Earthquake News

Remembrance, readiness, and reconstruction following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

One year after the terrible Great East Japan Earthquake, the world mourns the loss of life, pays its respects, and considers ways to stop similar tragedies in the future.

As Fukushima Prefecture and the country rebuild from the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, JAPAN'S indomitable spirit has been on soulful display for the past 12 months.

Events starting at 10 a.m. will honor the March 11, 2011, tragedy that claimed 20,000 lives. to 3 p.m. at Seattle Center on Sunday. The Fisher Pavilion is the site of the opening ceremony. At 2 p.m. The International Fountain's Kobe Bell, to the north, will ring. At 2:46 PM, there will be a minute of silence. when a 9.0 earthquake hit Japan's northeast shore and a 46-foot wall of water followed it.

Kobe's residents gave the bell to Seattle as a gift for the 1962 World's Fair. A 1995 earthquake cost 6,425 people their lives in Kobe. 143,000 people died in a 1923 earthquake in Kanto, Japan.

The revival of Japan's nuclear-power industry has been hampered by this terrible past as a result of the meltdown of three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi facility and radiation leakage from a fourth. The nation questions why adequate measures to secure the plant and adhere to greater safety requirements were not done.

All but two of Japan's 54 reactors at 17 locations have been shut down as a result of the tragedy, which has affected about a third of the country's electricity output. Although some closures are the result of safety upgrades and stress tests, many local governments are hesitant to restart reactors.

Travel advisories have been reduced by the American authorities to a smaller region near the damaged power facility.

Here on the opposite side of the Pacific Ring of Fire, the sobering lessons of Japan are being monitored. Maria Cantwell, a U.S. senator from Washington, and Peter Goldmark, the state's commissioner of public lands, have expressed worry over federal plans to reduce funding for programs that mitigate hazards including tsunami warning systems.

Additionally, Cantwell cautions the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration not to lose focus on the possible risk posed by tsunami debris moving in this direction.

Learning from Japan's catastrophe in order to save lives and safeguard the economy is one way to show respect for the country's tragic experience. The fundamental earthquake question for Puget Sound and the Pacific Coast is when, not if. Emergency planning is essential.

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