Archive for Tsunami
www.bbc.co.uk 6th April 2012
A Japanese shrimping vessel that was washed to sea during the disastrous tsunami of March 2011 has been sunk in 9,000 ft of water by the United States Coastguard off the coast of Alaska. The Ryou-Un Maru, which was without power or lights, was deemed a hazard to other vessels and sunk using a cannon that punctured holes in the ship’s sides. The question many people have asked is why the Ryou-Un was not salvaged. In fact, the coastguard had already contacted the Japanese government to ask them whether they were interested in salvage. The reply was negative. Then, the coastguard had agreed to hold off taking action as a Canadian fishing vessel claimed salvage rights. When the larger Japanese ship proved difficult to tow though, the US authorities stepped in. Another question worrying conservationists is the 7,500 litres of diesel fuel that were not removed prior to the sinking. According to Petty Officer David Mosley the fuel ‘should very quickly dissipate in the ocean.’ The Ryou-Un is believed to be the vanguard of a large debris field from Japan that is making its way to the west coast of North America on North Pacific currents.
Japanese agricultural officials have warned that more than 500 cattle slaughtered for Japanese supermarkets have been infected by radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster several months ago. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant was severely damaged in the tsunami of March this year, which devastated the Japanese coastline after an earthquake measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale struck off the nation’s coast. Beef has now joined a wide variety of foodstuffs that have tested positive for radioactive cesium including spinach, tea, milk and fish. Officials blame the cattle meat contamination on hay left outside during the nuclear fallout. This hay has been found as far away from the plant as 85 miles implying the fallout was wider than initially thought. Attention now turns to the Japanese government who have been unwilling to extend the ban on food exports from just a 12 miles radius of the plant. The reason behind this decision was to reduce the amount of people put out of work and also the amount of compensation claims levelled against Tokyo Electric Power, the operating company of Fukushima. With the amount of contamination reports on the rise though, the government have now banned meat shipments from the entire of the Fukushima prefecture, an area of 5700 square miles. Farmers from the area still claim they are being kept out of the loop and have had no information from the government on how to tackle the problem.
www.guardian.co.uk 29th June 2011
A submarine landslide has been blamed for a tsunami that struck the English south coast on Monday (27th June). Although no damage was caused by the wave, which only measured a maximum of 40cm high, it still caused coastal waters to recede, according to one eye-witness, as much as 45 metres. Mike Davidson, an associate professor in coastal processes at the University of Plymouth (where the tsunami also struck) said the most likely explanation for the phenomenon was a landslide, possibly at a point where the seabed slopes steeply down such as on the edge of the continental shelf some 250 miles off land’s end. However, if this was the case, explained Prof Davidson, the effects of it would have been seen elsewhere along the UK coast rather than just in the South. Eye-witnesses also described experiencing a large amount of static electricity in the air causing people’s hair to stand on end.
Below are a series of photographs published in the L.A. Times on the devastation wrought by the tsunami in Japan this past March. Triggered from an earthquake measuring 9.1 on the Richter Scale, the world watched horrified as helicopter reporters filmed a series of tidal waves batter the Japanese North Eastern coastline. LMV was filming in Long Beach, California, at the time and even there warnings were sounded to stay away from the water. When we arrived in Hawaii a few days afterwards, there were fears of radiation clouds from the damaged Japanese reactors and tidal surges from the earthquake had left hotels damaged and large pieces of marine debris on the coastline. Below are a small selection of the 53 harrowing pictures to be found on the L.A. Times website.
www.bbc.co.uk 27th October 2010
Two days after an earthquake measuring 7.7 on the Richter Scale hit the remote Indonesian islands of Mentawai, 412 people are still missing and 272 have been declared dead. The earthquake triggered a 3m (10ft) high tsunami that swamped a series of islands known as the Pagai, destroying ten villages and reaching as far as 600m inland. Rescue teams are only just on the ground but they are still to reach the worst affected areas. Indonesia’s president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has called off a trip to Vietnam and flown back to personally oversee the relief effort. Bad weather is hampering rescue efforts however, preventing ships coming from Indonesia’s largest island Sumatra bringing in aid. The Indonesian army has also been mobilised and is using its helicopters to help the situation. The disaster may have been prevented if an expensive early-warning system built in 2004 had worked. Some of the buoys designed to monitor large waves in the region were not on-line at the time the earthquake broke. It has been suggested that they were vandalised. About 4,000 homes were destroyed by the tsunami with most of the inhabitants fleeing to higher ground. The Indonesian archipelago sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire: a hot-spot for earthquakes. A year ago 1,000 died in the country due to a tsunami and in 2004, 250,000 died similarly after an earthquake of 9.1 caused waves that hit 13 countries in the region.