Thursday, July 19, 2007

Earthquakes-Shocks Japan

When the crustal plates react or move earthquakes usually occur. Some we can hardly feel while others create devastation and hurt the populace where it strikes. The latest is Japan.
Students will
(E.O.A.S.1) Explain how earthquakes occur.
(E.O.A.S.2) Draw how and why sound and movement can destroy during an earthquake

"5 killed, over 500 hurt in Japan quake"
(Source: Associated Press, 7/16/07)

A 6.7-magnitude earthquake rocked Japan's northwest coast on Monday,
killing at least five people and injuring more than 500. The area was
plagued by a series of aftershocks, the strongest of which was
magnitude 5.8.

The quake flattened hundreds of buildings and triggered a fire at a
nuclear power plant.

Five people in their 70s and 80s — four women and one man — died after
being crushed when buildings collapsed on them in the quake, said
Takashi Morita, a spokesman for the National Police Agency in Tokyo.

"I was so scared — the violent shaking went on for 20 seconds," Ritei
Wakatsuki, an employee of convenience store Lawson, told The
Associated Press by telephone from the hard-hit city of Kashiwazaki.
"I almost fainted by the fear of shaking."

Flames and billows of black smoke poured from the Kashiwazaki nuclear
plant, which automatically shut down during the quake. The fire, at an
electrical transformer, was put out shortly after noon and there was
no release of radioactivity or damage to the reactors, said Motoyasu
Tamaki, a Tokyo Electric Power Co. official.

Some 2,000 people in Kashiwazaki were evacuated from their homes, city
official Takashi Otsuka said.

Nearly 300 buildings in the city were destroyed, a fire official said.
The force of the quake buckled seaside roads and bridges, and
one-yard-wide fissures could been seen in the ground along the coastline.

A ceiling collapsed in a gym in Kashiwazaki where about 200 people had
gathered for a badminton tournament, and one person suffered minor
facial injuries, Kyodo reported. The quake also knocked a train car
off the rails while it was stopped at a station. No one was injured.

The Meteorological Agency issued tsunami warnings along the coast of
Niigata prefecture state, but the warnings were later lifted. Waves up
to 20 inches were believed to have hit the coast, but no damage was

The quake, which hit the region at 10:13 a.m., was centered off the
coast of Niigata, 160 miles northwest of the capital, Tokyo. The
tremor made buildings in Tokyo sway and was also felt in northern and
central Japan.

The agency initially measured the quake at a 6.6 magnitude, but later
revised that up to 6.8. The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake
registered 6.7 magnitude.

A series of smaller aftershocks rattled the area, including one with a
5.8 magnitude. Koichi Uhira of the Meteorological Agency warned that
the aftershocks could continue for a week.

Several bullet train services linking Tokyo and northern and
northwestern Japan have been suspended. Officials said water and gas
services for Kashiwazaki'

s 35,000 households were suspended after
reports of gas leaks, reports said. Nearly 24,000 households in the
quake zone were without power as of Monday afternoon.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe interrupted a campaign stop in southern
Japan for upcoming parliamentary elections, rushed back to Tokyo and
announced he would head to the damaged area.

"We want to do all we can to ensure safety ... and to quell everyone's
concerns," said Abe, whose ruling party is trailing in the polls. "I
want to get a picture of what happened and also want everyone to feel
a little bit more secure."

Niigata Airport, which had suspended flights shortly after the quake,
resumed services after finding no damage, Kyodo said.

Japan sits atop four tectonic plates and is one of the world's most
earthquake-prone countries. The last major quake to hit the capital,
Tokyo, killed some 142,000 people in 1923, and experts say the capital
has a 90 percent chance of suffering a major quake in the next 50 years.

In October 2004, a magnitude-6.8 earthquake hit Niigata, killing 40
people and damaging more than 6,000 homes. It was the deadliest to hit
Japan since 1995, when a magnitude-7.2 quake killed 6,433 people in
the western city of Kobe.


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