Japanese Earthquake

Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Satellite image of Japan in May 2003

On March 11, 2011, an 9.0 magnitude earthquake hit Japan. This quake is the 5th largest on record. The quake also caused tsunamis that affected Japan, Hawaii, and the west coast of the United States. According to U.S. Geological Survey Scientist Brian Atwater,

"The energy radiated by this quake is nearly equal to one month’s worth of energy consumption.”

In the aftermath of the quake, Japan's energy and transportation infrastructure has been severely damaged, and operators are trying to contend with emergencies at 5 nuclear reactors.

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