A Case Of Earthquake In Hokkaido

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Throughout centuries in our nations have experienced different natural disasters that have required recovery and creating new emergency assistance program. On September 6, 2018, in northern island of Hokkaido, Japan an earthquake magnitude of 6.7 reaching the maximum of 7 on Japan’s seismic intensity scale in some areas. According to International Civil Defense Organization (2018), earthquake or seismic tremor is a good description of the natural phenomenon which suddenly strikes an area causing damage that varies according to the intensity of the quake and local geological conditions.  Earthquakes are also defined as, sudden slippages or movements in a portion of the earth’s crust accompanied by a series of vibrations.

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Many times, earthquakes happen without warning in areas all around the world. Furthermore, earthquakes have more natural disaster consequences such as, after-tremors, which tend to occur with hours, days, or months from the initial earthquake, earthquakes may also trigger volcanic eruptions, landslides, and avalanches. One of the most common consequences of earthquakes are Tsunamis, due to collapsing sea or lake beds which result from earthquakes or volcanic eruption.  During a strong earthquake, the suggested preventative methods if located outside, be aware of collapsing buildings and falling materials and infrastructures, it is also suggested avoiding the use of telephones unless necessary.

         The earthquake hits Japan northern island of Hokkaido, the quake centered east of the city of Tomakomai. Prior to earthquake hitting Japan, during that same week the country had battered by deadly typhoons, flooding, and a record heatwave (Reuters, 2018). Jebi described to be the deadliest typhoon to hit Japan in 25 years, which brought the earthquake to its heels killed at least 10 people and caused widespread damage, closure of Japan’s busiest airport several days, and disturbances. Considering the previous natural disasters that occurred, as a country Japan should have been prepared or possibly conducted studies of possible natural disaster occurring. The previous natural disasters could have the possible warning that the earthquake would occur. Therefore, warning signs and possible prevention could have been provided to the population of Hokkaido, due to the recent, natural disasters.

Additionally, the results of the earthquake, caused loss of power supply for nearly 3 million people, also different municipalities in Hokkaido reported areas where water service was not functioning. Approximately, 250 hospitals were running on generators, Hokkaido Electric Power, the company that operated the plant, had not detected any changes in radiation levels. Power was not restored for about a week or more. On Thursday, September 13, 2018 power was restored to approximately 1.4 million households. Furthermore, the disaster resulted in approximately 40 people missing and more than 150 people injured by the earthquake and four deaths occurred near the epicenter of the earthquake.

The aftermath of Hokkaido resulted in landslides that buried houses and paralyzed Hokkaido. After, the earthquake authorities did urge residents to pay full attention for possible to seismic activity caused by the earthquake. The earthquake also caused loss of power supply for nearly 3 million people, also different municipalities in Hokkaido reported areas where water service was not functioning.

 Interesting facts about this natural disaster was the quick response of different emergency management agency for example, defense force soldiers were deployed to help with rescue operations and helicopter crews were also dispatched. An interesting fact of this event is The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has published a safety guide for earthquakes and their aftermath. As previously mentioned, Japan is considered at high risk for natural disasters, as well as, nuclear accidents. Thus, it is crucial for Japan to have an emergency management assistance program created. As a result, in 2007, the government’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency launched what became extremely popular in Japan the J-Alert, a satellite-based system that enables local authorities to transmit warning messages directly to local media and citizens (“J-Alert: disaster warning technology in Japan”, 2016). According to Japanese officials it takes about 1 second to inform local officials, and between 4 and 20 seconds to relay the message to citizens. All warnings, except for severe weather warnings, are broadcast in five languages: Japanese, English, Mandarin, Korean and Portuguese (“J-Alert: disaster warning technology in Japan”, 2016).

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