Peter Sammonds Professor of Geophysics

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1 Peter Sammonds Professor of Geophysics Director, UCL Institute for Risk & Disaster Reduction NERC Strategic Advisor The precautionary principle: Natural hazards and critical infrastructure Acknowledge EEFIT Team: Antonios Great Pomonis, East Japan Keiko (Tohoku) Saito, Stuart Fraser, Siau Earthquake, Chen Chian, 11 th Katsu March Goda, 2011, Joshua Macabuag, Mark Arahama Offord, Beach: Alison Vertical Raby Evacuation Structure

2 Japan Trench UCL Institute for Risk & Disaster Reduction Was the 11 th March 2011 Tohoku earthquake forecast? Earthquakes expected in the source region had much smaller magnitude M 7.4 to 8.2 From 6 smaller fault segments based on historical seismicity The March 11 earthquake ruptured all 6 segments in a single earthquake. HERP: Headquarters for Earthquake Research Promotion (2009) map of fault segments along the Japan subduction zones with the 11 th March Great East Japan Earthquake marked. Honshu Kuril Trench

3 Could the Tohoku earthquake be forecast? Magnitude yes! Ignore coloured dots Slip-deficit from modelled GPS (Igarashi 2003 JGR). Similar to the slip patch last Friday? Earthquakes aftershocks

4 Design tsunami height was 5.4 to 5.7 m Elevation of the plant was set higher Fukushima Daiichi NPS is 10 m to 13 Tsunami on 11th March 2011 was 14 to 15 m high It struck the sea defences and overwhelmed the sea protection walls of the plant Fukushima Daiichi site (TEPCO)

5 Was the 11 th March 2011 Tohoku tsunami forecast? Within 10 minutes of the first tsunami reached the coast as minor backwash 10s cm high mins after the earthquake huge 4-7 m high run up attacked the coastal lowlands. The Sanriku coast have suffered repeated tsunami in 1896, 1933 and 1960 (Chilean) earthquakes Taro So nobody had expected such high tsunami But tsunami in 869 and m high had devastated the Sendai plain Arahama Taro, Sanriku Beach, coast Sendai Koji Okumura, Hiroshima University

6 Becomes Obsolete SXSW: How Smart Gadgets Let Us Down Did the warning systems and response work? Credit: Japan Meteorological Agency. Significant errors in warning issued SXSW: Building Human Rights Into Social This image shows the location of detected seismic activity, and its severity (Japan uses a different scale for measuring the intensity of earthquakes). Further information here. B L O G conference gadgets game dynamics social networks SXSW television Estimated deaths for Tohoku earthquake ~8000 before 2011 Credit: Japan Meteorological Agency But army response was flexible within existing plan Warnings and evacuations did fail in part But excellent education and preparation saved 10,000 lives The graphic above shows the stages involved with triggered Japan's earthquake warning system. Further information can be found at this page of the Japan Meteorological Agency. F Credit: NOAA

7 Interrogating the Precautionary Principle Precautionary Principle in Maastrict Treaty and Rio Declaration of Principles Economic analysis of uncertainty: Expected Value versus Expected Utility (David Pearce)

8 Is this the Big One? Great Kanto Earthquake 1923 No JMA Intensities

9 Great Kanto Earthquake 1923 Great Kanto earthquake (Mw = 7.9; M s = 8.2) Occurred along the Sagami Trough in the Sagami Bay on 1 September 1923 One of the most disastrous earthquakes in Japanese history Refugees Imperial Palace Saiten Tamura Earthquake claimed 99,331 dead, 43,746 missing, and left 3.4 million homeless Major social consequences - systematic massacres & political assassinations

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