It has been three months since Japan suffered one of the largest earthquakes of all time. The tsunami that followed resulted in a scene which some defined as “the world coming to an end.” Even though the damage was centered in the northern section of the country, it affected the entire island.
For most people in the world, March 11, 2011, started as an ordinary day. You’ve heard the expression, “it only takes one time,” but many feel that one time will not happen to them. Earthquakes are not new to Japan. As a matter of fact, as an island country its safety preparedness has been noted as the model many should follow. Unfortunately, all the preparation in the world could not equip the millions who were affected by the tragedy that followed at 7:25 a.m.
Earthquakes are part of geological formation. They happen more frequently than most would imagine. For the most part their effects are minimal and those living in earthquake zones have learned to maintain lifestyles which are basically uninterrupted. That is, until the big one hits.
The Japan quake hit on a Friday morning. Just imagine what you would normally be doing at that time of the day? For many, as their day was starting the quake changed their lives.
By natural design, islands are vulnerable to tsunamis as they are the aftermath of an earthquake. As the sea trembles the waters natural progression is to move toward land. Normally they are controllable, however as seen by the Japan quake on March 11, depending on the seismic number, they can wreak havoc of anything in its path.
Interesting Facts and Figures
7:22 a.m. Time Earthquake Struck
7:30 a.m. Tsunami. The time the tsunami struck northern Japan.
9.0. Magnitude of earthquake
3-5 minutes. The approximately length of time the quake lasted.
140. The number of years before any earthquake in access of 8.9.
20 percent. Of all the world’s earthquakes, 20 percent come from the Japan region.
401. Confirmed number of aftershocks.
10 feet. Height of the tsunami.
8-10 minutes. How long residents were warned before the tsunami hit.
93,000. Approximate death toll.
128 million. Japanese total population, based on latest census in 2008.
8. Number of military planes Japan government immediately dispatched to scout damage.
16. Number of countries that received tsunami warning following the surge in Japan.
$120.5 million. Amount in donations the public sent to the American Red Cross to assist in recovery.
$50 billion. Amount Japan government agreed for rebuilding.
The Prime Minister and the President
As Japan and people from across the world reflect on the historic earthquake and tsunami three months ago, one could only imagine the degree of rebuilding which is required. Japanese people are resilient. More earthquakes surely will come and the people will once again respond. As reported by the Guardian, Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan urged people to help their neighbors and act to “minimize the damage.” “We ask the people of Japan to exercise the spirit of fraternity help each other and act fast,” he said.
As noted in a White House press statement President Barack Obama also offered sentiments, saying “the Japanese people are not alone in this time of great trial and sorrow. Across the Pacific, they will find a hand of support extended from the United States as they get back on their feet.
While no one wants to relive the trauma or nightmare people go through in attempting to rebuild their lives, these experiences allow people from all over the globe to display the spirit of comfort and support.