On March 11th 2011 an earthquake with a magnitude of 9.0 devastated Japan. The earthquake lasted about 3-5 minutes. On March 9th 2011 four foreshocks were reported, the magnitude of these was quite high as well (6.0, 6.1, 6.1 and 7.2). The total number of aftershocks reported was 401. People believe that Honshu Island moved 2.4 meters also Japan’s time changed by 1.8microseconds due to the strength of the earthquake. Sendai was one of the worst hit cities, the residents of Sendai only had 8-10 minutes to evacuate before the tsunami struck. On April 7th 2011 there was another aftershock with a magnitude of 7.1 this caused the number of houses without power to rise from about 159,000 to more than 3.2 million.
Kuniko Suzuki said “I kept saying in my head please stop, please stop now, please”, Kuniko Suzuki was caught in the tsunami, luckily a roof came towards her and she mannaged to get on top of it.
Shinsuke Itoh said “i ran outside but was unable to stay standing up because the ground was shaking so much, I got down on my hands and knees and waited for it to pass”, Yuichi Owada said “the earthquake was extremly long so i thought a tsunami would come”.
In a recent questionnaire when asked what was your reaction to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan?
38% of the participants said that they were shocked by the earthquake and tsunami and 15% of the participants were sympathizing with the people who got injured and people who lost relatives. 100% of the participants of the questionnaire were able to give a statement about the earthquake and/ or tsunami whereas when they were asked about the Fukushima power plant only 50% could provide a statement for the question what was your reaction to the threat that Fukushima power plant would explode? Out of the 50%, 30% said they were worried, 10% said that they were shocked and the final 10% said the events were tragic. The participants were also asked did you follow the news the week of the tsunami and earthquake so you could find out what was happening in Japan? 90% of the participants said that they watched the news at some point to find out the situation in Japan. The participants were also asked 19,294 people were killed in the earthquake and tsunami and a further 15,844 are still missing did you think at the time the amount of people that would be harmed by the events would be this high? Only 20% thought that the death toll and missing persons would rise as high as 35,138, this data shows that the events that occurred on March 11th 2011 were far worse than most people anticipated.
Linda a woman who lived in Japan for a while was kind enough to be interviewed.
What was your reaction to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan?
Total horror, I remember thinking my husband once cycled through that town.
I have lots of friends in Japan, mostly in the south but e-mailed everyone to see they were OK
What was your reaction to the threat that Fukushima power plant would explode?
Frightening – Chernobyl all over again. I rest my case about nuclear power! Is it safe?
Did you follow the news the week of the tsunami and earthquake so you could find out what was happening in Japan?
Yes, but still want to know what’s happening now
19,294 people were killed in the earthquake and tsunami and a further 15,844 are still missing did you think at the time the amount of people that would be harmed by the events would be this high?
Yes because I’ve lived in Japan, seen evidence of tsunami and earthquakes before and know what the housing is like
How has Japan recovered since the events of 11th march?
Slowly but little information is disseminated in the media
Linda also said “If any country can cope, Japan can”
Here are some stories from the very lucky survivors.
80 year old Sumi Abe and her 16 year old grandson Jin Abe were trapped in their home for 9 days until Jin was able to get out and rescuers then helped Sumi, both were suffering from hypothermia and were hospitalized.
A four year old baby was swept away from her parents arms, she was found 3 days later under debris, she was alive and unharmed.
Hiromitsu shinkawa a 60 year old man was found 10 miles out off the coast, he was on the roof of his home for 2 days before rescuers found him.
Robert Bailey a British teacher heard a “weird cracking noise” followed by violent shaking, he got all 42 of his students out of the school so they weren’t harmed by falling debris, when the threat of a tsunami was clear he got his students to safety on a nearby hill, the school was destroyed in the tsunami, the schools other 137 students were still missing on March 18th 2011, it only took Mr. Bailey 8 minutes to get his students to safety.