More from 2011 Tohoku (Great East Japan) Earthquake

Posted by cdj On April - 12 - 2012

The great Tohoku earthquake and tsunami that struck off the Pacific coast of Japan in March, 2011 compels engineers and policy-makers to reconsider disaster preparedness around the Pacific Ocean. For example, Tohoku earthquake reconnaissance observations by the Structural Engineers Association of Washington (SEAW) [first published in June 2011] provide a short overview with terse implications for the U.S. Pacific Northwest coast.
The ongoing disaster associated with TEPCO’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power generating plant remains a principal focus of concern – for example several sections of the International Symposium on Engineering Lessons Learned from the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, Tokyo : March 2012, including the short paper, Katsuichirou Hijikata (Tokyo Electric Power Company), Makoto Takahashi, Takayuki Aoyagi and Mitsugu Mashimo – “Behavior of a Base-isolated Building at Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant during the Great East Japan Earthquake” outlining one of the apparently few, success stories at the site. Many of the symposium papers, including the four papers: [1, 2, 3, 4] from the Symposium section “Damage to Nuclear Power Stations” are now available in Nisee’s e-library. The Symposium section titled simply “Tsunami” provides twenty-one technical papers on tsunami generation and damage caused by large wave run-up often associated with offshore earthquakes around the Pacific Ocean. Another paper by Yoshikazu Takahashi reports damaged rubber bearings and dampers on some highway bridges in the 2011 earthquake suggesting “the Great East Japan Earthquake disproved a widespread myth of the rubber bearing’s safety.”
More popularly, the NY Times recently reported publication of significantly revised tsunami hazard maps for Japan, joining the 2005 national seismic hazard maps for Japan as Northeast, coastal Japan ponders the possibilities of reconstruction.

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