The tsunami which occurred at the coastal city was set off by an earthquake that was devastating. The earth quake which had a magnitude of 8.9 on the richter scale caused great damage to the Japan.
Causes of the tsunami
A tsunami occurs when there is a rupturing of the earth along the fault line; it causes the surface around the fault to be pushed up. The surface is later drooped back down. Therefore, the movement causes the water column to be displaced in its entirety. Later energy is put in a form of vertical movement and this is transferred into some horizontal movement. The wave can travel in a few hours and cover an ocean basin. In a few minutes of the occurrence of an earthquake, the tsunami is then split into a form that can travel into the deep ocean. Thus one of these tsunamis travelled towards the nearby coast of Japan while the other moved towards Hawaii and the west coast of the United States.
The speed of the movement of the tsunamis varies and is usually dependent on the depth of the water. This results in the wave that propagates across the ocean to travel in a faster speed as compared to the one that is headed towards a shore that is nearby. When a tsunami reaches the shoreline, the waves become much narrower and higher. This means that the water levels are shallower since there is a rise in the slope of the continent. Waves can be classified into two and in the case of the occurrence of a tsunami, the low point of a wave which is known as the trough is usually the first to arrive. This causes the sea to recede from the shore indicating that a tsunami is about to occur. When the wave hits the shore a run up occurs. The tsunamis then result as a consequence of tide that is fast moving. Tsunamis have the ability to travel much further into the inland areas as compared to the other normal waves. The bottom of the ocean also has the ability to determine the type of wave that would occur thus causing them to be either or lower. The characteristics of the shoreline also determine the shape that will be taken by the tsunami. In the case whereby the shorelines are straight and smooth, they tend to cause some smaller waves. Higher waves are brought about by existence of coats that have a higher number of inlets.
Causes of Tsunami problems
The disaster was the worst to occur in the country after the occurrence of the two nuclear bombs at Nagasaki and Hiroshima. The tsunami causes a lot of damage to the area. Unto 10,000 people dies in the area of Miyagi which was worst hit by the disasters. Most of the dead were the older people since they did not have the ability to act upon the warnings of the tsunami at the right time. The whole town of Minamu Shirazu was actually covered by the tsunami. The nuclear plants also brought about a crisis since the Japanese were not able to have control of the two nuclear plants. For example, there was a failure of an emergency cooling system at one of the reactors. The radiation from the plants hence caused potential danger to the people who were exposed to the radiation. One worker at the reactor of the Daiichi plant was exposed to a higher than normal level of radiation hence was in a dangerous situation as a result. The dictators wear also followed by aftershocks that hot the region and this was evident by two tremors that had a magnitude of 6.2. The tsunami caused damage to the assets in the country such as houses that were left in rubble as well as vehicles and tracks that formed heaps of rubble as well. These events caused most of the people to be without food, drinking water and even power.
Free movement was restricted in the air, sea and roads hence this greatly affected the economic activities in the region. Products could not be transferred in an easy manner hence this had a negative impact on the economy of the country. Some airports were also closed hence it was difficult to move from one place to another as well.
Comparing Tsunami with other disasters
The Kyshtym disaster occurred on 29 September in 1957 at Mayak which is a nuclear processing plant at mayak in Russia. At that time it was still part of the Soviet Union. This disaster was recorded as the third worst in history after the Fukushima Daiichi and Chernobyl nuclear disasters. The problem was caused when the cooling system of one of the tanks had some failure and did not have any repairs on it. This causes rise in its temperature that led to evaporation as well as the chemical explosions of the waste which was dried. The waste constituted acetates and ammonium nitrate. Thus a force of 100 tons occurred and threw off the lid that covered the plant hence releasing radiation into the air. This was an average of 2 to 50MCi of the radioactivity. This cloud then moved towards the northeast side and contaminated a large area of the land.
Up to 22 villages were affected and this led to the immediate evacuation of 10,000 people. But evacuations at the other sites that had lesser danger were done after a period of 2 years. Some of the villages affected were Satlykovo, Berdyanish and Galikayevo which were evacuated in a few days. Other villages that were affected include Igish, Skorinovo, Tygish, Chetyrkino, Kozhakul, Gusevo, Boyovka, Gorny, Yugo-Konevo and others that were evacuated in a period between 250 and 670 days. This event was treated with a lot of secrecy hence some people who were affected were not informed of the accident that had previously occurred. Thus victims thought that they had contacted some mysterious disease since their skins were coming off especially in the face and hand areas. This radiation also caused the outbreak of cancer related complication as well. The soil and air were also contaminated as a result. Such disasters have long term effects on the population since they may cause a lot of untimely and unavoidable death. The disasters also cause damage to soil, air, water reservoirs and even animals in general. This deprives a country of its natural resources hence brings about a low economic production in the country as a whole. This soil that is contaminated is then removed and placed in stockpiles away from the other areas and then enclosed to prevent any damage.
Actions can therefore be taken to ensure that such disasters are prevented from occurring in the near future. These actions can be taken to ensure that these accidents are prevented from taking place and to limit the consequences that result. Nuclear plants need to be well handles to ensure that the storage, use and transportation of materials are done in a proper manner. It is an expensive process to ensure that the plants are well protected but measures should be taken to ensure that disasters do not occur in future since hey has disastrous effects. Since nuclear plants have very complex structures, some chances still exists for the plants to be exposed to danger. Thus nuclear material needs to be controlled to ensure that no unexpected behavior will happen. Thus the cooling system will be able to handle the heat that is released in excess. The nuclear meltdown can be caused when fuel melts and therefore causes a vessel to be damaged in its entirety. Hence constant power needs to be provided to the nuclear plants to ensure that it has enough energy to cool its systems. The Fukushiam tragedy occurred since there was lack of power that would cause the systems to be cooled in the cases of overheating.
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