Tohoku Japan 2011 (Kyoto)

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Event ID
usc0001xgp
Event name
Tohoku
Country
Japan
Region in the country
Tohoku
World region
Asia
Epicentral coordinates (long/lat)
POINT(142.86 38.103)
WKT GIS format
GEMECD contributing partner
Kyoto
Event narrative

The moment magnitude 9.0 Tohoku earthquake on March 11, 2011, that occurred near the northeast coast of Honshu, resulted from thrust faulting on or near the subduction zone plate boundary between the Pacific and North America plates. At the latitude of this earthquake, the Pacific plate moves approximately westwards with respect to the North America plate at a rate of 83 mm/yr, and begins its westward descent beneath Japan at the Japan Trench. ensuing tsunami swept across many cities and villages along the Pacific coast of the Tohoku district, causing tremendous human and structural damage.

The location, depth, and focal mechanism of the March 11, 2011 earthquake are consistent with the event having occurred on the subduction zone plate boundary. Modeling of the rupture of this earthquake indicates that the fault moved upwards of 30-40 m, and slipped over an area approximately 300 km long (along-strike) by 150 km wide (in the down-dip direction). The March 11, 2011 earthquake was preceded by a series of large foreshocks over the previous two days, beginning on March 9th with a M 7.2 event approximately 40 km east of the epicenter of the March 11 earthquake.

Large offshore earthquakes have occurred in the same subduction zone in 1611, 1896 and 1933 that each produced devastating tsunami waves on the Sanriku coast. This coastline is particularly vulnerable to tsunami waves because it has many deep coastal embayments that amplify tsunami waves and cause great wave inundations.

The March 11, 2011 earthquake is considered the greatest eartquake in Japan's history. A predecessor of great magnitude may have occurred on July 13, 869, when the Sendai area was swept by a large tsunami that Japanese scientists have identified from written records and palaeotsunami field investigations in Tagajo Castle and other places.

(Abridged from USGS: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eqinthenews/2011/usc0001xgp/#summary)

Immediately after the earthquake, the Government of Japan set up its emergency headquarters, making all-out efforts for search and rescue, assisting evacuees, and reconstructing various lifelines.

On March 17, for example, the Cabinet Office set up the Headquarters for Special Measures to Assist the Lives of Disaster Victims. On April 11, the Cabinet decided to assemble the Reconstruction Design Council in Response to the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Rescue teams, medical assistance teams, and disaster relief teams from 23 countries and regions as well as the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC), the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team of experts, and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) have arrived Japan and have been in operation.

The earthquake and tsunami resulted in emergency situations including failure of the reactor-cooling systems in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

On April 1, the Government of Japan decided, in the form of a Cabinet approval, to use the name "Great East Japan Earthquake" to refer collectively to the disasters due to the Tohoku - Pacific Ocean Earthquake on March 11, 2011 and the resultant nuclear plant accidents.

The Reconstruction Headquarters in response to the Great East Japan Earthquake was established pursuant to the Basic Act on Reconstruction, which was put into force on June 24. The Headquarters announced the outline of the Basic Policy for Reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake and the finalized Basic Policy for Reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake on July 21 and 29, respectively.

Date of occurrence (UTC)
2011-03-11
date
Time of occurrence (UTC)
05:46:00
time
Date of occurrence (local)
2011-03-11
date
Time of occurrence (local)
14:46:00
time
Day of the week (local)
Friday
Magnitude
9
Magnitude units
Moment (Mw)
Focal depth
24
km
Seismological data: source
USGS
Seismological data: comment

ShakeMap Atlas

Overall impact

The earthquake and tsunami devastated Tohoku and other regions. In total by the 18th month after the event (11/9/2012)around 1,230,000 buildings were recorded as having been damaged or destroyed due tsunami and ground shaking (which is equivalent to 2.4% of all of Japan's existing buildings) and the tally continues. Life loss by 11/9/2012 is at 18,131 dead and 2,829 missing and includes 2,303 earthquake-related deaths that occurred due to various causes after the day of the earthquake.

The strongest tsunami consequences occurred (north to south) from the town of Fudai (in northern part of Iwate Prefecture) down to Iwaki (in the southern part of Fukushima Prefecture). In total it was estimated that around 600 square kilometers of land was flooded, where around 600,000 people lived. Around 18,500 people are dead or missing as a result of the tsunami, with the worst effects occurring in Miyako, Yamada, Ofunato, Otsuchi, Kamaishi, Rikuzen Takata, Minami Sanriku, Kessenuma, Onagawa, Ishinomaki, Higashi Matsushima, Tagajo, Sendai, Natori, Watari, Iwanuma, Yamamoto, Soma, Minami Soma, Namie, Shinchi and Iwaki.

Ground shaking was quite strong and in most places it lasted for nearly 2 minutes, but it was not so severe as to cause extensive damage to buildings. Moderate to light damage to wooden houses though was widespread in the Tohoku region. Serious building damage due to ground shaking occurred in some buildings of Tohoku University in Sendai. In Sendai there were very few old reinforced concrete buildings that collapsed. Serious structural damage to non-wooden buildings was reported in some towns such as Sukagawa. Genrally though in the inland prefectures of Tohoku and Kanto regions the total number of buildings destroyed due to ground shaking was below 350 (total for Yamagata, Tochigi, Saitama and Tokyo prefectures).

Power, gas, and water supplies were disrupted in many areas, mostly in the Tohoku region. Roads, railways, ports, airports and other infrastructure were also damaged.

Damage to roads has been recorded in all eastern prefectures between Iwate and Kanagawa (in total 4188 damaged roads of which 2343 were in Chiba Prefecture). Almost all roads have been reopened quite rapidly, including the Tohoku Expressway, most of the Joban Expressway as well as national highways.

Railways are also back in operation, with the exception of some lines that remained closed for more than 18 months in the tsunami affected areas (e.g. Sendai to Ishinomaki line). On April 29, services were resumed at all sections of the Tohoku Shinkansen Line. Sendai Airport resumed operations from April 13 and normalized domestic flight operations on July 25.

Damage to 116 bridges has been recorded, of which 97 were in the Kanto region.

About 53 percent of the 21 ports in prefectures along the Pacific coast, from Aomori all the way down to Ibaraki, were restored in the first 6 months. Most of the fishing fleet in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures has been destroyed.

Landslides have been recorded in 208 locations and caused the loss of 19 lives (incl. 12 killed by the Hanokidaira landslide in Shirakawa city of Fukushima Prefecture).

Extensive liquefaction occurred on the northern shores of Tokyo Bay particularly in Urayasu town (Chiba Prefecture).

The Fujinuma irrigation dam collapsed in Shirakawa city (Fukushima Prefecture) killing 11 people.

Fires occurred in the Cosmo Oil's refinery in Ichihara town (Chiba Prefecture) as well as in Kesennuma and Natori (Miyagi Prefecture) during and after the tsunami.

A 14 m tsunami inundated the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant setting in motion the devastating effects of the nuclear disaster that occurred during the next days. Less serious problems occurred in the Onagawa and Fukushima Daini nuclear power plants.

Progress has also been made in the construction of temporary housing, allowing evacuation centers in Iwate Prefecture to be closed by the end of August 2011 and across the affected region in November 2011.

The whole nation has been working towards rehabilitation.
It must be noted that the damage, loss and human casualty data given here originate from Japan’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency (FDMA) report issued on the first year anniversary of the event and are not the final figures, as efforts continue to assess all the consequences of this tremendous earthquake.

Overview data
Loss: Human Casualty
show
hide
People injured
6194
number
People injured: source
Situation report No. 146, FDMA
People injured: comment

http://www.fdma.go.jp/bn/%E5%B9%B3%E6%88%9023%E5%B9%B4%EF%BC%882011%E5%B... (In Japanese, as of September 11, 2012: Eleven of the worst affected municipalities still report "unknown number of injuries")

People injured: status
Greater than

People seriously injured
694
number
People seriously injured: source
Situation report No. 146, FDMA
People seriously injured: comment

http://www.fdma.go.jp/bn/%E5%B9%B3%E6%88%9023%E5%B9%B4%EF%BC%882011%E5%B... (In Japanese, as of September 11, 2012: Some municipalities still reported "unknown")

People seriously injured: status
Greater than

People missing
2829
number
People missing: source
Situation report No. 146, FDMA
People missing: comment
People missing: status
Less than

People killed
18131
number
People killed: source
Situation report No. 146, FDMA
People killed: comment
People killed: status
Greater than

People dying post catastrophe
2303
number
People dying post catastrophe: source
Reconstruction Agency, Japan
People dying post catastrophe: comment

http://www.reconstruction.go.jp/topics/20121102_sinsaikanrensi.pdf
2303 is as of September 30, 2012. 2263 is as of March 10, 2012. The number of death people is 16278 by FDMA as March 11, 2012.

People dying post catastrophe: status
See comments

People killed due to ground shaking
115
number
People killed due to ground shaking: comment

From analysis of fatalities by location (incl. 22 missing) from the FDMA data. It includes 10 deaths and 1 missing due to the Fujinuma dam failure (Sukagawa). It excludes 83 deaths related to the Fukushima nuclear crisis and evacuation that followed.
The death toll reported by FDMA is based on address (not killed place). Many people died in places other than their town of residence and therefore, the FDMA data are less accurate in terms of location.

People killed due to ground shaking: status
Needs improvement

People missing due to tsunami
2972
number
People missing due to tsunami: comment

From analysis of missing by location from the FDMA data.
The death toll reported by FDMA is based on address (not killed place). Many people died in places other than their town of residence and therefore, the FDMA data are less accurate in terms of location.

People killed due to tsunami
16083
number
People killed due to tsunami: comment

From analysis of fatalities by location and cause incl. deaths due to fires that occurred during or after the tsunami in the tsunami affected locations.
The death toll reported by FDMA is based on address (not killed place). Many people died in places other than their town of residence and therefore, the FDMA data are less accurate in terms of location.

People missing due to fire following: comment

People missing due to fires are included among those missing due to the tsunami.

People killed due to fire following: comment

Many people died in buildings that burnt whilst washed away. Major fires occurred in Ishinomaki, Kessenuma and other tsunami affected places in industrial buildings as a result of the tsunami. Some victims in Otsuchi town said they thought many people had died caused by fire. There were no fire related deaths in the areas not affected by the tsunami.

People missing due to slope failures
0
number
People killed due to slope failures
19
number
People killed due to slope failures: source
The situation report No. 115, MLIT
People killed due to slope failures: comment

http://www.mlit.go.jp/common/000139083.pdf (in Japanese). Including 12 deaths due to the Hanokidaira landslide in Shirakawa.

Loss: Building damage
show
hide
Total number of buildings destroyed
129391
number
Total number of buildings destroyed: source
Situation report No. 146, FDMA
Total number of buildings destroyed: comment

http://www.fdma.go.jp/bn/%E5%B9%B3%E6%88%9023%E5%B9%B4%EF%BC%882011%E5%B...
(in Japanese, Timestamp: September 11, 2012).
This value is for residential buildings only.
Some municipalities especially around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant still reported "unknown" as they have not been able to complete the surveys.

Total number of buildings destroyed: status
Greater than

Number of buildings damaged
1066322
number
Number of buildings damaged: source
Situation report No. 146, FDMA
Number of buildings damaged: comment

http://www.fdma.go.jp/bn/%E5%B9%B3%E6%88%9023%E5%B9%B4%EF%BC%882011%E5%B...
(in Japanese, Timestamp: September 11, 2012).
Some municipalities especially around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant still reported "unknown" as they have not been able to complete the surveys.
Of the buildings in this category, 1008394 (94.5%) were residential buildings. Included are 330 buildings damaged or destroyed by fires (residential and non-residential).

Number of buildings damaged: status
Greater than

Number of dwellings destroyed: status
N/A

Number of dwellings damaged: status
N/A

Total number of buildings destroyed by shaking
9500
number
Total number of buildings destroyed by shaking: source
FDMA, MLIT
Total number of buildings destroyed by shaking: comment

Estimated from FDMA and MLIT report.
http://www.mlit.go.jp/common/000162533.pdf
(in Japanese, Time-stamp: August 4, 2011. 219000 buildings are damaged by tsunami, 120000 buildings are destroyed by tsunami).
http://www.fdma.go.jp/bn/%E5%B9%B3%E6%88%9023%E5%B9%B4%EF%BC%882011%E5%B...
(in Japanese, Timestamp: September 11, 2012).
Some municipalities especially around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant still reported "unknown" as they have not been able to complete the surveys.

Total number of buildings destroyed by shaking: status
Approximate

Number of buildings damaged by shaking
847500
number
Number of buildings damaged by shaking: source
FDMA, MLIT
Number of buildings damaged by shaking: comment

Estimated from FDMA and MLIT report.
http://www.mlit.go.jp/common/000162533.pdf
(in Japanese, Time-stamp: August 4, 2011. 219000 buildings are damaged by tsunami, 120000 buildings are destroyed by tsunami).
http://www.fdma.go.jp/bn/%E5%B9%B3%E6%88%9023%E5%B9%B4%EF%BC%882011%E5%B...
(in Japanese, Timestamp: September 11, 2012).
Some municipalities especially around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant still reported "unknown" as they have not been able to complete the surveys.

Number of buildings damaged by shaking: status
Approximate

Number of dwellings destroyed by shaking: status
N/A

Number of dwellings damaged by shaking: status
N/A

Loss: Socioeconomic
show
hide
People homeless
450000
number
People homeless: source
Cabinet Office
People homeless: comment

http://www.cao.go.jp/shien/1-hisaisha/pdf/5-hikaku.pdf.
Including approximately 75,000 people evacuated from the nuclear fallout affected zones.

People homeless: status
Greater than

Direct economic loss
211753
million US$
Direct economic loss: source
JST(original data from Cabinet Office)
Direct economic loss: comment

Japanese Government Estimate of June 24, 2011 http://www.jst.go.jp/pr/pdf/great_east_japan_earthquake.pdf (16.9 trillion yen, converted to US$ using the average Yen to US$ exchange rate of 2011, 79.81 Yen per US$, Source: IMF)


Indirect economic loss
71000
million US$
Indirect economic loss: source
Miscellaneous
Indirect economic loss: comment

http://earthquake-report.com/2012/03/10/japan-366-days-after-the-quake-1... (There is no official data but some analyst try to estimate).
Independent analysts in Japan estimated that the cost of clean up operation after the nuclear accident in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant will cost 71 to 250 billion US$ (http://newsonjapan.com/html/newsdesk/article/89987.php)

Indirect economic loss: status
Greater than

Insured loss
37500
million US$
Insured loss: source
Munich Re, 2011 Topics Geo Review
Insured loss: comment

Estimated by MUnich Re at 35 to 40 billion US$.
Insurance payouts had already reached 8.4 billion US$, two months after the earthquake (Source: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/editorial/T110514002500.htm)

Insured loss: status
Approximate

Demographics
show
hide
Number of households
51950504
number
Number of households: source
Statistics Bureau of Japan (http://unstats.un.org/unsd/demographic/sources/census/2010_PHC/Japan/2010JapanCensus-111026.pdf)
Total number of buildings
57567300
number
Total number of buildings: source
Statistics Bureau of Japan, Director-General for Policy Planning & Statistical Research and Training Instuitute, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications
Total number of buildings: comment

http://www.e-stat.go.jp/SG1/estat/GL08020103.do?_toGL08020103_&tclassID=... (In Japanese, as of 2008, without under construction buildings)


Population
128057352
number
Population: source
Statistics Bureau of Japan (http://unstats.un.org/unsd/demographic/sources/census/2010_PHC/Japan/2010JapanCensus-111026.pdf)

Base date
2010-10-01
date