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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 pm local time on Mar 11th. Japan's meteorological agency releases its first tsunami warnings just 3 mins later, the county 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 mins of a earthquake happening.

Information about the strength and the center of earthquake can be learnt within 3 mins. There are also concrete seawalls around much of the Japanese coastline, but these measures proved no match for the powerful earthquake and tsunami. C is a tsunami expert with the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Southern California in Los Angles.

Japan is one of the most well prepared countries on earth in terms of in tsunami warning, they had the warning, i think what was wrong is that they hadn't anticipated the size of the 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, the tsunami waves that followed were reported to have reached as high as 13 meters in some areas.  C says Japan's concrete seawalls were not built to handle such high waves.

“The concrete seawalls in many places in Japan about 10 meters, that is about 33 feets, in Sendai they were about 3 meters, that's about 10 feet, so that 's so used at least in that area they were not expecting such a sizable wave.”

A tsunami wave can travel as fast as 800 kilometers per hour, to get to higher ground people would often have to travel for many kilometers, this can take more time than a fast traveling tsunami will permit, this is especially true in cases like Japan where the center of the earthquake struck so close to the coast line.

The 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















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