About the tsunami

How dangerous was the tsunami?

According to the National Police Agency, about 15,400 people lost their lives in the March 11 disasterand it is believed that over 90% of those fatalities were by drowning.

According to records compiled by the Japan Meteorological Agency, the tsunami that struck Souma City in Fukushima prefecture was over 9.3 meters high, and in other locations it exceeded 10 meters in height. This was much higher than anticipated.

The power of a tsunami is more dreadful than you could imagine. Even with a 30cm tsunami there is a risk of drowning, and not just with the incoming wave but also when the water flows back out to sea.

Unlike ordinary waves where only sea water near the surface of the sea floats, the tsunami has a wavelength ranging from several kilometers, and the whole of sea water is thrusting.
A big wave is striking like swallowing the ground.
Additionally, the big wave is very dangerous as they have great power even when the tsunami draws.

Tsunami are a natural phenomenon that cannot be prevented. Engineering measures such as such as the building of seawalls and non-engineering measures like the preparation of hazard maps and holding of evacuation drills can offer some protection.

Engineering measures can be very difficult to implement, but non-engineering measures that heighten awareness at the individual level are much easier to carry out.

The tsunami in 2011 killed many people. Many, however, were able to save themselves by, for example, running up a hill.

【Column 〜Tsunami tendenko〜】
Tsunami tendenko is an expression in the Japanese language that means to save yourself by evacuating to a safer location.

This expression was coined in the Sanriku region, which is where Fukushima is located. It is entering wide use in Japan and is used to remind people of the importance of evacuating before a tsunami strikes.

Earthquakes and tsunami can occur practically anywhere and anytime in Japan because the country is in a seismically active region and is surrounded by the sea.
It is very important to pass on to the next generation the lessons that have been learned from this disaster.

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