Japan's Earthquake and Tsunami: Operation Tomodachi

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“On March 11, 2011 at 11:46 pm CST Japan was hit with an earthquake of 9.0 magnitude, followed by a tsunami shortly afterward. This earthquake and subsequent tsunami is known today as the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. The epicenter was located 80 miles east of Sendai, the capital of Miyagi Prefecture, and 231 miles northeast of Tokyo.” This is how most stories of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami are started. This intro is short, professional, to the point, and really speaks to how those who responded during operation Tomodachi carried out their mission. Operation Tomodachi (Japanese for friend) not only aided in the improvement of United States and Japan relations, but also serves as an outstanding example of how to respond both quickly and efficiently in such important times. Japan is no stranger to earthquakes nor are they unfamiliar with tsunamis; however, the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami was different. Registering at a staggering magnitude of 9.0, the Tohoku earthquake was the largest in Japan's history. The “death toll is estimated at 14,027 people, with 13,754 people missing. Furthermore, the disaster displaced over 136,000 people, destroyed over 4,500 buildings, and damaged 71 bridges, over 3,500 roads, and 26 railways.” (Tomodachi Analysis) Despite the earthquake's magnitude, it was the resultant tsunami that caused the majority of the deaths from this disaster. “In Miyako, the capital of the Iwate Prefecture, the tsunami attained a maximum wave height of 125 ft, inundating various coastal areas. The same tsunami caused a dam failure in Fukushima, destroying approximately 1,800 homes and causing a majority of the casualties in that particular prefecture. In addition, the tsunami also caused the largest nucl... ... middle of paper ... ... understanding of how to respond to such disasters more quickly and efficiently. Works Cited Kaczur, Alexander, Jayson Aurelio, and Edelio Joloya. An Analysis of United States Naval Participation in Operation Tomodachi: Humanitarian and Disaster Relief in the Tsunami-Stricken Japanese Mainland. Monterey: 2012. Print. Dawson, Chester. "U.S. Navy Commander Discusses ‘Operation Tomodachi’." Japan Realtime. The Wall Street Journal, 20 Mar 2011. Web. 19 Oct. 2013. . Zielonka, Ryan. "Chronology of Operation Tomodachi." The National Bureau of Asian Research. N.p.. Web. 19 Oct 2013. United States. US Department of State. Enduring Value of the U.S.-Japan Alliance. 2011. Web. .

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