8.8 Earthquake hits 250 miles from Tokyo

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Iulus Cofield
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8.8 Earthquake hits 250 miles from Tokyo

Postby Iulus Cofield » Fri Mar 11, 2011 6:48 am UTC

Initial BBC report, very sparse

Spoiler:
A powerful earthquake has struck off Japan's north-eastern coast, shaking buildings in Tokyo and forcing people out of their homes, witnesses said.

Japan issued its most serious tsunami warning, saying a wave as high as 6m (20ft) could strike the coast near Miyagi prefecture.

US officials said the 8.8-magnitude quake struck about 250 miles (400km) from Tokyo at a depth of 20 miles.

TV pictures showed a wave crashing into the Pacific coast.

The surge of water carried cars and ships as it surged through a coastal town.


Shit shit shit. I have a half-cousin who lives in a part of Tokyo where all the buildings are old and not earthquake resistant. My brother is trying to get a hold of him now.

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Re: 8.8 Earthquake hits 250 miles from Tokyo

Postby Thesh » Fri Mar 11, 2011 7:00 am UTC

Tokyo itself shouldn't be hit hard at all, not sure about places closer to the earthquake, it's far off the coast, so building damage shouldn't be too serious. Any damage is probably going to come from tsunamis.

Google maps showing the location of the quake
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Re: 8.8 Earthquake hits 250 miles from Tokyo

Postby Hawknc » Fri Mar 11, 2011 7:19 am UTC


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Re: 8.8 Earthquake hits 250 miles from Tokyo

Postby Thesh » Fri Mar 11, 2011 7:29 am UTC

Guess the actual shaking was felt harder than I thought. 250 miles is a long way away to have serious shaking from an earthquake. Pictures:

http://www.theage.com.au/photogallery/w ... 1br0u.html

EDIT:

There was also a 6.8 much much closer to Tokyo about 30 minutes later:

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/ ... 001xhz.php

Map
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Re: 8.8 Earthquake hits 250 miles from Tokyo

Postby Hawknc » Fri Mar 11, 2011 7:37 am UTC


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Re: 8.8 Earthquake hits 250 miles from Tokyo

Postby Gelsamel » Fri Mar 11, 2011 7:48 am UTC

Watching Al Jazeera live coverage: http://english.aljazeera.net/watch_now/
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Re: 8.8 Earthquake hits 250 miles from Tokyo

Postby Inny Binny » Fri Mar 11, 2011 7:57 am UTC

Tsunami warning for most of Pacific:

Spoiler:

Code: Select all

000
WEPA40 PHEB 110730
TSUPAC
TSUNAMI BULLETIN NUMBER 003
PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER/NOAA/NWS
ISSUED AT 0730Z 11 MAR 2011
THIS BULLETIN APPLIES TO AREAS WITHIN AND BORDERING THE PACIFIC
OCEAN AND ADJACENT SEAS...EXCEPT ALASKA...BRITISH COLUMBIA...
WASHINGTON...OREGON AND CALIFORNIA.
... A WIDESPREAD TSUNAMI WARNING IS IN EFFECT ...
A TSUNAMI WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR
 JAPAN / RUSSIA / MARCUS IS. / N. MARIANAS / GUAM / WAKE IS. /
 TAIWAN / YAP / PHILIPPINES / MARSHALL IS. / BELAU / MIDWAY IS. /
 POHNPEI / CHUUK / KOSRAE / INDONESIA / PAPUA NEW GUINEA /
 NAURU / JOHNSTON IS. / SOLOMON IS. / KIRIBATI / HOWLAND-BAKER /
 HAWAII / TUVALU / PALMYRA IS. / VANUATU / TOKELAU / JARVIS IS. /
 WALLIS-FUTUNA / SAMOA / AMERICAN SAMOA / COOK ISLANDS / NIUE /
 AUSTRALIA / FIJI / NEW CALEDONIA / TONGA / MEXICO /
 KERMADEC IS / FR. POLYNESIA / NEW ZEALAND / PITCAIRN /
 GUATEMALA / EL SALVADOR / COSTA RICA / NICARAGUA / ANTARCTICA /
 PANAMA / HONDURAS / CHILE / ECUADOR / COLOMBIA / PERU
THIS BULLETIN IS ISSUED AS ADVICE TO GOVERNMENT AGENCIES.  ONLY
NATIONAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT AGENCIES HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO MAKE
DECISIONS REGARDING THE OFFICIAL STATE OF ALERT IN THEIR AREA AND
ANY ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN IN RESPONSE.
AN EARTHQUAKE HAS OCCURRED WITH THESE PRELIMINARY PARAMETERS
 ORIGIN TIME -  0546Z 11 MAR 2011
 COORDINATES -  38.2 NORTH  142.5 EAST
 DEPTH       -   10 KM
 LOCATION    -  NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU  JAPAN
 MAGNITUDE   -  8.8
MEASUREMENTS OR REPORTS OF TSUNAMI WAVE ACTIVITY
 GAUGE LOCATION        LAT   LON    TIME        AMPL         PER
 DART 21413           30.5N 152.1E  0659Z   0.76M /  2.5FT  32MIN
 HANASAKI HOKKAIDO J  43.3N 145.6E  0657Z   2.79M /  9.2FT  76MIN
 DART 21401           42.6N 152.6E  0643Z   0.67M /  2.2FT  40MIN
 DART 21418           38.7N 148.7E  0619Z   1.08M /  3.5FT  06MIN
 LAT  - LATITUDE (N-NORTH, S-SOUTH)
 LON  - LONGITUDE (E-EAST, W-WEST)
 TIME - TIME OF THE MEASUREMENT (Z IS UTC IS GREENWICH TIME)
 AMPL - TSUNAMI AMPLITUDE MEASURED RELATIVE TO NORMAL SEA LEVEL.
        IT IS ...NOT... CREST-TO-TROUGH WAVE HEIGHT.
        VALUES ARE GIVEN IN BOTH METERS(M) AND FEET(FT).
 PER  - PERIOD OF TIME IN MINUTES(MIN) FROM ONE WAVE TO THE NEXT.
 NOTE - DART MEASUREMENTS ARE FROM THE DEEP OCEAN AND THEY
        ARE GENERALLY MUCH SMALLER THAN WOULD BE COASTAL
         MEASUREMENTS AT SIMILAR LOCATIONS.
EVALUATION
 SEA LEVEL READINGS CONFIRM THAT A TSUNAMI HAS BEEN GENERATED
 WHICH COULD CAUSE WIDESPREAD DAMAGE. AUTHORITIES SHOULD TAKE
 APPROPRIATE ACTION IN RESPONSE TO THIS THREAT. THIS CENTER WILL
 CONTINUE TO MONITOR SEA LEVEL DATA TO DETERMINE THE EXTENT AND
 SEVERITY OF THE THREAT.
 A TSUNAMI IS A SERIES OF WAVES AND THE FIRST WAVE MAY NOT BE THE
 LARGEST. TSUNAMI WAVE HEIGHTS CANNOT BE PREDICTED AND CAN VARY
 SIGNIFICANTLY ALONG A COAST DUE TO LOCAL EFFECTS. THE TIME FROM
 ONE TSUNAMI WAVE TO THE NEXT CAN BE FIVE MINUTES TO AN HOUR, AND
 THE THREAT CAN CONTINUE FOR MANY HOURS AS MULTIPLE WAVES ARRIVE.
 FOR ALL AREAS - WHEN NO MAJOR WAVES ARE OBSERVED FOR TWO HOURS
 AFTER THE ESTIMATED TIME OF ARRIVAL OR DAMAGING WAVES HAVE NOT
 OCCURRED FOR AT LEAST TWO HOURS THEN LOCAL AUTHORITIES CAN ASSUME
 THE THREAT IS PASSED. DANGER TO BOATS AND COASTAL STRUCTURES CAN
 CONTINUE FOR SEVERAL HOURS DUE TO RAPID CURRENTS. AS LOCAL
 CONDITIONS CAN CAUSE A WIDE VARIATION IN TSUNAMI WAVE ACTION THE
 ALL CLEAR DETERMINATION MUST BE MADE BY LOCAL AUTHORITIES.
ESTIMATED INITIAL TSUNAMI WAVE ARRIVAL TIMES AT FORECAST POINTS
WITHIN THE WARNING AND WATCH AREAS ARE GIVEN BELOW. ACTUAL
ARRIVAL TIMES MAY DIFFER AND THE INITIAL WAVE MAY NOT BE THE
LARGEST. A TSUNAMI IS A SERIES OF WAVES AND THE TIME BETWEEN
SUCCESSIVE WAVES CAN BE FIVE MINUTES TO ONE HOUR.
 LOCATION         FORECAST POINT     COORDINATES     ARRIVAL TIME
 JAPAN            KATSUURA           35.1N 140.3E    0635Z 11 MAR
                  KUSHIRO            42.9N 144.3E    0642Z 11 MAR
                  HACHINOHE          40.5N 141.5E    0700Z 11 MAR
                  SHIMIZU            32.8N 133.0E    0756Z 11 MAR
                  OKINAWA            26.2N 127.8E    0912Z 11 MAR
 RUSSIA           URUP_IS            46.1N 150.5E    0714Z 11 MAR
                  SEVERO_KURILSK     50.8N 156.1E    0834Z 11 MAR
                  PETROPAVLOVSK_K    53.2N 159.6E    0836Z 11 MAR
                  UST_KAMCHATSK      56.1N 162.6E    0840Z 11 MAR
                  MEDNNY_IS          54.7N 167.4E    0903Z 11 MAR
 MARCUS IS.       MARCUS_IS.         24.3N 154.0E    0757Z 11 MAR
 N. MARIANAS      SAIPAN             15.3N 145.8E    0853Z 11 MAR
 GUAM             GUAM               13.4N 144.7E    0909Z 11 MAR
 WAKE IS.         WAKE_IS.           19.3N 166.6E    0925Z 11 MAR
 TAIWAN           HUALIEN            24.0N 121.7E    0932Z 11 MAR
                  HUALIEN            24.0N 121.6E    0933Z 11 MAR
                  TAITUNG            22.7N 121.2E    0936Z 11 MAR
                  CHILUNG            25.2N 121.8E    1004Z 11 MAR
 YAP              YAP_IS.             9.5N 138.1E    0944Z 11 MAR
 PHILIPPINES      PALANAN            17.1N 122.6E    0955Z 11 MAR
                  LEGASPI            13.2N 123.8E    1026Z 11 MAR
                  DAVAO               6.8N 125.7E    1053Z 11 MAR
 MARSHALL IS.     ENIWETOK           11.4N 162.3E    1013Z 11 MAR
                  KWAJALEIN           8.7N 167.7E    1044Z 11 MAR
                  MAJURO              7.1N 171.4E    1124Z 11 MAR
 BELAU            MALAKAL             7.3N 134.5E    1025Z 11 MAR
 MIDWAY IS.       MIDWAY_IS.         28.2N 182.6E    1026Z 11 MAR
 POHNPEI          POHNPEI_IS.         7.0N 158.2E    1027Z 11 MAR
 CHUUK            CHUUK_IS.           7.4N 151.8E    1034Z 11 MAR
 KOSRAE           KOSRAE_IS.          5.5N 163.0E    1043Z 11 MAR
 INDONESIA        GEME                4.6N 126.8E    1049Z 11 MAR
                  BEREBERE            2.5N 128.7E    1058Z 11 MAR
                  WARSA               0.6S 135.8E    1110Z 11 MAR
                  MANOKWARI           0.8S 134.2E    1118Z 11 MAR
                  PATANI              0.4N 128.8E    1124Z 11 MAR
                  JAYAPURA            2.4S 140.8E    1135Z 11 MAR
                  SORONG              0.8S 131.1E    1135Z 11 MAR
 PAPUA NEW GUINE  MANUS_IS.           2.0S 147.5E    1124Z 11 MAR
                  KAVIENG             2.5S 150.7E    1124Z 11 MAR
                  VANIMO              2.6S 141.3E    1134Z 11 MAR
                  WEWAK               3.5S 143.6E    1146Z 11 MAR
                  RABAUL              4.2S 152.3E    1154Z 11 MAR
                  KIETA               6.1S 155.6E    1205Z 11 MAR
                  AMUN                6.0S 154.7E    1211Z 11 MAR
                  MADANG              5.2S 145.8E    1215Z 11 MAR
                  LAE                 6.8S 147.0E    1254Z 11 MAR
                  PORT_MORESBY        9.3S 146.9E    1429Z 11 MAR
 NAURU            NAURU               0.5S 166.9E    1149Z 11 MAR
 JOHNSTON IS.     JOHNSTON_IS.       16.7N 190.5E    1202Z 11 MAR
 SOLOMON IS.      PANGGOE             6.9S 157.2E    1221Z 11 MAR
                  FALAMAE             7.4S 155.6E    1222Z 11 MAR
                  MUNDA               8.4S 157.2E    1239Z 11 MAR
                  GHATERE             7.8S 159.2E    1248Z 11 MAR
                  AUKI                8.8S 160.6E    1309Z 11 MAR
                  HONIARA             9.3S 160.0E    1314Z 11 MAR
                  KIRAKIRA           10.4S 161.9E    1318Z 11 MAR
 KIRIBATI         TARAWA_IS.          1.5N 173.0E    1228Z 11 MAR
                  KANTON_IS.          2.8S 188.3E    1329Z 11 MAR
                  CHRISTMAS_IS.       2.0N 202.5E    1443Z 11 MAR
                  MALDEN_IS.          3.9S 205.1E    1518Z 11 MAR
                  FLINT_IS.          11.4S 208.2E    1613Z 11 MAR
 HOWLAND-BAKER    HOWLAND_IS.         0.6N 183.4E    1243Z 11 MAR
 HAWAII           NAWILIWILI         22.0N 200.6E    1259Z 11 MAR
                  HONOLULU           21.3N 202.1E    1313Z 11 MAR
                  KAHULUI            20.9N 203.5E    1320Z 11 MAR
                  HILO               19.7N 204.9E    1339Z 11 MAR
 TUVALU           FUNAFUTI_IS.        7.9S 178.5E    1330Z 11 MAR
 PALMYRA IS.      PALMYRA_IS.         6.3N 197.6E    1346Z 11 MAR
 VANUATU          ESPERITU_SANTO     15.1S 167.3E    1407Z 11 MAR
                  ANATOM_IS.         20.2S 169.9E    1502Z 11 MAR
 TOKELAU          NUKUNONU_IS.        9.2S 188.2E    1409Z 11 MAR
 JARVIS IS.       JARVIS_IS.          0.4S 199.9E    1427Z 11 MAR
 WALLIS-FUTUNA    WALLIS_IS.         13.3S 183.8E    1427Z 11 MAR
                  FUTUNA_I.          14.3S 181.8E    1440Z 11 MAR
 SAMOA            APIA               13.8S 188.2E    1445Z 11 MAR
 AMERICAN SAMOA   PAGO_PAGO          14.3S 189.3E    1452Z 11 MAR
 COOK ISLANDS     PUKAPUKA_IS.       10.8S 194.1E    1452Z 11 MAR
                  PENRYN_IS.          8.9S 202.2E    1525Z 11 MAR
                  RAROTONGA          21.2S 200.2E    1626Z 11 MAR
 NIUE             NIUE_IS.           19.0S 190.0E    1526Z 11 MAR
 AUSTRALIA        CAIRNS             16.7S 145.8E    1528Z 11 MAR
                  BRISBANE           27.2S 153.3E    1620Z 11 MAR
                  SYDNEY             33.9S 151.4E    1651Z 11 MAR
                  GLADSTONE          23.8S 151.4E    1730Z 11 MAR
                  MACKAY             21.1S 149.3E    1811Z 11 MAR
                  HOBART             43.3S 147.6E    1826Z 11 MAR
 FIJI             SUVA               18.1S 178.4E    1528Z 11 MAR
 NEW CALEDONIA    NOUMEA             22.3S 166.5E    1531Z 11 MAR
 TONGA            NUKUALOFA          21.0S 184.8E    1557Z 11 MAR
 MEXICO           ENSENADA           31.8N 243.2E    1644Z 11 MAR
                  PUNTA_ABREOJOS     26.7N 246.4E    1732Z 11 MAR
                  CABO_SAN_LUCAS     22.8N 250.0E    1809Z 11 MAR
                  SOCORRO            18.8N 249.0E    1819Z 11 MAR
                  MAZATLAN           23.2N 253.6E    1858Z 11 MAR
                  MANZANILLO         19.1N 255.7E    1924Z 11 MAR
                  ACAPULCO           16.9N 260.1E    1959Z 11 MAR
                  PUERTO_MADERO      14.8N 267.5E    2134Z 11 MAR
 KERMADEC IS      RAOUL_IS.          29.2S 182.1E    1648Z 11 MAR
 FR. POLYNESIA    PAPEETE            17.5S 210.4E    1706Z 11 MAR
                  HIVA_OA            10.0S 221.0E    1744Z 11 MAR
                  RIKITEA            23.1S 225.0E    1913Z 11 MAR
 NEW ZEALAND      NORTH_CAPE         34.4S 173.3E    1714Z 11 MAR
                  EAST_CAPE          37.7S 178.5E    1814Z 11 MAR
                  AUCKLAND(W)        37.1S 174.2E    1814Z 11 MAR
                  GISBORNE           38.7S 178.0E    1821Z 11 MAR
                  MILFORD_SOUND      44.6S 167.9E    1839Z 11 MAR
                  WELLINGTON         41.3S 174.8E    1845Z 11 MAR
                  AUCKLAND(E)        36.7S 175.0E    1856Z 11 MAR
                  NEW_PLYMOUTH       39.1S 174.1E    1900Z 11 MAR
                  NAPIER             39.5S 176.9E    1908Z 11 MAR
                  WESTPORT           41.8S 171.6E    1929Z 11 MAR
                  DUNEDIN            45.9S 170.5E    2021Z 11 MAR
                  LYTTELTON          43.6S 172.7E    2055Z 11 MAR
                  BLUFF              46.6S 168.3E    2113Z 11 MAR
                  NELSON             41.3S 173.3E    2206Z 11 MAR
 PITCAIRN         PITCAIRN_IS.       25.1S 229.9E    2000Z 11 MAR
 GUATEMALA        SIPICATE           13.9N 268.8E    2150Z 11 MAR
 EL SALVADOR      ACAJUTLA           13.6N 270.2E    2156Z 11 MAR
 COSTA RICA       CABO_SAN_ELENA     10.9N 274.0E    2209Z 11 MAR
                  PUERTO_QUEPOS       9.4N 275.8E    2235Z 11 MAR
                  CABO_MATAPALO       8.4N 276.7E    2237Z 11 MAR
 NICARAGUA        CORINTO            12.5N 272.8E    2217Z 11 MAR
                  PUERTO_SANDINO     12.2N 273.2E    2223Z 11 MAR
                  SAN_JUAN_DL_SUR    11.2N 274.1E    2233Z 11 MAR
 ANTARCTICA       CAPE_ADARE         71.0S 170.0E    2222Z 11 MAR
                  THURSTON_IS.       72.0S 260.0E    0121Z 12 MAR
 PANAMA           PUNTA_BURICA        8.0N 277.1E    2248Z 11 MAR
                  PUNTA_MALA          7.5N 280.0E    2334Z 11 MAR
                  PUERTO_PINA         7.4N 282.0E    2344Z 11 MAR
                  BALBOA_HTS.         9.0N 280.4E    0155Z 12 MAR
 HONDURAS         AMAPALA            13.2N 272.4E    2253Z 11 MAR
 CHILE            EASTER_IS.         27.1S 250.6E    2255Z 11 MAR
                  ARICA              18.5S 289.7E    0244Z 12 MAR
                  IQUIQUE            20.2S 289.9E    0249Z 12 MAR
                  ANTOFAGASTA        23.3S 289.6E    0254Z 12 MAR
                  CALDERA            27.1S 289.2E    0314Z 12 MAR
                  GOLFO_DE_PENAS     47.1S 285.1E    0315Z 12 MAR
                  COQUIMBO           29.9S 288.6E    0323Z 12 MAR
                  VALPARAISO         33.0S 288.4E    0338Z 12 MAR
                  CORRAL             39.8S 286.5E    0352Z 12 MAR
                  TALCAHUANO         36.7S 286.9E    0359Z 12 MAR
                  PUERTO_MONTT       41.5S 287.0E    0552Z 12 MAR
                  PUERTO_WILLIAMS    54.8S 291.8E    0855Z 12 MAR
                  PUNTA_ARENAS       53.2S 289.1E    1700Z 12 MAR
 ECUADOR          BALTRA_IS.          0.5S 269.7E    2331Z 11 MAR
                  ESMERELDAS          1.2N 280.2E    0003Z 12 MAR
                  LA_LIBERTAD         2.2S 278.8E    0024Z 12 MAR
 COLOMBIA         BAHIA_SOLANO        6.3N 282.6E    2347Z 11 MAR
                  TUMACO              1.8N 281.1E    0012Z 12 MAR
                  BUENAVENTURA        3.8N 282.8E    0030Z 12 MAR
 PERU             TALARA              4.6S 278.5E    0033Z 12 MAR
                  PIMENTAL            6.9S 280.0E    0138Z 12 MAR
                  LA_PUNTA           12.1S 282.8E    0139Z 12 MAR
                  CHIMBOTE            9.0S 281.2E    0144Z 12 MAR
                  SAN_JUAN           15.3S 284.8E    0153Z 12 MAR
                  MOLLENDO           17.1S 288.0E    0226Z 12 MAR
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Re: 8.8 Earthquake hits 250 miles from Tokyo

Postby iChef » Fri Mar 11, 2011 8:16 am UTC

I'm no geologist but isn't 8.8 f'ing hardcore? Also wasn't there a 7.3 that happened near Japan just a day or two ago?
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Re: 8.8 Earthquake hits 250 miles from Tokyo

Postby Gelsamel » Fri Mar 11, 2011 8:20 am UTC

8.9 is like the hardest of hardcore.
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Re: 8.8 Earthquake hits 250 miles from Tokyo

Postby guyy » Fri Mar 11, 2011 8:24 am UTC

...holy crap.

I'll just...leave it at that for now.

(supposedly the biggest earthquake in the area in 300 years or so, so...yeah.)

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Re: 8.8 Earthquake hits 250 miles from Tokyo

Postby Gelsamel » Fri Mar 11, 2011 9:06 am UTC

Apparently 8.9 is the 7th most powerful recorded earthquake. And apparently the 6 stronger than it didn't happen in such a populated area.

For those who aren't getting the live coverage here is a bit of video demonstrating a bit of the tsunami.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dm2Hr-1l1MM
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Re: 8.8 Earthquake hits 250 miles from Tokyo

Postby Diadem » Fri Mar 11, 2011 9:40 am UTC

Holy crap. 8.9 is ridiculously huge. Japan is a very modern country though. With a lot of systems in place to protect against earthquakes and tsunamis. Tsunamis in particular are a lot less dangerous if you see them coming.

Looks like the loss of life will be limited. That's a good thing at least.
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Re: 8.8 Earthquake hits 250 miles from Tokyo

Postby Red Hal » Fri Mar 11, 2011 10:29 am UTC

Live footage available here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12307698

Tsunami Travel Time Calculations:

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Re: 8.8 Earthquake hits 250 miles from Tokyo

Postby sourmìlk » Fri Mar 11, 2011 10:42 am UTC

Can one estimate how tall the tsunami would be at a given distance from its origin? I would imagine that by the time it hit South America it would be significantly smaller than a normal wave.

On a more relevant note: in California we had an 8.1 (I think) recently, and while I recognize that's something like 7 times less severe, there was virtually no damage: modern countries have systems in place to hold their buildings up. Which is, of course, why Haiti was utterly destroyed by an earthquake that people in California wouldn't have even noticed.
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Re: 8.8 Earthquake hits 250 miles from Tokyo

Postby Diadem » Fri Mar 11, 2011 10:43 am UTC

Wow, check out the google main page. Says this on the middle of the screen:
Tsunami Alert for New Zealand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Hawaii, and others. Waves expected over the next few hours, caused by 8.9 earthquake in Japan.


That's pretty nifty. My respect for google just went up a point.
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Re: 8.8 Earthquake hits 250 miles from Tokyo

Postby Hawknc » Fri Mar 11, 2011 10:45 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Can one estimate how tall the tsunami would be at a given distance from its origin?

The tsunami advice posted earlier in the thread says that's pretty much impossible. The warning for Australia has at least been denied by our own meteorology department, though.

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Re: 8.8 Earthquake hits 250 miles from Tokyo

Postby sourmìlk » Fri Mar 11, 2011 10:45 am UTC

Diadem wrote:Wow, check out the google main page. Says this on the middle of the screen:
Tsunami Alert for New Zealand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Hawaii, and others. Waves expected over the next few hours, caused by 8.9 earthquake in Japan.


That's pretty nifty. My respect for google just went up a point.


That is cool. Also, if your search "japan earthquake" it gives you the intensity of the earthquake at various points in Japan.

The tsunami advice posted earlier in the thread says that's pretty much impossible.


That's really interesting. It would seem that we'd have a good idea by now of how islands and currents affect tsunamis,
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Re: 8.8 Earthquake hits 250 miles from Tokyo

Postby Shivahn » Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:14 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Can one estimate how tall the tsunami would be at a given distance from its origin? I would imagine that by the time it hit South America it would be significantly smaller than a normal wave.

On a more relevant note: in California we had an 8.1 (I think) recently, and while I recognize that's something like 7 times less severe, there was virtually no damage: modern countries have systems in place to hold their buildings up. Which is, of course, why Haiti was utterly destroyed by an earthquake that people in California wouldn't have even noticed.


The one I think you're thinking of is a 7.2, which is something like eighty times less severe (also, it was actually in Mexico, though I felt it in San Diego).

You are right about the country having a huge effect on the casualties though. The Haiti earthquake was weaker at 7.0 (logarithmic scale, so that's fairly significantly weaker), yet had more than 300,000 casualties in addition to 300,000 wounded, whereas Wikipedia indicates that the Baja California earthquake had a fatality count of... two.

The main danger for all countries near there (especially Japan, since I'd assume they have extremely robust anti-earthquake building codes) is the attending tsunami.

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Re: 8.8 Earthquake hits 250 miles from Tokyo

Postby Hawknc » Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:16 am UTC


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Re: 8.8 Earthquake hits 250 miles from Tokyo

Postby Plasmic-Turtle » Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:21 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
The tsunami advice posted earlier in the thread says that's pretty much impossible.


That's really interesting. It would seem that we'd have a good idea by now of how islands and currents affect tsunamis,

Even if they do have an idea of how topography and currents affect tsunamis, it's some pretty compliacted computer modelling to gather and enter all the data that would be required. You'd need to know how much water was displaced by the original quake and all the topography etc all around this, for thousands of km distance from the epicentre. Even at locations about the same distance away, the size and effect of the tsunami will be greatly affected by the beach profile.

And with regard to earthquake damage of buildings, yes magnitude and building codes play a huge role, but there is also how deep the earthquake was and on what material (softer sedmints vs bedrock) the buidings are built.

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Re: 8.8 Earthquake hits 250 miles from Tokyo

Postby Inny Binny » Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:00 pm UTC

Shivahn wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:Can one estimate how tall the tsunami would be at a given distance from its origin? I would imagine that by the time it hit South America it would be significantly smaller than a normal wave.

On a more relevant note: in California we had an 8.1 (I think) recently, and while I recognize that's something like 7 times less severe, there was virtually no damage: modern countries have systems in place to hold their buildings up. Which is, of course, why Haiti was utterly destroyed by an earthquake that people in California wouldn't have even noticed.


The one I think you're thinking of is a 7.2, which is something like eighty times less severe (also, it was actually in Mexico, though I felt it in San Diego).

You are right about the country having a huge effect on the casualties though. The Haiti earthquake was weaker at 7.0 (logarithmic scale, so that's fairly significantly weaker), yet had more than 300,000 casualties in addition to 300,000 wounded, whereas Wikipedia indicates that the Baja California earthquake had a fatality count of... two.


Often the magnitude is pretty inaccurate though. For instance our 6.3 one in Christchurch a few weeks ago had far greater ground shaking than would have been expected from a 6.3 (peak acceleration of 2.2g!), because of a convergence of several unfortunate factors (huge liquefaction, hard rock reflecting and amplifying waves directly toward CBD, extremely shallow and close to the city etc). Consequently we had plenty of damage and casualties, even though we have building codes on level with California - but only in a very localised area, again because of how shallow it was.

This 8.9 is huge, and parts of Japan would have experienced very large shaking...a good thing in terms of the earthquake though is it was over 100 km off-shore.

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Re: 8.8 Earthquake hits 250 miles from Tokyo

Postby kiklion » Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:01 pm UTC



I don't know why kind of reactor they use, but I definitely remember reading that modern reactors are impossible to have a melt down. Not figuratively, but literally. The danger would be being without power.

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Re: 8.8 Earthquake hits 250 miles from Tokyo

Postby Thesh » Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:07 pm UTC

Inny Binny wrote:This 8.9 is huge, and parts of Japan would have experienced very large shaking...a good thing in terms of the earthquake though is it was over 100 km off-shore.


If you want to know exactly how much, here's a city list:

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/ ... tml#cities

And a shake map:

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/ ... /c0001xgp/

Depending on where in Japan, it at most felt like something in the mid-to high 7's.

On a semi-related note, I have noticed over the last year or so that the USGS has a really awesome website.
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Re: 8.8 Earthquake hits 250 miles from Tokyo

Postby Inglonias » Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:07 pm UTC

Google has activated a Person Finder for Japan. Anybody who is looking for someone, or has information on somebody's whereabouts should go to that website if they can.

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Re: 8.8 Earthquake hits 250 miles from Tokyo

Postby MisterCheif » Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:11 pm UTC

kiklion wrote:


I don't know why kind of reactor they use, but I definitely remember reading that modern reactors are impossible to have a melt down. Not figuratively, but literally. The danger would be being without power.


Those are only the pebble bed reactors. I don't think any but an experimental one have been built yet.
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Re: 8.8 Earthquake hits 250 miles from Tokyo

Postby Inglonias » Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:18 pm UTC

Oil refinery has caught fire

This is... not fun, I can imagine...

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Re: 8.8 Earthquake hits 250 miles from Tokyo

Postby Microscopic cog » Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:19 pm UTC

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2011/mar/11/japan-earthquake-tsunami-video

The Oil refinery is also shown on this video, the tsunami as well.

Oil refinery at 4; 11
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Re: 8.8 Earthquake hits 250 miles from Tokyo

Postby Hemmers » Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:01 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Can one estimate how tall the tsunami would be at a given distance from its origin? I would imagine that by the time it hit South America it would be significantly smaller than a normal wave.


The wave won't attenuate very quickly as it's a very low frequency with a long wave-length - hence why the Indonesian tsunami was still tossing boats up onto the shore in Kenya.

You can predict the wave functions - wavelength/frequency/amplitude as it spreads out, but height on shore depends on a whole raft of local conditions.
Waves break when they reach shallow water ("shallow" being a relative term and a function of the wave's amplitude - i.e. it's depth). If you live inland from the Barrier Reef in Australia for example, a tsunami would actually break over the reef and you would get a surge onshore, but the wave would have actually broken offshore and probably burned out a lot of it's energy before it made landfall.

On the other hand, if the shore isn't far from the continental shelf, and the water from the shoreline gets very deep very quickly, the wave actually won't start to break until it's practically on the beach. In mountainous areas like some of the South American sea board, it would break into bays, and the wave height would forced down narrow valleys, increasing in height if the valleys narrowed, or decreasing if the valleys became wider (allowing thew water to spread out).
If we take San Fransisco as an example, the wave would become relatively shallow. As soon as it goes under Hway 101 it'll split 3 ways - North into San pablo Bay, South into San Fransisco Bay and North into Belvedere.
As it goes north, it's shallow as it spreads out into the relatively wide Bay area, but then anything going through corckett will rise again because the water is being forced into a narrow opening.
As it goes South it will initially fall in height as it spreads out into SFB, and what's left will rise in height as the Bay narrows to a point down by Santa Clara (although obviously not as high as the original wave).

This is assuming the Hway 101 gap is the only area forded and other areas aren't breached. Not too sure about the topography.

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Re: 8.8 Earthquake hits 250 miles from Tokyo

Postby masdfjodss » Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:29 pm UTC

iles is a long way away to have serious shaking from an earthquake. Pictures:

http://www.theage.com.au/photogallery/w ... 1br0u.html

EDIT:

There was also a 6.8 much much closer to Tokyo about 30 minutes later:

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Re: 8.8 Earthquake hits 250 miles from Tokyo

Postby Inny Binny » Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:30 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:
Inny Binny wrote:This 8.9 is huge, and parts of Japan would have experienced very large shaking...a good thing in terms of the earthquake though is it was over 100 km off-shore.


If you want to know exactly how much, here's a city list:

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/ ... tml#cities

And a shake map:

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/ ... /c0001xgp/

Depending on where in Japan, it at most felt like something in the mid-to high 7's.


Yes, shake map clearly shows not as much intensity on land as other earthquakes recently (Christchurch, Haiti).

It seems the tsunami makes the earthquake itself look incredibly insignificant in comparison.

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Re: 8.8 Earthquake hits 250 miles from Tokyo

Postby Diadem » Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:57 pm UTC

Well like someone else said, earthquake damage is determined by more factors than just richter scale. The depth of the earthquake matters a lot, the type of rock the buildings are on, the type of quake, etc. Similarly not all quakes cause tsunamis. It depends on if the quake is vertical of horizontal. This was a quake quite far of the coast, and quite deep, but very, very, very heavy. So its peak damage may not be huge, but it's spread over an enormous area. And of course the tsunami. And yeah, tsunamis have the bad habit of making quakes look like kid's play.

Since someone asked, a bit about tsunamis. They are not like ordinary waves. In an ordinary wave it's just the surface of the water that's moving. Go a few meters down and you won't notice anything. Tsunamis are different. They are caused by the sea floor suddenly moving up. As a result the entire column of water above the sea floor is moving as well. Tsunamis may not be very high, barely noticable above the ordinary waves. But they are very deep, the entire sea is moving all the way to the bottom of the ocean. So well, that's obviously a lot of water. The result is that as the tsunami reaches shallower water, it is funneled upwards. A tsunami may be only a few feet high out in the ocean, but when it reaches shore it is suddenly a 15 meter wall of water coming at you. The result is that they wash over pretty much anything. The water is pushed upwards all the way from the bottom of the ocean, a few meters of dykes more or less is not going to make a difference. Even if they hold, the water will just wash over them, and not a little bit of water either, because unlike ordinary waves, tsunamis contain a lot of water. So tsunamis are very hard to stop, and they reach very far land inwards.

They are very well survivable if you get a good advance warning. Which you should have if your country has its act together. You'll be safe on top of hills, or even inside sturdier buildings that are not directly on the shoreline. They are not particularly violent. It's not like mudslides or dyke breaches where you have torrents of water that can obliterate anything in its path. But yeah, wooden buildings won't stand a chance, and cars will be swept away as well. The property damage is huge. As is the loss of life if people do not have advance warning.
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Re: 8.8 Earthquake hits 250 miles from Tokyo

Postby Sprocket » Fri Mar 11, 2011 2:43 pm UTC


This footage is interesting, it's sort of on a cycle, but you watch the same thing for awhile and then you'll start seeing other stuff.
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Re: 8.8 Earthquake hits 250 miles from Tokyo

Postby Dream » Fri Mar 11, 2011 2:45 pm UTC

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Re: 8.8 Earthquake hits 250 miles from Tokyo

Postby Weeks » Fri Mar 11, 2011 3:02 pm UTC

Our president said to remain calm, and given that the warning for Australia has been denied by them (no damages, presumably?), I think he's right. Also offered condolences to the Japanese. I do too.
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Re: 8.8 Earthquake hits 250 miles from Tokyo

Postby zmatt » Fri Mar 11, 2011 3:13 pm UTC

Dayum, who gave Micheal Bay control of nature?

I wonder how bad it will turn out to be. Japan really was aside from an uninhabited place the best place to be hit considering their infrastructure and how prepared they are. I imagine the aftermath wont be nearly as bad as it was in Indonesia.
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Re: 8.8 Earthquake hits 250 miles from Tokyo

Postby Obby » Fri Mar 11, 2011 3:18 pm UTC



Holy shit are really the only words that come to mind when I watch that.
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Re: 8.8 Earthquake hits 250 miles from Tokyo

Postby Inny Binny » Fri Mar 11, 2011 3:31 pm UTC


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Re: 8.8 Earthquake hits 250 miles from Tokyo

Postby Dauric » Fri Mar 11, 2011 3:40 pm UTC

Obby wrote:


Holy shit are really the only words that come to mind when I watch that.


It just keeps going and going. It's definitely not the Hollywood stereotype of a massive destructive wall of water, it looks more like a black ooze, a really runny and fast moving black ooze.

It'll take a long time to clean out all that debris from those fields.

From what I can tell from the footage it looks like the earthquake itself did relatively little damage (which wouldn't be surprising, Tokyo in particular and Japan in general is probably the only place in the world more prepared then California for 8.0+ earthquakes) it's the tsunami that's going to be the biggest destructive force out of this.
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Re: 8.8 Earthquake hits 250 miles from Tokyo

Postby KaosuHiryuu » Fri Mar 11, 2011 3:53 pm UTC

Dauric wrote:
Obby wrote:


Holy shit are really the only words that come to mind when I watch that.


It just keeps going and going. It's definitely not the Hollywood stereotype of a massive destructive wall of water, it looks more like a black ooze, a really runny and fast moving black ooze.

It'll take a long time to clean out all that debris from those fields.

From what I can tell from the footage it looks like the earthquake itself did relatively little damage (which wouldn't be surprising, Tokyo in particular and Japan in general is probably the only place in the world more prepared then California for 8.0+ earthquakes) it's the tsunami that's going to be the biggest destructive force out of this.



How strange, I also thought of a black ooze. You ninja'd me before I even got to posting.
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Re: 8.8 Earthquake hits 250 miles from Tokyo

Postby sbrach » Fri Mar 11, 2011 5:15 pm UTC

My friend is a Marine deployed in the far east and was already rerouted from Malaysia to Tokyo to assist with disaster relief less than 3 hours after the first quake.


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