Japanese earthquake not-so-fun facts

March 14, 2011

(These have all been noted through several sources, but may still be factually incorrect if everyone just copied one false report.)

Updated: Monday, March 14th – New facts at the top

Houses and infrastructures devastated by a strong earthquake and tsunami in Otsuchi, Iwate Prefecture, Monday March 14, 2011. (Associated Press/Kyodo News)

Elevated radiation levels have been measured in Tokyo, 265kms away from the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

It took six minutes from the water entering town to houses being washed away: Video. Another One. Or This.

Before and after pictures of the Japanese landscape.

A new tsunami alert was not issued March 14th – but the power of the media had it widespread within minutes and the Japan Meterological Association scratching its head. (NHK Japanese TV is my most trusted video source.)

Some good infographics: Nuclear Plant Blasts, Anatomy of an Earthquake, The Aftermath, Japan Earthquake Facebook Statuses, The Quake.

Last July, OpenHazards.com predicted 22.8% chance of a 6.7 (or greater) Sendai earthquake within the year.

Japan accounts for about 20 per cent of the world’s earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater.

People living within 30km of the nuclear power plant have been told to stay inside.

Tsunami waters reached over 10km inland in places.

Some of the best picture collections: New York Times,Washington Post, The Boston Globe.

Two full days after the quake, a 60 year old man was found 15km at sea floating on part of the roof of his house.

The Earth’s axis has shifted 10 cm following the Japan earthquake.

The video that hit me the hardest: Tsunami lays waste to the coastal town of Kamaishi. (via Citycaucus.com)

Twitter users you should be following right now: @daiwaka, @W7VOA, @kenmogi

Photograph from Kyodo/AP

Japan is arguably the most earthquake and tsunami-prepared country in the world.

This is one of the five strongest earthquakes ever.

It is the worst earthquake to ever hit Japan.

More than 50 aftershocks have been felt in Japan since the quake.

A second earthquake near Nagano, 12 hours later, was on a different fault line. This may mean more seismic activity for the whole ring of fire.

A city of 76,000 people is burning in northern Japan. A third of it is also underwater. (That’s like flames engulfing Nanaimo, BC)

The cooling system at two nuclear reactors is failing, with the possibility of a radiation leak or an explosion that could rival Chernobyl.

The radiation level was 1000 times normal in the control room of #1 reactor at Fukushima-1 plant.

There are reports of anywhere between 5,000 and 88,000 people missing.

A commuter train and a cruise ship are missing.

The entire coast of Japan has permanently moved 2.4 metres after this earthquake.

It ruptured a patch of the earth’s crust that is 240km long and 80km wide.

Japanese TV reporting Ofunato is like a city after massive bombing.

The earthquake triggered a volcano to explode in Russia.

The Tokyo Tower was bent in the earthquake.

240 people were found alive on rooftops in the totally devastated Rikuzen Takada. Another 1,300 people are on the roof of the Sendai Airport waiting for rescue.

Tokyo Disneyland is flooded.

Japan earthquake 700 times larger than Haiti’s quake last year and 8,000 times stronger than the recent earthquake in New Zealand.

The tsunami was 10 metres high in places – that’s the height of the average two storey house.

NASA geophysicist Richard Gross calculated that Earth’s rotation sped up by 1.6 microseconds.

When a magnitude 7.3 quake shook earlier this week, it was barely news.

Eight million homes lost power. Most are still out.

The 50 most incredible photos of the tsunami and earthquake.

A tsunami can travel 800km/h – the same as a commercial airliner.

Tsunami waters carried cars, semi-trucks, shipping containers, boats, trains and even buildings that are still on fire.

Early damage estimates are in the ballpark of 100 billion dollars.

15 videos of the earthquake and tsunami.

The Japanese fault line isn’t like the San Andreas along California. It’s a subduction zone, comparative to faults in the Pacific Northwest zone. (For the Vancouver-Seattle area, this is what the tsunami could look like.)

Flames at the Cosmo oil refinery in Ichihara city were thirty meters high.



  1. cool, helped me with homework x

  2. and i got a gud grade!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. this information helped me alot thank you

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