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16 June 2014

Watch buildings move during earthquakes

Through literal eons of Earth’s history, earthquakes have heaved the ground, shuddered the trees, and sent fauna scurrying. Yet aside from the occasional tsunami and the localized sloughing of rock faces and hillsides, they’d never really been directly injurious to the animal kingdom. …Until the animals started “sheltering” themselves under ponderous weights of precarious things. As the adage goes, “earthquakes don’t kill people; buildings do.” That edifice that so importantly protects you …

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12 March 2014

Tohoku tsunami maps: lessons for the Pacific Northwest

As we pass the three-year mark since one of the most astoundingly gargantuan earthquakes in human history, we marvel at the unprecedented opportunity it gave us to understand earthquakes, tsunamis, oceanic subduction, litho-hydro-atmospheric coupling, plate tectonics, and the Earth itself. We can also appreciate, with humble reverence, the lessons it continues to teach us about the social dimensions of disaster trauma, risk, and resilience. Japan continues to struggle, now largely …

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13 August 2013

Another heart-stopping tsunami video from Japan

A “new” video has emerged of the Tohoku tsunami racing inland in a Japanese port town. I don’t know that it’s never been released before, but I sure haven’t seen it, and I’ve seen basically all of them. The video is embedded at the end of this post. Update 8/19/13: I have changed the video link to a more original YouTube video. It appears that the videographer is a Mr. …

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21 November 2012

Amazing liquefaction in Tokyo

A new video from Japan [embedded below] shows liquefaction occurring at a scale and scope that I haven’t seen before in video footage. The video is from Urayasu  town, Chiba Prefecture–an industrial suburb of Tokyo that appears to be sited on made land adjacent to Tokyo Bay. No wonder it sloshes so heavily: made land (fill) is particularly susceptible to liquefaction. We just can’t pack things down the way nature can …

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17 June 2011

First-hand documentaries from the Tohoku quake and tsunami

Several eye-witnesses of the March 11 M9.0 in Japan have posted chilling first-hand footage of their experiences. The following two videos document the entire disaster, from the shaking until deep into the tsunami. First, here’s the harrowing video taken by a professional storm chaser who happened to be in Otsuchi, Japan doing volunteer work for Save Japan Dolphins when the earthquake roared along the coast. He struggles to keep his …

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5 May 2011

Swaying high-rises and resonance frequencies

In a post a few weeks ago I linked to a humbling video of high-rise buildings in Tokyo swaying after the 9.0 quake. Well, those buildings were full of tens of thousands of people, plenty of whom had cameras. That video was only the beginning; below are many more that capture the dramatic oscillation of the towering steel edifices. The swaying is especially clear in the following video, likely filmed …

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18 April 2011

Japanese videos of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami

So many videos of the March 11 M9.0 Tohoku earthquake and ensuing tsunami exist that collecting and disseminating them is a daunting task. In my three earlier posts on the subject I referred you to a variety of perspectives of both events (the quake and the tsunami). Since then plenty more clips have emerged, and continue to. I’ll make an attempt to guide you to a few of the more …

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