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#218794 - 03/11/11 09:35 PM Re: Earthqauke in Japan [Re: stevenpd]
Art_in_FL Offline

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
I lived in Japan for a few years and I'd have a hard time coming up with a nation and people that are better prepared and more invested in disaster mitigation. Part of this has to do with their society and geography. A whole lot of people living in rather small nation that is subject to earthquakes, typhoons, wildfires, tsunamis, landslides, and volcanoes. They have learned a lot about how to get along, work together, and survive in hard times.

I wish them well, luck and fortuitous timing often makes a huge difference, but feel confidence that when the story is told of this day they will have acquitted themselves well.

#218796 - 03/11/11 09:56 PM Re: Earthqauke in Japan [Re: stevenpd]
comms Offline

Registered: 07/23/08
Posts: 1502
Loc: Mesa, AZ
I was living on Guam during a 8.1 or 8.3 (can't recall) quake. What really saved lives there, and I am sure in Japan as well is that they code new buildings (last 2-3 decades) to withstand CAT5 winds from Typhoons and such. My building for example had a foundation described to me as being springs and rollers, that allowed the 13 stories to flex with the wind (and therefore bounce w/ the quake).
Don't just survive. Thrive.

#218798 - 03/11/11 10:31 PM Re: Earthqauke in Japan [Re: stevenpd]
Art_in_FL Offline

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432

#218800 - 03/11/11 10:42 PM Re: Earthqauke in Japan [Re: stevenpd]
Pete Offline

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1372
I don't have a problem with how the L.A. County department and the local police called this incident - specifically as it applies to where we are in southern California. Their expectations were right on the money. We typically see a lot of dissipation in the strength of these tsunami waves by the time they travel long distances and reach southern California. It may be due to the specific orientation of our coastline, and possibly the ocean topography where we live. The real factor for us is watching how big the tsunami is when it reaches Hawaii and Oregon. That's a helpful clue.

ParamedicPete: I'm not sure why Crescent City, CA was affected as much as it was. That's a good question. It may have something to do with the coastline up there, and how waves gets funneled into that location (or maybe how the ocean bottom rises there). By the way - on a totally separate subject I tried to send you a PM today. Apparently your PM inbox is filled up.

I suspect that the same thing is true in Japan at Sendai - there is a potential build-up of tsunami energy in some places as the energy gets channeled by the coastline and ocean bottom. If anyone sees any more analysis by experts ... I'd like to see that.

UPDATE: I just talked to a guy here in So. Cal who tells me that there is a history of tsunami effects in Crescent City. Something about the ocean structure there amplifies the effects of tsunamis coming from Asia. I guess the city authorities have learned about this from previous experience. That is why they asked all the boat owners to sail out of the port before the tsunami arrived today.

Meanwhile, here is a global map of the size of the tsunami as it was predicted to spread out from Japan. Maybe this data is what led various communities to adjust their response to the wave. However, this model doesn't explain why Crescent City got such a big response.


other Pete

Edited by Pete (03/11/11 11:33 PM)

#218802 - 03/11/11 11:15 PM Re: Earthqauke in Japan [Re: Teslinhiker]
Arney Offline

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Teslinhiker
Article on the NY Times website which points out Japan's strict building codes saved a large number of lives.

I'm sure that Japan's building codes saved many lives yesterday. But Japan is also an example of how Mother Nature can thwart even the best laid plans. In the Kobe earthquake, there were some spectcular structural failures because the earth moved in ways that seismologists did not predict or think were possible, so the engineers didn't design structures to withstand those particular forces.

#218804 - 03/11/11 11:51 PM Re: Earthqauke in Japan [Re: comms]
Arney Offline

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: comms
...I am sure in Japan as well is that they code new buildings (last 2-3 decades) to withstand CAT5 winds from Typhoons and such.

This isn't really contradicting what you're saying, but I remember seeing something on TV about the construction of...maybe it was Taipei 101, the tallest building in Taiwan. They mentioned that designing for earthquakes and typhoons can actually be opposing goals. Typhoon winds tend to be a more constant load, therefore you want the building to be stiff enough to prevent being blown over. But earthquakes are oscillating loads, so you want a structure nimble enough (or putting the whole thing on shocks or rollers or using some oscillation dampening system may accomplish a similiar thing) to prevent the load from cracking the building in half as it changes directions quickly.

#218806 - 03/12/11 12:06 AM Re: Earthqauke in Japan [Re: stevenpd]
Pete Offline

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1372
This is interesting ...


As a result of the 8.9 earthquake, the Japanese have now got problems at 5 operating nuclear reactors (located at 2 different power plants). The problem may stem from the fact that the reactors lost BOTH their coolant flow and equipment power supplies at the same time - due to the combined quake and the tsunami. That's a worst-case series of events.

It is TOO EARLY to speculate that this leads to a critical emergency. It probably depends on how much extra safety was put into the engineering containment design for the reactors. Probably a lot - but you don't know how much damage was done by the earthquake.

They have evacuated the people living near the power plants. Radiation levels are climbing outside the power plants.

other Pete

Edited by Pete (03/12/11 12:09 AM)

#218807 - 03/12/11 12:43 AM Re: Earthqauke in Japan [Re: Pete]
Richlacal Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 778
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Crescent City is named that because,The Bay is Crescent Shaped.There are Huge troughs on the Ocean Floor,adjacent to Crescent City,which in turn Magnify any swells coming inbound to The Shoreline,Couple that with the fact that Crescent city is Not too far from Sea-Level itself in Elevation,& You have a Major worry of Tsunami of Any size!It's like a Big Funnel,& Unfortunately,Crescent City is at The Small End of it!

#218811 - 03/12/11 01:20 AM Re: Earthqauke in Japan [Re: stevenpd]
Dagny Offline

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1918
Loc: Washington, DC
Some are saying the quake was a 9.1

Twice as powerful as an 8.9 USGS is still saying it was 8.9

Either are unfathomable.

Chile 1960 was 9.5!


#218814 - 03/12/11 02:26 AM Re: Earthqauke in Japan [Re: Dagny]
LED Offline

Registered: 09/01/05
Posts: 1474
According to Caltech/USGS the east coast of Japan shifted 8ft. (2.4m). shocked They've also increased the evac zone around the Fukushima plants to 6.2mi (10km).

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