Friday, March 11, 2011

Magnitude 8.9 Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan

I was driving into the office this morning and on NPR radio the reporters kept referring to this Tsunami risk.  The reporters were talking about how all these beaches along the California coast was closed, and I was thinking, WTF is going on?

During my 30-minute commute, various stories unfolded and I learned more and more about what happened in Japan yesterday evening.  This is really scary.  I don't think San Francisco would be as prepared as Tokyo.  Tokyo, being located in the center of one of the most active regions of the "ring of fire" is one of the most earthquake prepared countries in the world.  Unfortunately, they were just tested with one of the largest earthquakes that the world has seen for some time (largest since they started recording earthquakes in Japan).

They are only expecting 1-2 foot swells in the San Francisco Bay Area, so fortunately my car will be okay being parked on the Pier.  I don't think most San Franciscans will even notice the difference.

I heard in low lying areas of Maui, some hotels experienced waves that washed through their lobby, and Santa Cruz and Capitola both had experiences where boats in their harbor were ripped off their moorings and  knocked around.  Even all of this does not compare to what happened in Japan.

The first thing I thought when I saw the surge of water inland was, "This looks exactly like the Thailand Tsunamis."  From my understanding the country was fairly prepared for the earthquake itself.  There was some damage but nothing as dramatic as the follow up Tsunami and the surge of seawater inland that wiped everything else out.  It also looks like most of the death occurred in these regions.

Image credits to The Atlantic, where you will be able to find more high resolution pictures of the tragedy that is unfolding.

Oh, and I'm sure a couple people will be disappointed that their Nissan 370Zs won't be making it to the States in the near future, as they were washed out by the sea.

From The Atlantic

More details about the events here on SF Gate.

The earthquake doesn't look as bad in this personal home video, though it lasted a lot longer than the earthquake I experienced in 1989 in San Francisco. 

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