On March 11th, 2011, at 14:46 JST, the Pacific Plate moved, thrusting up and eastward the plate on which Honshu Japan sits. The Earthquake registered 9.0 on the Richter scale and was the fifth largest earthquake recorded since records have been kept, and the most powerful to strike Japan.
The earthquake, while massive and damaging, was far less lethal than the tsunami it spawned.
The Tsunami started coming ashore 26 minutes later. The swell in open water was as much as 29 feet high, and the run up recorded on shore was as much as 79 feet. Entire villages were swept away.
The death toll remains uncertain. At least 15,850 died, another 3,827 are known to be missing and are presumed dead. 92% of the bodies recovered were determined to have drowned. Another 1,331 deaths are ascribed to the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami.
The Press rapidly moved on from these horrific numbers to the greater threat…
The threat of Nuclear Disaster.
One year later, the “Nuclear Disaster” has claimed no lives. None. Zero.
Japan is still reeling from the destruction and loss of life from the twin disasters of earthquake and tsunami. The greatest human impact from the “Nuclear Disaster” has been a shortage of electricity.