An earthquake measuring 9.0 on the Richter Scale struck off Japans North-East coast, about 250 miles (400km) from Tokyo at a depth of 20 miles. When?
The magnitude 9.0 earthquake happened at 2:46pm (local time) on Friday March 11th, 2011. Where?
The earthquake occurred 250 miles off the North East Coast of Japans main island Honshu. Why?
Japan is located on the eastern edge of the Eurasian Plate. The Pacific Plate, which is an oceanic plate, subducts the Eurasian plate, which is a continental plate, to the east of Japan. This type of plate margin is known as a destructive plate margin. The process of subduction is not smooth. Friction causes the Pacific Plate to stick. Pressure builds and is released as an earthquake. So what?
The earthquake occurred at a relatively shallow depth at 20miles below the surface of the Pacific Ocean. This, combined with the high magnitude, caused the tsunami. How did people respond?
Search and rescue teams arriving in Japans hardest hit areas are so far finding very few survivors, after last weeks devastating earthquake. The official number of deaths has climbed above 1,800, but officials fear the eventual number may exceed 10,000 as thousands of bodies are now being discovered on remote beaches. In the days since the earthquake, Japan has experienced an additional 403 aftershocks – 32 of them with a magnitude greater than 6.0, Fire crews, rescue teams, and volunteers are now digging through the wreckage left by the tsunami, as evacuation efforts continue around the fukushima, daiichi Nuclear Power Station and engineers work to regain control of the failing reactors.