fishing ports, were damaged in the disaster. The Port of Tokyo Port of Tokyo Port of Tokyo is one of the largest Japanese seaports and one of the largest seaports in the Pacific Ocean basin having an annual traffic capacity of around 100 million tonnes of cargo and 4,500,000 TEU's.... suffered slight damage; the effects of the quake included visible smoke rising from a building in the port with parts of the port areas being flooded, including soil liquefaction Soil liquefaction Soil liquefaction describes a phenomenon whereby a saturated soil substantially loses strength and stiffness in response to an applied stress, usually earthquake shaking or other sudden change in stress condition, causing it to behave like a liquid.... in Tokyo Disneyland Tokyo Disneyland is a 115 acre theme park at the Tokyo Disney Resort located in Urayasu, Chiba, Japan, near Tokyo. Its main gate is directly adjacent to both Maihama Station and Tokyo Disneyland Station. It was the first Disney park to be built outside of the United States and opened on April 15, 1983... 's carpark. ### Dams and water The Fujinuma irrigation dam Fujinuma Dam The , was an earth-fill embankment dam in Sukagawa City, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. It was established on the Ebana River, a tributary of the Abukuma River, west of the city office of Sukagawa City. Construction on the dam commenced in 1937 and it was completed in 1949 after construction was... in Sukagawa ruptured, causing flooding and washing away five homes. Eight people were missing and four bodies were discovered by the morning. Reportedly, some locals had attempted to repair leaks in the dam before it completely failed. On 12 March, 252 dams were inspected and it was discovered that six embankment dam Embankment dam An embankment dam is a massive artificial water barrier. It is typically created by the emplacement and compaction of a complex semi-plastic mound of various compositions of soil, sand, clay and/or rock. It has a semi-permanent waterproof natural covering for its surface, and a dense, waterproof... s had shallow cracks on their crests. The reservoir at one concrete gravity dam suffered a small non-serious slope failure Slope stability The field of slope stability encompasses the analysis of static and dynamic stability of slopes of earth and rock-fill dams, slopes of other types of embankments, excavated slopes, and natural slopes in soil and soft rock... . All damaged dams are functioning with no problems. Four dams within the quake area were unreachable. When the roads clear, experts will be dispatched to conduct further investigations. In the immediate aftermath of the calamity, at least 1.5 million households were reported to have lost access to water supplies. By 21 March 2011, this number fell to 1.04 million. ### Electricity According to Tōhoku Electric Power (TEP), around 4.4 million households in northeastern Japan were left without electricity. Several nuclear and conventional power plants went offline after the earthquake, reducing TEPCO's total capacity by 21 GW. Rolling blackout Rolling blackout A rolling blackout, also referred to as load shedding, is an intentionally-engineered electrical power outage where electricity delivery is stopped for non-overlapping periods of time over geographical regions. Rolling blackouts are a last-resort measure used by an electric utility company in order... s began on 14 March due to power shortages caused by the earthquake. The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), which normally provides approximately 40 GW of electricity, announced that it can currently provide only about 30 GW. This is because 40% of the electricity used in the greater Tokyo area is now supplied by reactors in the Niigata Niigata Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located on the island of Honshū on the coast of the Sea of Japan. The capital is the city of Niigata. The name "Niigata" literally means "new lagoon".- History :... and Fukushima Fukushima Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located in the Tōhoku region on the island of Honshu. The capital is the city of Fukushima.-History:Until the Meiji Restoration, the area of Fukushima prefecture was known as Mutsu Province.... prefectures. The reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant The , also known as Fukushima Dai-ichi , is a disabled nuclear power plant located on a site in the towns of Okuma and Futaba in the Futaba District of Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. First commissioned in 1971, the plant consists of six boiling water reactors... and Fukushima Dai-ni Fukushima II Nuclear Power Plant The , or Fukushima Dai-ni , is a nuclear power plant located on a site in the town of Naraha and Tomioka in the Futaba District of Fukushima Prefecture, Japan... plants were automatically taken offline when the first earthquake occurred and have sustained major damage related to the earthquake and subsequent tsunami. Rolling blackouts of three hours are expected to last until the end of April and will affect Tokyo, Kanagawa Kanagawa Prefecture is a prefecture located in the southern Kantō region of Japan. The capital is Yokohama. Kanagawa is part of the Greater Tokyo Area.-History:The prefecture has some archaeological sites going back to the Jōmon period... , Eastern Shizuoka Shizuoka Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region on Honshu island. The capital is the city of Shizuoka.- History :Shizuoka prefecture was formed from the former Tōtōmi, Suruga and Izu provinces.The area was the home of the first Tokugawa Shogun... , Yamanashi Yamanashi Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region of the island of Honshū. The capital is the city of Kōfu.-Pre-history to the 14th century:People have been living in the Yamanashi area for about 30,000 years... , Chiba Chiba Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kantō region and the Greater Tokyo Area. Its capital is Chiba City.- History :Chiba Prefecture was established on June 15, 1873 with the merger of Kisarazu Prefecture and Inba Prefecture... , Ibaraki Ibaraki Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan, located in the Kantō region on the main island of Honshu. The capital is Mito.-History:Ibaraki Prefecture was previously known as Hitachi Province... , Saitama Saitama Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kantō region of the island of Honshu. The capital is the city of Saitama.This prefecture is part of the Greater Tokyo Area, and most of Saitama's cities can be described as suburbs of Tokyo, to which a large amount of residents commute each day.- History... , Tochigi Tochigi Prefecture is a prefecture located in the Kantō region on the island of Honshū, Japan. The capital is the city of Utsunomiya.Nikkō, whose ancient Shintō shrines and Buddhist temples UNESCO has recognized by naming them a World Heritage Site, is in this prefecture... , and Gunma Gunma Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located in the northwest corner of the Kantō region on Honshu island. Its capital is Maebashi.- History :The remains of a Paleolithic man were found at Iwajuku, Gunma Prefecture, in the early 20th century and there is a public museum there.Japan was without horses until... prefectures. Voluntary reduced electricity use by consumers in the Kanto area helped reduce the predicted frequency and duration of the blackouts. By 21 March 2011, the number of households in the north without electricity fell to 242,927. Tōhoku Electric Power cannot currently provide the Kanto region with additional power, because TEP's power plants were also damaged in the earthquake. Kansai Electric Power Company Kansai Electric Power Company , also known as , is an electric utility with its operational area of Kansai region, Japan . The company is regarded as one of the leading companies in Kansai, as well as a leader of the Japanese electric power industry.... (Kepco) cannot share electricity, because its system operates at 60 hertz, whereas TEPCO and TEP operate their systems at 50 hertz; this is due to early industrial and infrastructure development in the 1880s that left Japan without a unified national power grid. Two substations, one in Shizuoka Prefecture and one in Nagano Prefecture, can convert between frequencies and transfer electricity from Kansai to Kanto and Tōhoku, but their capacity to do so is limited to 1 GW. With the damage to so many power plants, it could be years before electricity productions levels in eastern Japan return to pre-quake levels. In effort to help alleviate the shortage, three steel manufacturers in the Kanto region are contributing electricity produced by their in-house conventional power stations to TEPCO for distribution to the general public. Sumitomo Metal Industries Sumitomo Metal Industries is a company with seat in Osaka, Japan. )It is the third largest integrated steel manufacturer in Japan withthree integrated steelworks and several other manufacturing plants.It is one of the largest manufacturers of Seamless Pipes and Tubes,... can produce up to 500 MW, JFE Steel 400 MW, and Nippon Steel Nippon Steel , also referred to as , was formed in 1970. Nippon Steel Corporation is the world's 4th largest steel producer by volume.-Early years:Nippon Steel was created by the merger of two giants, Yawata Iron & Steel and Fuji Iron & Steel... 500 MW of electric power Auto and auto parts makers in Kanto and Tohoku agreed in May 2011 to operate their factories on Saturdays and Sundays and close on Thursdays and Fridays to assist in alleviating the electricity shortage during the summer of 2011. ### Oil, gas and coal A 220000 barrels (34,977.2 m³)-per-day oil refinery Oil refinery An oil refinery or petroleum refinery is an industrial process plant where crude oil is processed and refined into more useful petroleum products, such as gasoline, diesel fuel, asphalt base, heating oil, kerosene, and liquefied petroleum gas... of Cosmo Oil Company Cosmo Oil Company is a Japanese petrochemical company.-History:Cosmo traces its corporate roots to Maruzen Petroleum , a company established in 1931, although the oil business operated by Maruzen was originally established by Zenzo Matsumura in Kobe in 1907.... was set on fire by the quake at Ichihara Ichihara, Chiba is a city located in Chiba Prefecture, Japan. As of August 2010, the city has an estimated population of 279,080, with a population density of 758 persons per km². The total area of Ichihara was 368.20 km²... , Chiba Prefecture Chiba Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kantō region and the Greater Tokyo Area. Its capital is Chiba City.- History :Chiba Prefecture was established on June 15, 1873 with the merger of Kisarazu Prefecture and Inba Prefecture... , to the east of Tokyo, It was extinguished after ten days, killing or injuring six people, and destroying storage tanks. Others halted production due to safety checks and power loss. In Sendai, a 145000 barrels (23,053.2 m³)-per-day refinery owned by the largest refiner in Japan, JX Nippon Oil & Energy Nippon Oil The , or NOC or Shin-Nisseki is a Japanese petroleum company. Its businesses include the exploration, importation, and refining of crude oil; the manufacture and sale of petroleum products, including fuels and lubricants; and other energy-related activities.Its products are sold under the brand... , was also set ablaze by the quake. Workers were evacuated, but tsunami warnings hindered efforts to extinguish the fire until 14 March, when officials planned to do so. An analyst estimates that consumption of various types of oil may increase by as much as 300000 barrels (47,696.2 m³) per day (as well as LNG), as back-up power plants burning fossil fuel Fossil fuel Fossil fuels are fuels formed by natural processes such as anaerobic decomposition of buried dead organisms. The age of the organisms and their resulting fossil fuels is typically millions of years, and sometimes exceeds 650 million years... s try to compensate for the loss of 11 GW of Japan's nuclear power capacity. The city-owned plant for importing liquefied natural gas Liquefied natural gas Liquefied natural gas or LNG is natural gas that has been converted temporarily to liquid form for ease of storage or transport.... in Sendai was severely damaged, and supplies were halted for at least a month. ### Nuclear power plants The Fukushima I Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant The , also known as Fukushima Dai-ichi , is a disabled nuclear power plant located on a site in the towns of Okuma and Futaba in the Futaba District of Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. First commissioned in 1971, the plant consists of six boiling water reactors... , Fukushima II Fukushima II Nuclear Power Plant The , or Fukushima Dai-ni , is a nuclear power plant located on a site in the town of Naraha and Tomioka in the Futaba District of Fukushima Prefecture, Japan... , Onagawa Nuclear Power Plant Onagawa Nuclear Power Plant The is a nuclear power plant located on a 1,730,000 m2 site in Onagawa in the Oshika District and Ishinomaki city, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. It is managed by the Tohoku Electric Power Company... and Tōkai nuclear power stations Tokai Nuclear Power Plant The was Japan's first nuclear power plant. It was built in the early 1960s to the British Magnox design, and generated power from 1966 until it was decommissioned in 1998. A second nuclear plant, built at the site in the 1970s, was the first in Japan to produce over 1000 MW of electricity, and... , consisting of a total eleven reactors, were automatically shut down Scram A scram or SCRAM is an emergency shutdown of a nuclear reactor – though the term has been extended to cover shutdowns of other complex operations, such as server farms and even large model railroads... following the earthquake. Higashidōri Higashidori Nuclear Power Plant The is a nuclear power plant located in the town of Higashidōri in eastern Aomori Prefecture, on the Shimokita Peninsula, facing the Pacific Ocean. It is unique in Japan in that at this four-unit site, two units are run by one company, the Tōhoku Electric Power Company and two units are run by the... , also on the northeast coast, was already shut down for a periodic inspection. Cooling is needed to remove decay heat Decay heat Decay heat is the heat released as a result of radioactive decay. This is when the radiation interacts with materials: the energy of the alpha, beta or gamma radiation is converted into the thermal movement of atoms.-Natural occurrence:... after a reactor has been shut down, and to maintain spent fuel pools. The backup cooling process is powered by emergency diesel generators at the plants and at Rokkasho nuclear reprocessing plant Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant The is a nuclear reprocessing plant with an annual capacity of 800 tons of uranium or 8 tons of plutonium, owned by Japan Nuclear Fuel Limited located in the village of Rokkasho in northeast Aomori Prefecture, Japan approximately 17 miles north of the US Air Force's Misawa Air Base... . At Fukushima I and II tsunami waves overtopped seawalls and destroyed diesel backup power systems, leading to severe problems at Fukushima I, including three large explosions and radioactive leakage. Over 200,000 people were evacuated. The 7 April aftershock caused the loss of external power to Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant and Higashidori Nuclear Power Plant but backup generators were functional. Onagawa Nuclear Power Plant lost 3 of 4 external power lines and lost cooling function for as much as 80 minutes. A spill of a couple liters of radioactive water occurred at Onagawa. Europe's Energy Commissioner European Commissioner for Energy The Commissioner for Energy is a member of the European Commission. The current Commissioner is Günther Oettinger .-Responsibilities:The Commissioner holds responsibility for the European Union's energy policy as well as nuclear issues . It was previously a backwater in the Commission but has now... Günther Oettinger Günther Oettinger Günther Hermann Oettinger is a German politician of the Christian Democratic Union . He became European Commissioner for Energy in the European Commission on 10 February 2010 and is affiliated with the European People's Party... addressed the European Parliament on 15 March, explaining that the nuclear disaster was an "apocalypse". As the nuclear crisis entered a second month, experts recognized that Fukushima I is not the worst nuclear accident ever, but it is the most complicated. Later analysis indicated three reactors (Units 1, 2, and 3) had suffered meltdowns and continued to leak coolant water, and by summer the Vice-minister for Economy, Trade and Industry, the head of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, and the head of the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, had lost their jobs. #### Fukushima meltdowns Japan declared a state of emergency following the failure of the cooling system at the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant The , also known as Fukushima Dai-ichi , is a disabled nuclear power plant located on a site in the towns of Okuma and Futaba in the Futaba District of Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. First commissioned in 1971, the plant consists of six boiling water reactors... , resulting in the evacuation of nearby residents. Officials from the Japanese Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency The is a Japanese nuclear regulatory and oversight branch of the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. It was created in 2001 during the 2001 Central Government Reform. It has a main office in Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda, Tokyo that works with the... reported that radiation levels inside the plant were up to 1,000 times normal levels, and that radiation levels outside the plant were up to 8 times normal levels. Later, a state of emergency was also declared at the Fukushima II Fukushima II Nuclear Power Plant The , or Fukushima Dai-ni , is a nuclear power plant located on a site in the town of Naraha and Tomioka in the Futaba District of Fukushima Prefecture, Japan... nuclear power plant about 11 km (7 mi) south. This brought the total number of problematic reactors to six. It was reported that radioactive iodine was detected in the tap water in Fukushima, Tochigi, Gunma, Tokyo, Chiba, Saitama, and Niigata, and radioactive cesium in the tap water in Fukushima, Tochigi and Gunma. Radioactive cesium, iodine, and strontium were also detected in the soil in some places in Fukushima. There may be a need to replace the contaminated soil. Food products were also found contaminated by radioactive matter in several places in Japan. On 5 April 2011, the government of the Ibaraki Prefecture Ibaraki Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan, located in the Kantō region on the main island of Honshu. The capital is Mito.-History:Ibaraki Prefecture was previously known as Hitachi Province... banned the fishing of sand lance Sand lance A sand lance or sandlance is a fish belonging to the family Ammodytidae. Several species of sand lance are commonly known as "sand eels" or "sandeels", though they are not related to true eels. Another variant name is launce, and all names of the fish are references to its slender body and... after discovering that this species was contaminated by radioactive cesium above legal limits. As late as July radioactive beef was found for sale at Tokyo markets. #### Incidents elsewhere A fire occurred in the turbine section of the Onagawa Nuclear Power Plant Onagawa Nuclear Power Plant The is a nuclear power plant located on a 1,730,000 m2 site in Onagawa in the Oshika District and Ishinomaki city, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. It is managed by the Tohoku Electric Power Company... following the earthquake. The blaze was in a building housing the turbine, which is sited separately from the plant's reactor, and was soon extinguished. The plant was shut down as a precaution. On 13 March the lowest-level state of emergency was declared regarding the Onagawa plant as radioactivity readings temporarily exceeded allowed levels in the area of the plant. Tohoku Electric Power Co. stated this may have been due to radiation from the Fukushima I nuclear accidents but was not from the Onagawa plant itself. As a result of the 7 April aftershock, Onagawa Nuclear Power Plant lost 3 of 4 external power lines and lost cooling function for as much as 80 minutes. A spill of a couple liters of radioactive water occurred at Onagawa. The number 2 reactor at Tōkai Nuclear Power Plant Tokai Nuclear Power Plant The was Japan's first nuclear power plant. It was built in the early 1960s to the British Magnox design, and generated power from 1966 until it was decommissioned in 1998. A second nuclear plant, built at the site in the 1970s, was the first in Japan to produce over 1000 MW of electricity, and... was shut down automatically. On 14 March it was reported that a cooling system pump for this reactor had stopped working; however, the Japan Atomic Power Company stated that there was a second operational pump sustaining the cooling systems, but that two of three diesel generators used to power the cooling system were out of order. ### Wind power None of Japan's commercial wind turbines Wind power in Japan Wind power in Japan generates a small but increasing proportion of the country's electricity, as the installed capacity has been growing in recent years. According to industry observers, the 2011 Japanese nuclear accidents are pushing wind power to the forefront as a safer and more reliable... , totaling over 2300 MW in nameplate capacity Nameplate capacity Nameplate capacity, also known as the rated capacity, nominal capacity, installed capacity or maximum effect, refers to the intended technical full–load sustained output of a facility such as a power plant, a chemical plant, fuel plant, metal refinery, mine, and many others.For dispatchable power,... , failed as a result of the earthquake and tsunami, including the Kamisu offshore wind farm directly hit by the tsunami. ### Transport Japan's transport network suffered severe disruptions. Many sections of Tōhoku Expressway Tohoku Expressway The is a national expressway in Japan. It is owned by Japan Expressway Holding and Debt Repayment Agency and operated by East Nippon Expressway Company.-Naming:Tōhoku refers to the Tōhoku region, the northernmost region on the island of Honshū.... serving northern Japan were damaged. The expressway did not reopen to general public use until 24 March 2011. All railway services were suspended in Tokyo, with an estimated 20,000 people stranded at major stations across the city. In the hours after the earthquake, some train services were resumed. Most Tokyo area train lines resumed full service by the next day—12 March. Twenty thousand stranded visitors spent the night of 11–12 March inside Tokyo Disneyland Tokyo Disneyland is a 115 acre theme park at the Tokyo Disney Resort located in Urayasu, Chiba, Japan, near Tokyo. Its main gate is directly adjacent to both Maihama Station and Tokyo Disneyland Station. It was the first Disney park to be built outside of the United States and opened on April 15, 1983... . A tsunami wave flooded Sendai Airport Sendai Airport is an airport located in Natori, Miyagi, south southeast of Sendai Station, Sendai, Japan.-History:In 1940, the Imperial Japanese Army built Sendai Airport in order to use it for the Kumakaya Army Flight School, Masda Branch School Trainee Training Center. It was called by several names: Natory... at 15:55 JST, about 1 hour after the initial quake, causing severe damage. Narita Narita International Airport is an international airport serving the Greater Tokyo Area of Japan. It is located east of Tokyo Station and east-southeast of Narita Station in the city of Narita, and the adjacent town of Shibayama.... and Haneda Airport both briefly suspended operations after the quake, but suffered little damage and reopened within 24 hours. Eleven airliners bound for Narita were diverted to nearby Yokota Air Base Yokota Air Base , is a United States Air Force base in the city of Fussa, one of 26 cities in the Tama Area, or Western Tokyo.The base houses 14,000 personnel. The base occupies a total area of and has a runway... . Various train services around Japan were also canceled, with JR East suspending all services for the rest of the day. Four trains on coastal lines were reported as being out of contact with operators; one, a four-car train on the Senseki Line Senseki Line The is a rail line in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. Part of the East Japan Railway Company system, it runs from Aoba-dōri Station in Sendai to Ishinomaki Station in Ishinomaki, and provides access to the central coast areas of Miyagi Prefecture, significantly the Matsushima area... , was found to have derailed, and its occupants were rescued shortly after 8 am the next morning. Minami-Kesennuma Station Minami-Kesennuma Station Minami-Kesennuma Station is located on the JR Kesennuma Line in Kesennuma, Miyagi, Japan.It is the rapid express "Minami-Sanriku" stop station for Sendai.Minami-Kesennuma Station was almost completely destroyed in the 2011 Japanese tsunami.... on the Kesennuma Line Kesennuma Line The is a local rail line in Japan. Part of the East Japan Railway Company system, it runs from Maeyachi Station in Ishinomaki, Miyagi to Kesennuma Station in Kesennuma, Miyagi... was obliterated save for its platform; 62 of 70 (31 of 35) JR East train lines suffered damage to some degree; in the worst-hit areas, 23 stations on 7 lines were washed away, with damage or loss of track in 680 locations and the 30-km radius around the Fukushima I nuclear plant unable to be assessed. There were no derailments of Shinkansen Shinkansen The , also known as THE BULLET TRAIN, is a network of high-speed railway lines in Japan operated by four Japan Railways Group companies. Starting with the Tōkaidō Shinkansen in 1964, the network has expanded to currently consist of of lines with maximum speeds of , of Mini-shinkansen with a... bullet train services in and out of Tokyo, but their services were also suspended. The Tōkaidō Shinkansen resumed limited service late in the day and was back to its normal schedule by the next day, while the Jōetsu Joetsu Shinkansen The is a high-speed railway line connecting Tokyo and Niigata, Japan, via the Tōhoku Shinkansen, operated by the East Japan Railway Company .-History:The program was initiated in 1971 by Niigata-born prime minister Tanaka Kakuei... and Nagano Shinkansen Nagano Shinkansen The is a Shinkansen high-speed rail line operated by East Japan Railway Company between Takasaki and Nagano in Japan. It opened on 1 October 1997, connecting Tokyo and Nagano in time for the 1998 Winter Olympics held in Nagano... resumed services late on 12 March. Services on Yamagata Shinkansen Yamagata Shinkansen The is a Mini-shinkansen route in Japan, operated by East Japan Railway Company . It provides service between Tokyo and Shinjō in Yamagata Prefecture over the tracks of the Tōhoku Shinkansen and the Ōu Main Line.... resumed with limited numbers of trains on 31 March. The Tōhoku Shinkansen Tohoku Shinkansen The is a Japanese high-speed Shinkansen rail line, connecting Tokyo with Aomori in Aomori Prefecture for a total length of 674 km, Japan's longest Shinkansen line. It runs through the more sparsely populated Tōhoku region of Japan's main island Honshu. It has two spur lines, Yamagata... line was worst hit, with JR East estimating that 1,100 sections of the line, varying from collapsed station roofs to bent power pylons, will need repairs. Services on the Tōhoku Shinkansen partially resumed only in Kantō area on 15 March, with one round-trip service per hour between Tokyo Tokyo Station is a train station located in the Marunouchi business district of Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan, near the Imperial Palace grounds and the Ginza commercial district.... and Nasu-Shiobara Nasushiobara Station is a JR East railway station located in Nasushiobara, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan.-History:* November 24, 1898: Higashi-Nasuno Station is opened* October 12, 1909: Station is a part of the Tōhoku Main Line... , and Tōhoku area service partially resumed on 22 March between Morioka Morioka Station Morioka Station is a railway station located in Morioka, Iwate Prefecture, Japan.-History:The station was opened on November 1, 1890, by Japan's first private railway company, Nippon Tetsudō.-Station layout:... and Shin-Aomori Shin-Aomori Station is a railway station on the East Japan Railway Company northern Ōu Main Line located in the city of Aomori, Aomori Prefecture, Japan. It is 480.6 rail kilometers from the southern terminus of the Ōu Main Line at Fukushima Station... . Services on Akita Shinkansen Akita Shinkansen The is a Mini-shinkansen high-speed rail line in Japan. Serving the Kantō and Tōhoku Regions of the country, it links Tokyo and Akita in Akita prefecture with direct service. From Tokyo to Morioka in Iwate prefecture, it operates on the Tōhoku Shinkansen tracks. From there to Ōmagari, it uses the... resumed with limited numbers of trains on 18 March. Service between Tokyo and Shin-Aomori Shin-Aomori Station is a railway station on the East Japan Railway Company northern Ōu Main Line located in the city of Aomori, Aomori Prefecture, Japan. It is 480.6 rail kilometers from the southern terminus of the Ōu Main Line at Fukushima Station... was restored by May, but at lower speeds due to ongoing restoration work; the pre-earthquake timetable was not reinstated until late September. The rolling blackouts brought on by the crises at the nuclear power plants in Fukushima had a profound effect on the rail networks around Tokyo starting on 14 March. Major railways began running trains at 10–20 minute intervals, rather than the usual 3–5 minute intervals, operating some lines only at rush hour and completely shutting down others; notably, the Tokaido Main Line Tokaido Main Line The is the busiest trunk line of the Japan Railways Group , connecting Tōkyō and Kōbe stations. It is long, not counting its many freight feeder lines around the major cities... , Yokosuka Line Yokosuka Line The is a railway line in Japan operated by the East Japan Railway Company .The Yokosuka Line connects in Chūō, Tokyo and in Yokosuka, Kanagawa... , Sobu Main Line and Chūō-Sōbu Line Chuo-Sobu Line The is a railway line located in Tokyo and Chiba Prefecture, Japan. Part of the East Japan Railway Company network, it runs on separate tracks along the right-of-way of the Chūō Main Line and Sōbu Main Line , providing service between Mitaka Station in the cities of Mitaka and Musashino and... were all stopped for the day. This led to near-paralysis within the capital, with long lines at train stations and many people unable to come to work or get home. Railway operators gradually increased capacity over the next few days, until running at approximately 80% capacity by 17 March and relieving the worst of the passenger congestion. ### Telecommunications Cellular and landline phone service suffered major disruptions in the affected area. On the day of the quake, American broadcaster NPR was unable to reach anyone in Sendai with working phone or Internet. Internet services were largely unaffected in areas where basic infrastructure remained, despite the earthquake having damaged portions of several undersea cable Submarine communications cable A submarine communications cable is a cable laid on the sea bed between land-based stations to carry telecommunication signals across stretches of ocean.... systems landing in the affected regions; these systems were able to reroute around affected segments onto redundant links. Within Japan, only a few websites were initially unreachable. Several Wi-Fi Wi-Fi Wi-Fi or Wifi, is a mechanism for wirelessly connecting electronic devices. A device enabled with Wi-Fi, such as a personal computer, video game console, smartphone, or digital audio player, can connect to the Internet via a wireless network access point. An access point has a range of about 20... hotspot providers have reacted to the quake by providing free access to their networks, and some American telecommunications and VoIP companies such as AT&T AT&T AT&T Inc. is an American multinational telecommunications corporation headquartered in Whitacre Tower, Dallas, Texas, United States. It is the largest provider of mobile telephony and fixed telephony in the United States, and is also a provider of broadband and subscription television services... , Sprint Sprint Nextel Sprint Nextel Corporation is an American telecommunications company based in Overland Park, Kansas. The company owns and operates Sprint, the third largest wireless telecommunications network in the United States, with 53.4 million customers, behind Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility... , Verizon, T-Mobile T-Mobile T-Mobile International AG is a German-based holding company for Deutsche Telekom AG's various mobile communications subsidiaries outside Germany. Based in Bonn, Germany, its subsidiaries operate GSM and UMTS-based cellular networks in Europe, the United States, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands... and VoIP companies such as netTALK NetTALK netTALK.com, Inc. is a telecommunications company based in Miami, Florida. The company's flagship product is the netTALK DUO, a VoIP consumer electronic device that enables users to make and receive phone calls over an Internet connection through a computer, Internet router, or modem, enabling... and Vonage Vonage Vonage is a publicly held commercial voice over IP network and SIP company that provides telephone service via a broadband connection. The company's name is a play on their motto "Voice-Over-Net-AGE".... have offered free calls to (and in some cases, from) Japan for a limited time, as did Germany's Deutsche Telekom Deutsche Telekom Deutsche Telekom AG is a telecommunications company headquartered in Bonn, Germany. It is the largest telecommunications company in Europe.... . ### Defense Matsushima Air Field Matsushima Air Field is a military aerodrome of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force . It is located west of Ishinomaki in the Miyagi Prefecture, Japan.In 1971 an F-86F fighter jet from this base collided with All Nippon Airways Flight 58, causing 162 deaths... of the Japan Self-Defense Force in Miyagi Prefecture was struck by the tsunami, flooding the base and resulting in damage to all 18 Mitsubishi F-2 Mitsubishi F-2 The Mitsubishi F-2 is a multirole fighter manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Lockheed Martin for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, with a 60/40 split in manufacturing between Japan and the USA. Production started in 1996 and the first aircraft entered service in 2000. The first 76... fighter jets of the 21st Fighter Training Squadron. 12 of the aircraft were scrapped, while the remaining 6 were slated for repair at a cost of 80 billion yen ($1 billion), exceeding the original cost of the aircraft. At the 2nd Regional Headquarters of the Japan Coast Guard
Japan Coast Guard
The , formerly the Maritime Safety Agency, is the Japanese coast guard. Comprising about 12,000 personnel, it is under the oversight of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, and is responsible for the protection the coast-lines of Japan...

in Shiogama, Miyagi
Shiogama, Miyagi
is a city located in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan.As of 2005, the city has an estimated population of 59,429 and a population density of 3,329 persons per km², making it the most densely populated conurbation in Tōhoku...

, 2 patrol boats were swept away.

### Space center

JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) evacuated the Tsukuba Space Center
Tsukuba Space Center
Tsukuba Space Center is the operations facility for the Japanese Space Agency located in Tsukuba Science City in Ibaraki Prefecture. The facility opened in 1972 and serves as the primary location for Japan's space operations and research programs...

in Tsukuba, Ibaraki. The Center, which houses a control room for part of the International Space Station
International Space Station
The International Space Station is a habitable, artificial satellite in low Earth orbit. The ISS follows the Salyut, Almaz, Cosmos, Skylab, and Mir space stations, as the 11th space station launched, not including the Genesis I and II prototypes...

, has been shut down, with some damage reported.
The Tsukuba control center resumed full operations for the space station's Kibo laboratory and the HTV cargo craft on 21 March.

### Cultural Properties

Five hundred and forty-nine Cultural Properties
Cultural Properties of Japan
As defined by the Japanese government's Agency for Cultural Affairs, the are tangible properties and intangible properties created or developed in JapanDespite the official definition, some Cultural Properties of Japan were created in China, Korea or other...

were damaged, including five National Treasures
National treasures of Japan
National Treasures are the most precious of Japan's Tangible Cultural Properties, as determined and designated by the Agency for Cultural Affairs...

(at Zuigan-ji
Zuigan-ji
is a famous Rinzai Zen Buddhist temple in Matsushima, Japan—of the Myoshin-ji branch.-Overview:The temple, commonly referred to as Zuigan-ji, was originally founded in 828 by Jikaku Daishi, but was rebuilt by the feudal lord Date Masamune from 1604 onwards using lumber brought from Mount Kumano in...

, Ōsaki Hachiman-gū
Ōsaki Hachiman-gū
is a Shinto shrine in Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi, Japan. The has been designated a National Treasure of Japan.-History:The construction of the present shaden was ordered by Date Masamune. Craftsmen in the service of the Toyotomi family executed the order and built the shrine from 1604 to 1607. At the...

, or , is a temple in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. The Amidadō is a National Treasure and the temple, with its paradise garden, has been designated an Historic Site.-Buildings:...

, and Seihaku-ji
Seihaku-ji
is a Myōshin-ji Rinzai school Zen temple in Yamanashi, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan. It is said to have been founded in 1333 after a dream by Ashikaga Takauji. The temple was seriously damaged by fire in 1682....

); one hundred and forty-three Important Cultural Properties
Important Cultural Properties of Japan
The term is often shortened into just are items officially already classified as Tangible Cultural Properties of Japan by the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs and judged to be of particular importance to the Japanese people....

(including at Sendai Tōshō-gū
Sendai Tōshō-gū
is the memorial shrine of Tokugawa Ieyasu in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. Five of its buildings, all dating to 1654, have been designated Important Cultural Properties. The torii and gates were damaged in the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami....

, the Kōdōkan
Kōdōkan (Mito)
The was the largest han school in the Edo period. Located in Mito, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan, three of its buildings have been designated Important Cultural Properties and the school is a Special Historic Site.-History:...

, and Entsū-in
Entsū-in (Matsushima)
is a Myōshin-ji Rinzai school Zen temple in Matsushima, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. It was founded next to Zuigan-ji in honour of the grandson of Date Masamune. His mausoleum of 1647 is decorated with motifs inspired by contact with the West and has been designated an Important Cultural Property...

, with its western decorative motifs
Namban art
refers to Japanese art of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries influenced by contact with the or 'Southern barbarians', traders and missionaries from Portugal and Spain. The term also refers to paintings Europeans brought to Japan.-History:...

); one hundred and twenty Monuments of Japan
Monuments of Japan
is a collective term used by the Japanese government's Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties to denote Cultural Properties of JapanIn this article, capitals indicate an official designation as opposed to a simple definition, e.g "Cultural Properties" as opposed to "cultural properties"...

(including Matsushima
Matsushima
is a group of islands in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. There are some 260 tiny islands covered in pines – hence the name – and is ranked as one of the Three Views of Japan....

, Takata-matsubara, Yūbikan
Yūbikan
was a han school for the Date clan during the Edo period. It was relocated to Ōsaki, Miyagi Prefecture in 1692. Its gardens of 1715 employ the backdrop of the ruins of Iwadeyama Castle as borrowed scenery. They have been designated an Historic Site and Place of Scenic Beauty...

and the Site of Tagajō
Site of Tagajō
was a fort in Tōhoku established during the campaigns against the Emishi in the eighth century. It served as the administrative centre of Mutsu Province. Bashō tells of his visit to the site in Oku no Hosomichi...

); seven Groups of Traditional Buildings
The Japanese government's Agency for Cultural Affairs recognizes and protects the country's cultural properties under the Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties. is a category introduced by a 1975 amendment of the law which mandates the protection of groups of traditional buildings which,...

; and three Important Tangible Folk Cultural Properties. Stone monuments at the UNESCO World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

: Shrines and Temples of Nikkō
Shrines and Temples of Nikkō
The UNESCO World Heritage Site Shrines and Temples of Nikkō encompasses 103 buildings or structures and the natural setting around them. It is located in Nikkō, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. The buildings belong to two Shinto shrines and one Buddhist temple...

were toppled. In Tokyo, there was damage to Koishikawa Kōrakuen, Rikugien
Rikugien Garden
is a Tokyo metropolitan park in Bunkyō-ku. The name Rikugi comes from the idea of the six elements in waka poetry . The park consists of a small pond, trees, and a hill...

, Hamarikyū Onshi Teien
Hamarikyu Gardens
is a public park in Chūō, Tokyo, Japan. Located at the mouth of the Sumida River, it was opened April 1, 1946. The park is a 250,165 m² landscaped garden surrounding Shioiri Pond, the park itself surrounded by a seawater moat filled by Tokyo Bay. It was remodeled as a public garden park on the site...

, and the walls of Edo Castle
Edo Castle
, also known as , is a flatland castle that was built in 1457 by Ōta Dōkan. It is located in Chiyoda in Tokyo, then known as Edo, Toshima District, Musashi Province. Tokugawa Ieyasu established the Tokugawa shogunate here. It was the residence of the shogun and location of the shogunate, and also...

. Information on the condition of collections held by museums, libraries and archives is still incomplete. There was no damage to the Historic Monuments and Sites of Hiraizumi
Historic Monuments and Sites of Hiraizumi
Historic Monuments and Sites of Hiraizumi is a group of five sites from late eleventh- and twelfth-century Hiraizumi, Iwate Prefecture, Japan. Proposed jointly in 2001 for inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List under criteria ii, iii, iv, and vi, it was inscribed in 2011.-Hiraizumi:For four...

in Iwate prefecture, and the recommendation for their inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List
World Heritage Sites in Japan
Japan accepted the UNESCO World Heritage Convention on 30 June 1992. As of 27 June 2011, Sixteen properties have been inscribed on the World Heritage List: twelve cultural sites and four natural sites...

in June has been seized upon as a symbol of international recognition and recovery.

## Aftermath

The aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami included both a humanitarian crisis and a major economic impact. The tsunami resulted in over 300,000 displaced people in the Tōhoku region, and shortages of food, water, shelter, medicine and fuel for survivors. In response the Japanese government mobilized the Self-Defence Forces, while many countries sent search and rescue teams to help search for survivors. Aid organizations both in Japan and worldwide also responded, with the Japanese Red Cross reporting $1 billion in donations. The economic impact included both immediate problems, with industrial production suspended in many factories, and the longer term issue of the cost of rebuilding which has been estimated at ¥10 trillion ($122 billion).

## Media coverage

NHK
NHK is Japan's national public broadcasting organization. NHK, which has always identified itself to its audiences by the English pronunciation of its initials, is a publicly owned corporation funded by viewers' payments of a television license fee....

, and Japan Satellite Television
JSTV
is a Japanese broadcaster in the Middle East, Europe, Russia and North Africa. Launched in March 1990, broadcasting from London, the channel has broadcast for two hours each night from 8pm on the Lifestyle transponder 5 on the Astra 1A satellite in analogue format...

suspended their usual programming to provide ongoing coverage of the situation. Various other nationwide Japanese TV networks also broadcast uninterrupted coverage of the disaster. Ustream Asia broadcast live feeds of NHK, Tokyo Broadcasting System
, TBS Holdings, Inc. or TBSHD, is a stockholding company in Tokyo, Japan. It is a parent company of a television network named and radio network named ....

, Fuji TV, TV Asahi
TV Asahi
, also known as EX and , is a Japanese television network headquartered in Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo, Japan. The company writes its name in lower-case letters, tv asahi, in its logo and public-image materials. The company also owns All-Nippon News Network....

, TV Kanagawa, and CNN
CNN
Cable News Network is a U.S. cable news channel founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. Upon its launch, CNN was the first channel to provide 24-hour television news coverage, and the first all-news television channel in the United States...

on the Internet starting on 12 March 2011. YokosoNews
YokosoNews
YokosoNews is a live video streaming site in English dedicated to Japanese culture, lifestyle and entertainment.-2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami:...

, an Internet webcast in Japan, dedicated its broadcast to the latest news gathered from Japanese news stations, translating them in real time to English. All warnings were broadcast by NHK in five languages, including Japanese. The others being: English, Mandarin, Korean and Portuguese (Japan has small Chinese, Korean and Brazilian populations) .

NHK has been noted for its calmness, in comparison to foreign television news such as CNN and Fox News Channel
Fox News Channel
Fox News Channel , often called Fox News, is a cable and satellite television news channel owned by the Fox Entertainment Group, a subsidiary of News Corporation...

, whose coverage has contained factual errors and raised alarm among foreign residents of Japan. The same critics note that the Japanese news media has been at times overly cautious to avoid panic and reliant on confusing statements by experts and officials.

In this national crisis, the Japanese government provided Japanese sign language
Japanese Sign Language
, also known by the acronym "JSL", is the dominant sign language in Japan.-History:Little is known about sign language and the deaf community before the Edo period. In 1862, the Tokugawa shogunate dispatched envoys to various European schools for the deaf...

(JSL) interpreting at the press conferences related to the earthquake and tsunami. Television broadcasts of the press conferences of Prime Minister Naoto Kan
Naoto Kan
is a Japanese politician, and former Prime Minister of Japan. In June 2010, then-Finance Minister Kan was elected as the leader of the Democratic Party of Japan and designated Prime Minister by the Diet to succeed Yukio Hatoyama. On 26 August 2011, Kan announced his resignation...

and Chief Cabinet Secretary
Chief Cabinet Secretary
__notoc__The of Japan is a Minister of State who is responsible for directing the Cabinet Secretariat. The main function of Chief Cabinet Secretary is to coordinate the policies of ministries and agencies in the executive branch...

Yukio Edano
Yukio Edano
is a Japanese politician of the Democratic Party of Japan and a member of the House of Representatives in the Diet. He was the Chief Cabinet Secretary in the Kan government. On September 12, 2011, he was named as Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry...

included simultaneous JSL interpreters standing next to the Japanese flag on the same platform.

## Scientific and research response

A large amount of data was collected that provides "the possibility to model in great detail what happened during the rupture of an earthquake." The effect of this data is expected to be felt across other disciplines as well, and this disaster "would provide unprecedented information about how buildings hold up under long periods of shaking – and thus how to build them better. .

Seismologists had anticipated that the "big one" would strike the same place as the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake
1923 Great Kanto earthquake
The struck the Kantō plain on the Japanese main island of Honshū at 11:58:44 am JST on September 1, 1923. Varied accounts hold that the duration of the earthquake was between 4 and 10 minutes...

—in the Sagami Trough
Sagami Trough
The also Sagami Trench, Sagami Megathrust, or Sagami Subduction Zone is a 210-mile long trough where the Kanto earthquakes of 1703 , 1855 and 1923 arose. It stretches from the Boso Triple Junction where it meets the Japan Trench to Sagami Bay. It runs north of the Izu Islands chain and the...

, southwest of Tokyo. Since 1976, when Katsuhiko Ishibashi
Katsuhiko Ishibashi
is a professor in the Research Center for Urban Safety and Security in the Graduate School of Science at Kobe University, Japan and a seismologist who has written extensively in the areas of seismicity and seismotectonics in and around the Japanese Islands...

said a large earthquake in the Suruga Trough
Suruga Trough
is a trough that lies off the coast of Suruga Bay in Japan, forming part of the Nankai Trough, the latter being responsible the source of many large earthquakes in Japan's history. Both mark the boundary of the Philippine Sea Plate subducting under the Amurian Plate.-See also:* Japan Median...

was forthcoming, the government tracked plate movements, in preparation for the so-called Tokai earthquake
Tokai earthquakes
The Tōkai earthquakes are major earthquakes that have occurred regularly with an interval of 100 to 150 years in the Tōkai region of Japan. The Tokai segment has been struck by earthquakes in 1498, 1605, 1707 and 1854...

. Occurring 373 km (232 mi) northeast of Tokyo, the Tōhoku earthquake came as a surprise to seismologists, since the Japan Trench
Japan Trench
__notoc__The Japan Trench is an oceanic trench, a part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, in the floor of the northern Pacific Ocean off northeast Japan. It extends from the Kuril Islands to the Bonin Islands and is at its deepest. It is an extension of the Kuril-Kamchatka Trench to the north and the...

was known for creating large quakes, but was not expected to generate quakes above an 8.0 magnitude.

• 2011 Japanese nuclear accidents
2011 Japanese nuclear accidents
This is a list of articles describing aspects of the nuclear shut-downs, failures, and nuclear meltdowns triggered by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.-Fukushima nuclear power plants:* Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant...

• Aftermath of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami
Aftermath of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami
The aftermath of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami included both a humanitarian crisis and massive economic impacts. The tsunami created over 300,000 refugees in the Tōhoku region, and resulted in shortages of food, water, shelter, medicine and fuel for survivors...

• Health crisis
Health crisis
A health crisis or public health crisis is a difficult situation or complex health system that affects humans in one or more geographic areas, from a particular locality to encompass the entire planet...

• Humanitarian response to the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami
Humanitarian response to the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami
Following the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, Japan received messages of condolence and offers of assistance from a range of international leaders. According to Japan's foreign ministry, 116 countries and 28 international organizations had offered assistance to Japan...

• List of cities and towns severely damaged by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami
• List of foreshocks and aftershocks of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake
• Nuclear power in Japan, section Seismicity
• Seismicity in Japan
• List of earthquakes in Japan
• Seismicity of the Sanriku coast
• Historic tsunamis
Historic tsunamis
This article lists notable historic tsunamis, which are sorted by the date and location that the tsunami occurred, the earthquake that generated it, or both....

### Tsunami videos

Minami Sanriku
Minamisanriku, Miyagi
, also spelled Minami Sanriku, is a resort town on a coastline of wooded islands and mountainous inlets. The town is in Motoyoshi District, Miyagi, Japan. It has an area of , and as of October 1, 2004 the population of the area was 19,170...

• video of tsunami, shot from Shizugawa High School (志津川高校):
• another video from a similar vantage point as above, showing a wider-angle view of some parts:
• video of tsunami, shot from Shizugawa Junior High School (志津川中学校):

Miyako
Miyako, Iwate
is a city located in Iwate, Japan.It was founded on February 11, 1941.The city lies along the coast where the flows into the Pacific Ocean. It is connected to Morioka by an east-west train line and highway and the coastal highway also goes through the town...

• cars tossed and ships tipping over:

Kamaishi
Kamaishi, Iwate
is a small, historic city located on the Sanriku rias coast of Iwate, Japan. As of 2008, the city has an estimated population of 41,022 and a density of 92.9 persons per km². The total area is 441.42 km². It is famous in modern times for its steel production and most recently for its promotion...

• From a hillside:
• From the Post Office building near the waterfront:
• From a hillside (Ryoishi Village):

Kesennuma
Kesennuma, Miyagi
is a city located in the extreme northeast of Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, founded on June 1, 1953. It wraps around the western part of Kesennuma Bay, and also includes the island of Ōshima...

• from the waterfront:

Shiogama
Shiogama, Miyagi
is a city located in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan.As of 2005, the city has an estimated population of 59,429 and a population density of 3,329 persons per km², making it the most densely populated conurbation in Tōhoku...

• spilling into the streets:
• same incident as above, shot from rooftop parking lot:

Sendai
Sendai, Miyagi
is the capital city of Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, and the largest city in the Tōhoku Region. In 2005, the city had a population of one million, and was one of Japan's 19 designated cities...

• spreading across farmland towards a road, near the Miyagi Prefecture Route 10 (県道10号) bridge across the Natori River:
• Sendai Airport
Sendai Airport
is an airport located in Natori, Miyagi, south southeast of Sendai Station, Sendai, Japan.-History:In 1940, the Imperial Japanese Army built Sendai Airport in order to use it for the Kumakaya Army Flight School, Masda Branch School Trainee Training Center. It was called by several names: Natory...

: cars and aircraft being washed away:
• Gross, Richard. (2011, 19 March) “Japan Earthquake May Have Shifted Earth’s Axis” NPR online, http://www.npr.org/2011/03/18/134658880/Japan-Earthquake-May-Have-Changed-Earths-Axis
• video of tsunami sweeping cars on the street filmed by in-car camera:
• Analysis of Japanese Earthquakes Data