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[report整理] SENEWS-2011-03-21

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[Homework]SENEWS-2011-03-21

This is the Voa Special English technology report.
A powerful earthquake struck the Northeastern coast of Japan at 2:46 p.m. local time on March 11th. Japan's Meteorological Agency released its first tsunami warnings just 3 minutes later. The country has one of the best earthquake early warning systems in the world. There are more than 4000 seismic intensity meters in place throughout Japan to measure earthquake activity. These meters provide information within 2 minutes of an earthquake happening.Information about the strength and the center of the earthquake can be learned within 3 minutes. There are also concrete sea walls around much of the Japanese coastline, but these measures proved no match for the powerful earthquake and tsunami.Caster Seanolekes is a tsunami expert with the department of civil and environmental engneering at the university of southern California in Los Angeles, Japan is one of the most well-prepared countries on earth in terms of ,you know, tsunami warnings. They had a waring. I think what went wrong is that they had not anticipated, you know, the size of this event. He says there are two reasons for this.Japan has not had any event anywhere near as big as this one in the last 150 years and scientists had not expected such a large earthquake happening off the coast of Japan. The 9.0 magnitude earthquake was the fourth most powerful earthquake ever recorded worldwide. It was also the worst earthquake ever to hit Japan. That tsunai waves that followed were reported to have reached as high as 13 metres in some areas. Caster Seanolekes says Japan's concrete seawalls were not built to handle such high waves. The concrete seawalls in many places in the Japan  are about ten meters that's about 33 feet. In the Sendai, there were about three meters, that's about ten feet. So that shows you that at least in that area they were not expecting that such size of a wave. A tsunami wave can travel as fast as 800 kilometers per hour. To get to higher ground, people would often have the travel for many kilometers. This can take more time than a fast travelling tsunami will permit. This is especially true in cases like Japan where the centre of the earthquake struck so close to the coastline that tsunami waves followed almost immediately. Experts say early warning systems will continue to be limited by these facts until earthquakes and tsunamis can be predicted.
And that's the Voa Special English Technology report written by June Sense. You can find more news about the disaster in Japan at our website voaspecialenglish.com. You can also find transcripts, MP3s and podcasts of our reports. And you can find us on facebook and youtube at voa learning English. I'm Steven Ember.

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