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How the 2011 Japan Tsunami Happened

This recent C4 documentary explores how the recent Japanese earthquake and tsunami happened.

Some of the raw facts about the disaster are mind-boggling:

  • It was the most powerful known earthquake ever to hit Japan, and one of the five most powerful in the world since modern records began in 1900.
  • The amount of energy released by the earthquake was 2 million times that unleashed by the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima in 1945
  • The earthquake shifted the Earth on its axis by almost 10 cm (3.9 in).
  • The cost of the disaster could reach $309 billion, making it the world’s most expensive natural disaster.
  • The earthquake triggered tsunami waves of up to 97ft (29.6m)
  • The waves struck inland minutes after the quake and some travelled up to 6 miles (10 km) inland.
  • So far the official death toll is 11,828 and 15,540 people are still missing
  • Over 125,000 buildings have been damaged or destroyed.
  • Japan suffered extensive structural damage with roads, railways and dams affected
  • Around 4.4 million households in northeastern Japan were left without electricity and 1.5 million without water.
  • Many electrical generators went down, and at least three nuclear reactors suffered explosions due after cooling system failures.
  • Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said: “In the 65 years after the end of World War II, this is the toughest and the most difficult crisis for Japan.”

You can still donate to relief efforts.

In the UK The British Red Cross is collecting funds to support the Japanese Red Cross which is playing a leading role in the disaster response.

Save the Children, World Vision and Oxfam are supporting the work of their colleagues in Japan.

If you are in the US you can donate via the American Red Cross.

> Watch the documentary in better quality at Channel 4’s site
> More on the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami at Wikipedia
> Coverage of the disaster at BBC News and the New York Times
> Interactive map of the disaster at the New York Times


Rebuild Japan Pixel by Pixel

Momentum London are running a campaign to raise funds for Japan after the devastation of the recent tsunami and earthquake.

If you go to you can make a small donation and a pixelated addition to the rebuilding of the Japanese flag, which will help their goal of raising at least £15,000 towards the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund.

Buying a pixel for £2 (or whatever you can afford) through this site means that money will go help distribute funds to those providing relief and emergency services to victims of the earthquake and tsunami including the International Medical Corps, Save the Children, and other organisations on the ground.

Alternatively, you can donate at their JustGiving page here:

> Momentum London
> Rebuild Japan Pixel by Pixel


Raw Japanese Tsunami Footage

Raw first person footage of the Japanese tsunami conveys the utter devastation wrought by the recent earthquake.

This video shows the tsunami hitting the Miyagi Prefecture in the city of Kesennuma last Friday (March 11th) and was first broadcast on the Japanese channel TV Asahi.

It is Japan’s worst disaster since World War II and so far 1,627 people have been confirmed dead, 1,923 injured, and 1,720 missing.

These numbers are expected to increase, with some estimates of casualties in the tens of thousands.

To donate money to relief efforts just click on the following links:

People in the US can also make an easy $10 donation to the Red Cross by texting REDCROSS to 90999.

For more information just click on the links below.

> Google Crisis Response
> More on the 2011 Tsunami at Wikipedia
> Get the latest coverage from BBC News


Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami

One of the most powerful earthquakes since records began has hit the north-east coast of Japan, causing a massive tsunami.

Wikipedia already have a detailed page about the event, with the following information:

  • The magnitude of 8.9 makes it the largest earthquake to hit Japan in recorded history
  • It is the seventh largest in the world since records began
  • The tsunami waves were up to 10 metres high (33 ft)
  • The earthquake occurred in the western Pacific Ocean, 81 miles east of Sendai, Honshu, Japan
  • Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) has confirmed at least 200 dead and another 398 missing

These various videos and photos convey the devastation:

Google have created a Person Finder so people can look for lost loved ones or post a note saying they are safe.

BBC News have live coverage with regularly updated video and information.

> Find out more about the Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami at Wikipedia
> Get the latest from BBC News and CNN