Tsunami Aftermath

by Brittany Harris on March 14, 2011 at 8:25 am

Japan’s Prime Minister is calling the devastation of the recent tsunami the worst crisis since World War II.

The 8.9 magnitude earthquake that caused a tsunami to strike the island of Japan is leaving behind mass destruction. Reports show that nearly 10,000 people are believed to have died. Muskingum University Geology Professor Stephen Van Horn said the country is the most emergency prepared to deal with something this catastrophic.

"That country sits right an on active fault plate tectonic boundary and they have earthquakes and volcanic eruptions all the time there," said Van Horn.

Aftershocks of the earthquake are still continuing today. Portions of the west coast in the U.S. were also affected causing significant damage and possibly killing one person. Van Horn said northern California has the same tectonic setting as Japan and that it’s a cause for concern, but not an immediate threat.

"The fault zone is a little closer to the shoreline and a lot of geologists think that you would have a maximum of 15 minutes before a tsunami would strike the coastline and it’s also predicted it could be up to 100 foot high wave," said the professor.

He said earthquakes are difficult to predict and there is no telling when another one will occur.