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Friday, March 11th, 2011 10:28 am
Though I realize that the events happened less than 12 hours ago and that it'll take some time to get lines of communication reestablished so the people affected may not even see this... my heart goes out to you, my Japanese friends. Stay safe, heed the evacuation warnings, and boil tap water for 10 minutes before drinking.

I don't know of a country which has a more well prepared infrastructure or people for earthquakes. These are hard times, but I'm certain Japan will overcome with both dignity and grace.
Friday, March 11th, 2011 06:49 pm (UTC)
Totally agree with you.
It was a huge susprise for me, turn on the TV and watch the water erase kms of japanese lands...T-T
Now i'm prying the Fuji doesn't wake up or something like that!
Yes...i know...i'm very pessimist....
Friday, March 11th, 2011 07:16 pm (UTC)
I was watching the local news when it happened last night and they preempted the news to watch the tsunami live. The water just kept coming, swallowing cars which were trying to get away. It was... horrific.

I doubt Fuji will go because I *think* those are two different tectonic forces at work. I'm more concerned about their nuclear cooling plants. :/
Friday, March 11th, 2011 09:02 pm (UTC)
They're different, but very much related. Mt. Fuji is a volcano formed by the subduction zone at the triple plate junction where the Okhotsk, Amurian, and Phillipine Sea plates meet. And subduction zones (where one plate slips under another) are responsible for the majority of severe earthquakes (including the 1960 Chilean quake, the most severe ever recorded at a 9.5 on the Richter scale) because the temperature difference causes the rock to deform in a more brittle and rapid fashion.

But yeah, I'm worried more about the nuclear plants, too, because even with the more severe earthquakes Japan has had, Fuji is still classified as a low-risk mountain.
Friday, March 11th, 2011 11:31 pm (UTC)
Now that is really cool and interesting information. All I knew about faults was that the one I live by, the San Andreas, is a slip fault. Interesting that subduction zones are more hazardous.
Saturday, March 12th, 2011 12:13 am (UTC)
It's because there's two different mechanisms at work. With the San Andreas, which is a strike-slip fault, the quakes happen when there's slippage along the fault line horizontally. This causes some pretty bad quakes (such as the infamous Loma Prieta quake that leveled half of San Francisco in 1989), but it's rare for those types of quakes to get above a 6.0 because there's only so far the fault can slip due to static friction.

In a subduction zone, on the other hand, you have cold seafloor crust slipping below another plate and back into the earth's mantle, cooling it slightly near the surface. This disrupts the normal geothermal gradient (the rate at which the interior of the earth gets hotter the deeper you go), and causes the rock above it to change size and shape while still solid, because of the lower temperature of the mantle directly below it.

Not only that, but as the plate flexes, it can cause outer rise quakes further away from the subduction zone itself. This, by the way, is the type of quake that caused the Christmas Eve tsunami in 2009.

/geology geeking
Friday, March 11th, 2011 08:17 pm (UTC)
I was chatting to a friend when it happened. I was amazed at the fact that she had internet even during an earthquake...
Friday, March 11th, 2011 08:30 pm (UTC)
Oh best friend is living in Japan right now. The only way I can contact her is internet...I hope she's all right :(
Friday, March 11th, 2011 11:33 pm (UTC)
Oh no!!! I hope you are able to get in touch with her shortly :(
Friday, March 11th, 2011 11:57 pm (UTC)
One of my patients is from Japan and still has family there 30 miles inland from the Tsunami, I asked if she has heard from them and she said the lines were to busy to get through, but she wasn't to worried because they are so far inland from the coast.