A powerful tsunami, strong aftershocks and a climbing death toll are just some of the adverse effects of the 8.9 earthquake that struck Japan’s northeast coast on Friday. Decimated homes, an oil refinery fire and an explosion at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear station are other complications that are facing Japan’s population. The impact of the disaster on communication and transportation is also devastating.
Currently, this recent earthquake in Japan is ranked as the fifth strongest since 1900. In the last 100 years there have been many strong earthquakes. Here are three that have caused the most devastation.
Sumatra, Indonesia Earthquake of 2004
In 2004, a 9.1 earthquake hit 30 miles off the coast of Northern Sumatra. This memorable earthquake had a startling death toll of 227,898 people. One of the reasons the quake had such a high death toll was the tsunami that was generated due to the quake. Originating in the Indian Ocean, the tsunami was “estimated to have released the energy of 23,000 Hiroshima-type atomic bombs.” The tsunami’s wrath was widespread and effected countries like India, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and more. Over 5 million people lost their homes or were without food and water.
Tangshan, China Earthquake of 1976
While the magnitude of this quake was just 7.5, the death toll was one of the highest. The earthquake occurred in the highly populated city of Tangshan. While the numbers vary, the amount of people killed are said to be between 240,000 to as high as 655,000. Furthermore, the disaster caused over 799,000 injuries. It took six years to re-establish the city.
Haiti Earthquake of 2010
Since the Jan. 12, 2010, magnitude 7.0 earthquake that ravaged Haiti, an estimated 1 million residents are still homeless, bodies are still being found and overall destruction is still rampant. Furthermore, Haitians have suffered from hurricanes and a cholera outbreak. With the recent anniversary of the quake, Haiti is still mourning and relief efforts have been difficult. Overall poverty, political instability and famine have contributed to the crisis. It is estimated that the total financial expense is between “$7.2 billion to $13.2 billion.” Furthermore, the death toll range is between 200,000 and 250,000.
Hard work, organization and economic relief are some of the main factors that will help Japan recover from their devastation. Solidarity and crime prevention are other factors that are important to the country’s recovery. Although the value of the Yen fell after the quake, it is already climbing. This is a good sign for Japan’s economy. Additionally, the US has offered aid to Japan. In addition, many organizations have set up relief funds. All of these dynamics will help Japan rebuild.
Japan awakens to fears of climbing death toll cbsnews.com
Michael Muskal Japan earthquake becomes fifth-strongest since 1900 latimes.com
Eric Talamadge and Yuri Kageyama Explosion at Japan nuke plant, disaster toll rises Associated Press
Haiti Earthquake of 2010 New York Times
Jonathan M. Katz Haiti mourn quake dead, find hope in own resilency Associated Press
Cathy Wallace Crisis Comms: 2004 Tsunami – Disaster Recovery prweek.com
Yen recovers from tumble in aftermath of quake Associated Press