As the world is well aware, this past Friday, a devastating earthquake measuring 8.9 on the Richter scale rocked the country of Japan. As Thomas H. Maugh II reported in the Los Angeles Times on the day of the quake, the magnitude of the earthquake makes it the biggest in the nation’s history.
The earthquake, which unleashed a tsunami, has ravished Japan’s coastline leaving hundreds dead and thousands more missing. Reminiscent of the earthquake taking place in Chile last year, this natural disaster has already caused immeasurable destruction in the Japan Trench. This is the area where the Pacific tectonic plate slides under the Japan plate.
Following the horrific earthquake were two aftershocks with magnitudes of more than 7. Maugh notes that researchers are expecting more to follow. Seismologist Susan Hough commented that the quake was a “perfect storm for tsunami generation.” Taking place just 130 kilometres offshore, it gave people on land next to no warning that major tidal waves were on the way.
Newscasts on nearly every television station broadcast images of the immense flooding and fires that broke out throughout Japan during the weekend. A nuclear power plant was seen ablaze and was set to explode. It is evident that, at this time, the worst of the earthquake/tsunami in Japan is yet to come.
The immense magnitude of the quake sent waves as far as the shores of the United States. Hough advised in Maugh’s article that “given the size of the tsunami near the epicentre, if I were in a low-lying area, I would get out of the way.” The death toll, at this time, is not exact but the numbers are expected to escalate in the coming days.
As massive as this quake was, Maugh noted that in the past century there have been even greater quakes. He writes: “The Indonesian earthquake that produced the Indian Ocean tsunami on Dec. 26, 2004, was a magnitude 9.1. The largest quake on record was the 9.5 temblor that struck Valdivia, Chile, in 1960.”
As the Synergy Merchant Services Blog did during the Chile earthquake crisis of last year, we will continue to monitor the situation in Japan and provide details as to how you may assist with the relief effort over the coming weeks. Our concerns and well-wishes are most certainly with the people of Japan at this time.