Speech and Debate, P.4
March 20, 2011
Tsunami and Earthquake in Japan
Japan was hit by a devastating earthquake last week as you all know. The earthquake was an 8.9 ( the biggest ever recorded in history ) of the coast of Sendai a coastal city in Japan 30 miles away from Tokyo. It was 2:46 pm their time on March 11 when the devastating earthquake happened. An earthquake is what happens when two blocks of the earth suddenly slip past one another. The surface where they slip is called the fault or fault plane. The location below the earth’s surface where the earthquake starts is called the hypocenter, and the location directly above it on the surface of the earth is called the epicenter. In Japans case the Pacific plate slipped under the Eurasian plate causing the earthquake. This earthquake was so massive that it triggered extremely large tsunami waves up to 10 meters, which is 33 feet, reaching the city shores in just minutes after the quake. A tsunami is a cataclysm resulting from a destructive sea wave caused by an earthquake or volcanic eruption. The words tsunami originates in Japan literally meaning “harbor wave”. The tsunami devastated the coastal cities of Japan and carried houses cars and buildings inland with them. So far researchers think that there was 300 miles of coastline in water. Some insurance companies are starting to set total damage costs from the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown. So far what they have come up with is around thirty five billion dollars worth of damage so far. There will be economic losses up to one hundred billion dollars. And if things couldn’t get any worse the earthquake caused the nuclear power plants to almost meltdown. The nuclear power plants cooling system failed because of the earthquake, then there were fires which caused explosions in the reactors 3 and 4. Which released radioactive material into the air. Japans nuclear regulatory agency said that radiation levels were one...