Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant: The WikiBook/The 2011 Japan Earthquakes 2

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Damaged utility pole in Ishinomaki

Cellular and landline phone service suffered major disruptions in the affected area.[1] On the day of the quake, American broadcaster NPR was unable to reach anyone in Sendai with working phone or Internet.[2] Internet services were largely unaffected in areas where basic infrastructure remained, despite the earthquake having damaged portions of several undersea cable systems landing in the affected regions; these systems were able to reroute around affected segments onto redundant links.[3][4] Within Japan, only a few websites were initially unreachable.[5] Several Wi-Fi hotspot providers have reacted to the quake by providing free access to their networks,[5] and some American telecommunications and VoIP companies such as AT&T, Sprint, Verizon[6] and VoIP companies such as netTALK[7] and Vonage[8] have offered free calls to (and in some cases, from) Japan for a limited time.

Space center[edit]

JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) evacuated the Tsukuba Space Center in Tsukuba, Ibaraki. The Center, which houses a control room for part of the International Space Station, has been shut down, with some damage reported.[9][10] The Tsukuba control center resumed full operations for the space station's Kibo laboratory and the HTV cargo craft on March 21.[11]

Cultural Properties[edit]

Mito City

Five hundred and forty-nine Cultural Properties of Japan|Cultural Properties were damaged, including five National Treasures of Japan|National Treasures (at Zuigan-ji, Ōsaki Hachiman-gū, Shiramizu Amidadō, and Seihaku-ji); one hundred and forty-three Important Cultural Properties of Japan|Important Cultural Properties (including at Sendai Tōshō-gū, the Kōdōkan (Mito)|Kōdōkan, and Entsū-in (Matsushima)|Entsū-in, with its Namban art|western decorative motifs); one hundred and twenty Monuments of Japan (including Matsushima, Rikuzentakata, Iwate#Takata-matsubara|Takata-matsubara, Yūbikan and the Site of Tagajō); seven Groups of Traditional Buildings; and three Cultural Properties of Japan#Folk Cultural Properties|Important Tangible Folk Cultural Properties. Stone monuments at the UNESCO World Heritage Site: Shrines and Temples of Nikkō were toppled.[12][13][14][15] In Tokyo, there was damage to Koishikawa Kōrakuen, Rikugien Garden|Rikugien, Hamarikyu Gardens|Hamarikyū Onshi Teien, and the walls of Edo Castle.[16] Information on the condition of collections held by museums, libraries and archives is still incomplete.[17] There was no damage to the Historic Monuments and Sites of Hiraizumi in Iwate prefecture, and the recommendation for their inscription on the World Heritage Sites in Japan|UNESCO World Heritage List in June has been seized upon as a symbol of international recognition and recovery.[18]


Rescue operations in the floodwaters

The aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami included both a humanitarian crisis and a major economic impact. The tsunami resulted in over 300,000 refugees in the Tōhoku region, and shortages of food, water, shelter, medicine and fuel for survivors. In response the Japanese government mobilized the Self-Defence Forces, whilst many countries sent search and rescue teams to help search for survivors. Aid organizations both in Japan and worldwide also responded, with the Japanese Red Cross reporting $1 billion in donations. The economic impact included both immediate problems, with industrial production suspended in many factories, and the longer term issue of the cost of rebuilding which has been estimated at ¥10 trillion ($122 billion).

Media coverage[edit]

Protesting following the disaster

Japan's national public broadcaster, NHK, and Japan Satellite Television suspended their usual programming to provide ongoing coverage of the situation.[19] Various other nationwide Japanese TV networks also broadcast uninterrupted coverage of the disaster. Ustream Asia broadcast live feeds of NHK, Tokyo Broadcasting System, Fuji TV, TV Asahi, TV Kanagawa, and CNN on the Internet starting on 12 March 2011.[20] YokosoNews, an Internet webcast in Japan, dedicated its broadcast to the latest news gathered from Japanese news stations, translating them in real time to English.[21]

NHK has been noted for its calmness, in comparison to foreign television news such as CNN and Fox News Channel, whose coverage has contained factual errors and raised alarm among foreign residents of Japan. The same critics note that the Japanese news media has been at times overly cautious to avoid panic and reliant on confusing statements by experts and officials.[22]

In this national crisis, the Japanese government provided Japanese sign language (JSL) interpreting at the press conferences related to the earthquake and tsunami.[23] Television broadcasts of the press conferences of Prime Minister of Japan|Prime Minister Naoto Kan and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano included simultaneous JSL interpreters standing next to the Japanese flag on the same platform.[24]

Scientific and research response[edit]

Fukushima radiation comparison to other incidents and standards, with graph of recorded radiation levels and specific accident events.

A large amount of data was collected that provides "the possibility to model in great detail what happened during the rupture of an earthquake." The effect of this data is expected to be felt across other disciplines as well, and this disaster "would provide unprecedented information about how buildings hold up under long periods of shaking – and thus how to build them better. We had very little information about that before now".[25]

Seismologists had anticipated that the "big one" would strike the same place as the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake—in the Sagami Trough, southwest of Tokyo.[26][27] Since 1976, when Katsuhiko Ishibashi said a large earthquake in the Suruga Trough was forthcoming, the government tracked plate movements, in preparation for the so-called Tokai earthquakes|Tokai earthquake.[28] Occurring 373 km (232 mi) northeast of Tokyo, the Tōhoku earthquake came as a surprise to seismologists, since the Japan Trench was known for creating large quakes, but was not expected to generate quakes above an 8.0 magnitude.[27][28]


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  18. "UNESCO move brings joy". Daily Yomiuri. http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T110507002957.htm. Retrieved 9 May 2011. 
  19. NHK News, 14:40 JST.
  20. "Ustream Asia、民放TV各局の東北地方太平洋沖地震報道番組を同時配jmjffr -INTERNET Watch". Archived from the original on 18 April 2011. http://www.webcitation.org/5y2wpuUWE. 
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  23. Link redacted due to spam protection blacklist please see May 23 3:24 PM Discussion page for ref
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External links[edit]

Tsunami videos[edit]

Minamisanriku, Miyagi|Minami Sanriku
Miyako, Iwate|Miyako
Kamaishi, Iwate|Kamaishi
Kesennuma, Miyagi|Kesennuma
Shiogama, Miyagi|Shiogama
Sendai, Miyagi|Sendai