Friday, March 11, 2011

Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

This is the biggest earthquake to hit Japan in 100 years this Friday, reports claimed. Following the earthquake, a ten-meter high Tsunami also hit the coastal areas of the northeastern Pacific region of Japan. Here in Mindanao as in some parts of the Philippines, coastal areas fronting the direction of the Tsunami are also warned of the possible rise in seawater to one meter.

The 8.9-magnitude earthquake was caused by the movement of the fault line in the northern part of Japan, according to experts. Japan is situated in the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire making it prone to tremors.

Wikipedia has this to say about the Pacific Ring of Fire: 

The Pacific Ring of Fire (or sometimes just the Ring of Fire) is an area where large numbers of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur in the basin of the Pacific Ocean. In a 40,000 km (25,000 mi) horseshoe shape, it is associated with a nearly continuous series of oceanic trenches, volcanic arcs and volcanic belts and/or plate movements. The Ring of Fire has 452 volcanoes and is home to over 75% of the world's active and dormant volcanoes. It is sometimes called the circum-Pacific belt or the circum-Pacific seismic belt.

Wikipedia also noted that there are about 500,000 earthquakes each year but only 100,000 of these tremors are felt. As far as major earthquakes are concerned, it is recorded in Wikipedia that the worst disaster ocurred in Hua Shan (Shaanxi Province of China) in 1556. It killed a total of 830,000 person. The second worst quake occurred in 1976, still, in China (Tangshan) which claimed about 240,000 to 655,000 people.

Despite advanced technologies we have in this 21st century, earthquake is a disaster that we cannot predict with accuracy to at least minimize impact on humanity.