Japan Tsunami - Biggest of All Time

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Japan is known for its numerous earthquakes and tsunami. Constantly earthquakes happen in Japan, but it is only a small tremor that does not shake anyone. But throughout history several strong earthquakes have happened and formed great tsunamis. In this article, we are going to know some of the tsunami that happened in Japan.

Hakuho - 684 AD

The first tsunami that happened in Japan was on November 29, 684 in the regions of Nankaido, Shikoku, Kii and Awaji. It is estimated that the earthquake was of magnitude 8.4, and the number of deaths is unknown.

Sendai - 869 AD

The Sendai region was hit by a big wave that caused flooding that extended over 4 km of the coast. The city of Tagajo was destroyed, with an estimated 1,000 victims. The responsible earthquake is called Sanriku.

Nankai - 887 AD

On August 26, 887 a major earthquake that hit Osaka, Shiga, Gifu and Nagano caused a tsunami that flooded the coastal region of Osaka, the tsunami was also observed off the coast of Hyuga, Miyazaki.

Kamakura - 1293 AD

A magnitude 7.1 earthquake caused a tsunami that hit Kamakura, with more than 23,000 dead including the fires caused by the earthquake.

Nankai - 1361 AD

On August 3, 1361 during the Shohei era, an 8.4 earthquake struck Nankaidō followed by a tsunami that hit Yukiminato and Awa, destroying more than 1,700 homes and drowning more than 60 people in Awa.

Nankai - 1498 AD

On September 20, 1498 an earthquake of 7.5 magnitude occurred and caused a tsunami. The port in Wakayama was damaged by a tsunami several meters high. More than 30,000 people died. The building around the great Kamakura Buddha (7m high) was swept away by the tsunami.Tsunami in Japan

Nankaidō - 1605 AD

On February 3, 1605, an 8.1 earthquake caused a tsunami over 30 meters high that was seen off the coast of Boso and on the island of Kyushu. More than 3,600 people drowned in the Shishikui area. The wave height reached 6-7m in Awa, 5-6m in Kannoura and 8-10m in Sakihama. In total, more than 5,000 drowned.

Seikaido-Nankaidō - 1698 AD

On December 22, 1698, a major tsunami hit Seikaido-Nankaidō.

Hoei - 1707 AD

On October 28, 1707, during the Hoei era, an earthquake of magnitude 8.4 caused a tsunami up to 10 m high that hit Kochi. More than 29,000 homes were destroyed and washed, causing 30,000 deaths. In Tosa province 11,170 houses were washed, and 18,441 people drowned. About 700 people were killed and 603 houses were washed in Osaka and waves reached up to 20 meters in Tanezaki.

Hokkaido - 1741 AD

On August 29, 1741, the western side of Hokkaido was hit by a tsunami associated with a volcanic eruption on the islands of Oshima. The cause of the tsunami is a major landslide, triggered by the eruption. 1467 people were killed in Hokkaido and 8 in Aomori.

Yaeyama Islands, Okinawa - 1771 AD

An undersea earthquake of an estimated magnitude of 7.4 occurred near the Yaeyama Islands in the ancient kingdom of Ryukyu (present-day Okinawa) on April 4, 1771 at around 8:00 am. The earthquake did not result in any deaths, but a tsunami killed approximately 12,000 people. It is estimated that the waves reached up to 80 meters. The tsunami also caused long-lasting effects that were epidemics, malaria and ended up destroying and harming crops.

Mount Unzen, Nagasaki, Kyushu - 1792 AD

The eruption of Mount Unzen in Nagasaki caused earthquakes, avalanches and even a tsunami that hit Higo and Ariake province causing more than 5,000 deaths.

Tsunami in Japan

Nankai, Tokai, and Kyushu - 1854

The earthquake that hit the Ansei south coast of Japan was actually a set of three earthquakes, two magnitude 8.4 earthquakes and a 7.4 earthquake over the course of several days.

  • An earthquake of magnitude 8.4 on November 4, 1854, close to what is today Aichi and Shizuoka produced 4-6 meter tsunamis;
  • Another 8.4 magnitude earthquake on November 5 in Wakayama. The resulting tsunami reached a height of 8.4 m. More than 1,443 people died;
  • A 7.4 magnitude earthquake on November 7, 1854 in the prefecture of Ehime and Oita;

The total result was 80,000-100,000 deaths. (Earthquakes + Tsunamis)

Edo (Tokyo) - 1855 AD

A major earthquake and tsunami broke out in Tokyo, killing 4,500 to 10,000 people.

Meiji Sanriku - 1896 AD

On June 15, 1896, around 7:36 pm, a major undersea earthquake struck off the coast of Sanriku, northeast of Honshu, which triggered tsunami waves that hit the coast about half an hour later. The earthquake killed no one, but the tsunami hit waves of 30 meters, and killed about 27,000 people.

Tsunami in Japan

Kanto - 1923 AD

The Great Kanto Earthquake, which occurred in eastern Japan on September 1, 1923, and devastated Tokyo, Yokohama and the surrounding area, caused tsunamis that hit the Shonan coast, the Boso Peninsula, Izu Islands and the east coast of the Izu. At Atami, waves were recorded that reached 12 meters. Examples of tsunami damage include about 100 people killed along the Yuigahama beach in Kamakura and an estimated 50 people in Enoshima. However, tsunamis represented only a small proportion of the final death toll of more than 100,000, most of which were killed in the fire.

Showa Sanriku - 1933 AD

On March 3, 1933, the Sanriku coast in northeastern Honshu caused an 8.1 earthquake, destroying some 5,000 homes and killing 3,068 people, the vast majority as a result of tsunami waves. The prefecture of Iwate lost 42% of its population and 98% of its buildings. Taro is now protected by a huge tsunami wall, currently 10 meters high and over 2 kilometers long.

Tonankai - 1944 AD

1,223 people were killed by the wave caused by an 8.0 earthquake on December 7, 1944, about 20 km from the Shima Peninsula.

Nankaidō - 1946 AD

The Nankai earthquake on December 21, 1946 had a magnitude of 8.4 at 04:19 (local time). It caused a wave that took 1,451 houses and caused 1,500 deaths.

Niigata - 1964 AD

28 people died and entire buildings were destroyed by liquefaction. The tsunami destroyed the port of Niigata.

Okushiri, Hokkaido - 1993 AD

A devastating tsunami occurred along the coasts of Hokkaido, the result of a magnitude 7.8 earthquake 130 km off the coast on July 12, 1993. Within minutes, the Japan Meteorological Agency issued a tsunami warning, which was broadcast by NHK in English and Japanese. However, it was already too late for Okushiri, a small island near the epicenter, where some waves reached 30 meters and hit within two to five minutes of the earthquake. Despite being surrounded by tsunami barriers, Aonae, a small village, was devastated over the next hour by 13 waves of over two meters in height that came in from various directions. Of 250 people killed as a result of the earthquake, 197 were victims of the tsunami that hit Okushiri, the waves also caused deaths on the coast of Hokkaido.

Tsunami in Japan - Tohoku - 2011 AD

On March 11, 2011, along the Pacific coast of Japan, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake produced a 10-meter-high tsunami along the northeast coast of Japan. The wave caused widespread devastation, with an official count of 18,550 people killed. The biggest tsunami recorded in Miyako, Iwate reached a total height of 40.5 meters. In addition, the wave caused several explosions at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Tsunami alerts have been issued across the Pacific coast.

Tsunami in Japan

As devastating as it is, we cannot be afraid, the unforeseen can happen anywhere. Not to mention that throughout the history of Japan, all these deaths caused are not even close to the deaths caused by violence and recklessness of traffic in Brazil.

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