Catastrophic Earthquake and Tsunami Hit Japan

Catastrophic Earthquake and Tsunami Hit Japan

The debris of the destroyed Natori neighborhood of Sendai, Japan, on Sunday, March 13, 2011, that was hit hard by the tsunami in the aftermath of an 8.9 earthquake. (Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times/MCT)


Claire O’Halloran and Cheyenne Haslett
Web Opinions Editor and Web Features Editor

In the early morning of March 11, a magnitude 8.9 earthquake hit the eastern coast of Japan. It hit cities across a 1,300-mile coastline, including Tokyo. The earthquake has been documented as the fifth-largest magnitude earthquake in the world.

The earthquake was followed by a tsunami 33 feet high that traveled about 6 miles inland. There were also up to 50 aftershocks, some coming in at a 6.0 magnitude.

According to the Richter magnitude scale, a magnitude this close to 9 consists of serious damage to areas several hundred miles across, and happens close to once every twenty years.

This disastrous earthquake has been called “the most powerful earthquake to hit Japan in recorded history” by CNN, and according to The Guardian the death toll is expected to exceed 10,000. President Barack Obama has called the disaster “catastrophic.”

The U.S. has sent relief and gave Japan word that assistance will be provided. The U.S. is one of 45 countries that have enlisted their help to Japan.

However, nearly 7,798 miles away, the U.S. has felt a very small impact, much smaller than expected. California felt waves from only 1-8 feet, with the tallest being 8.1 feet in Crescent City, California.

U.S. military bases in Japan reported that all service members were accounted for all equipment and ships remained undamaged.

According to ABC News, many people who were in Japan while the earthquake struck, including Americans who were spending time overseas, are relying on social networking cites such as Facebook and Twitter to alert their family of their survival.

The disastrous event left thousands in need of help, and students here at Staples can help by visiting the Save the Children website. Students can make a difference by donating money, or food, but any small contribution will help.  They can text the word JAPAN to 20222, which will donate $10.  Students can also text REDCROSS to 90999, which will automatically add $10 to their cell phone bill that will be used to help the victims of the disaster.

To find out how to help tsunami victims, visit this link.