Describe two tsunami mitigation systems that failed during the 2011 Tohoku earthquake.

Describe two tsunami mitigation systems that failed during the 2011 Tohoku earthquake.
In March of 2011 Japan suffered one of the greatest earthquakes in history (Cuadra, 2022). However, Japan is an industrialized country and was well aware of its vulnerability and susceptibility to earthquake and tsunami type disasters. As compared to other cases we’ve studied this semester in which tsunamis or cyclone’s threatened coastal communities, Japan was much more well prepared for and equipped to respond than they were. Japan had several mitigation systems in place to help thwart threats to life and property. Tsunami breakwaters, sea walls, and tsunami gates were in place and their construction was engineered based off great tsunami disasters Japan faced in years gone by (Cuadra, 2022). However, in this case, the tsunami that impacted Japan’s eastern coast as a result of the massive earthquake overpowered many of these mitigation systems. Although Japan made a valiant effort to mitigate their risk, the scale and magnitude of this disaster was not able to be harnessed and corralled by Japan’s systems. As a result, much of Japan’s infrastructure was destroyed and thousands of lives were lost. Included in this destruction was Japan’s power grid as several nuclear power plants were damaged or destroyed (Okada Noria et al, 2011). Japan attempted to respond to failing power plants by introducing water as coolant to overheating systems which in turn created and steam. The pressure from the steam contributed to the failing systems ultimately resulting in catastrophic loss (Okada Noria et al, 2011). Japan created marvelous manmade mitigation systems to help relieve the impact of such a disaster but ultimately mother nature overpowered and washed away wooden homes. Japan did well in enforcing building codes and using concreate construction material which helped with the initial earthquake. This seemed to be a very unfortunate case illustrating that sometimes even though people have really tried to mitigate and prevent disaster, it is out of human control.
Cuadra, J. (2022). Tohoku Kanto Earthquake Japan Video Lecture. Tallahassee:
Okada Norio1, T. Y. (2011). The 2011 Eastern Japan Great Earthquake Disaster: . Int. J. Disaster Risk Sci., pp. 34-42.

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