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Cecilia Fehoko

GEOG 1700

Japan Tsunami and Nuclear Disaster Report

Japan’s physical geography is surrounded by a lot of islands, which usually means they’re
surrounded by a lot of water. It has a humid climate and temperature there and is more prone to
having tsunamis because of all the water surfacing in Japan. Earthquakes are a huge reason as to
why they are more likely to experience tsunamis as well. The earthquakes generate the tsunamis
to occur because of the ruckus causing unbalanced water and ground.
In an obvious sense you can pretty much say that Japan has been very well prepared for
Natural Disasters. Such as, earthquakes and tsunamis that was exactly their expertise. People of
Japan heavily studied earthquakes and tsunamis for decades and soon after they had started to
keep records. Families were well educated and trained for earthquakes and tsunamis. People
knew what to do in the situation, and Japan had also put up seawalls to block out the waves in
case of tsunamis. Even though they seemed aware and prepared for earthquakes and tsunamis to
come, you can never be too sure. In 2011, a region in Japan called Tohoku had experienced a
shocking and unexpected tsunami that hit. People weren’t too bothered by it nor did they try to
flee, they had even ignored future signs of the big tsunami that was going to come. Until of
course it had come and knocked down seawalls destroying everything in its path, and killing
16,000 people. It just goes to show that even the most prepared aren’t really prepared as they
thought.

Fudai was surprisingly the only village that had survived the tsunami that hit in 2011.
Only because in 1960 the mayor had experienced a horrible tsunami that hit Japan 30 years
before. Many didn’t want to listen and build the 52 foot wall because of expenses. However, it
turned out to save them in 2011 and was well worth the money put in. Otherwise, they would
have been like many others in Japan that ignored the scientists that believed there was going to
be a big tsunami to come. No one wanted to listen or pay attention to the scientific studies that
Japan was going to expect much bigger and longer lasting tsunamis that would wipe out many
regions.
The spatial and temporal hazards were both obvious and expected for Japan. The
temporal were predicted from scientist and spatial was the hazard that took place were the ones
experiencing it. Japan had experienced much worse after the tsunami took place. The back-up
generators only worked for so long until the tsunami broke through the seawall and wrecked all
of the generators. Hydrogen gas had led to radiation to be released and people were told to stay
in their houses for several days. Majority of the population are elderly over the age of 65, and
couldn’t fend for themselves and had no help. Most stayed in freezing water with no choice but
to freeze or die until help from the government came along.
Overall, Japan should be more open-minded about who is giving them advice. Especially
if it scientists that are warning them about something very destructive that caused a catastrophe.
One way I would think could help them in the future is to build a taller seawall. Expenses
shouldn’t matter because they had to pay for it even more after the tsunami. Also, they should
come up with a safety plan or housing for themselves and especially the elderly. Hopefully in the
end things won’t end up badly like this again.