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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 strike the north eastern court in Japan at 2:46pm local time on March 11. Japan's Media Relogical Agency release 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 pins in place throughout Japan to measure earthquake activity. These meters provide information within two minutes after the earthquake happening. Information about the strength and the center of the earthquake can be learned within three minutes. There are also sea walls around nuch of the Japanese court lands. But these measures proved no match for the powerful earthquake and tsunami.


C.S is a tsunami expert with the department of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.


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He says there are two reasons for this. Japan has not had any event 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 recoded world wide. It was also the worst earthquake ever to hit Japan. The tsunami waves that followed were reported to reach as high as 13 meters in some areas. C.S says Japan's sea walls were not built to handle such high waves.


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A tsunami wave can travel as fast as 800 kilometers per hour. To get a higher ground, people were 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 court 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 prodictied.


And that's the VOA Special English Technology Report. Written by J.S. You can find more news about the disaster in Japan at our web site voaspecialenglish.com. You can also find transcripts, MP3s and podcasts of our report. And you can find these on facebook and tweeter at VOA Learning English. I'm Steve Ember.

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