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How to Do Post-Earthquake Press

By March 12, 2011

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An Associated Press article by Alicia Chang and Seth Borenstein, titled "Quake is 5th biggest, but Japan best prepared" has been widely published in today's newspapers. I want to single it out for attention and praise. Attention, because it covers all the basic questions about the great Sendai earthquake and what other quake/tsunami-prone nations can take away from the disaster. Praise, because the story followed an exemplary public-information blitz by U.S. government geoscientists. A phone conference Friday afternoon made a wide range of experts available from FEMA and the USGS who supplied most of the quotes in the article.


March 13, 2011 at 3:30 pm
(1) Esa says:

Japan did move 2.4 meters and ocean floor 18 meters according to news that I did read. The question is which direction plates horizontal movements happened against global grid?

March 16, 2011 at 10:51 am
(2) Don Mathews says:

Yes that is the question. How far and in what direction did the pacific plate move and did that increase of decrease pressure on the Cascadia subduction zone.

March 16, 2011 at 10:12 pm
(3) Geology Guide says:

Esa and Don, there is nothing troubling in the correct news. The Pacific plate and the plate under Japan moved toward each other, and only one point in Japan recorded eastward motion of 2.4 meters–the many GPS points around it moved a smaller amount because the Japanese plate is slightly flexible, like all plates. The two plates did not move any faster or farther than they usually do (a few centimeters per year), they merely changed shape the way your hands change shape when you push them together. The two plates actually relaxed as the strain inside them was relieved. There is no effect on the opposite side of the Pacific.

May 26, 2011 at 4:27 pm
(4) Esa says:

It took for me a while to find the links below:



These webpages show what I tried to ask in my first imprecise comment.

May 26, 2011 at 11:40 pm
(5) Geology Guide says:

Thanks for locating those. They are local deformations and have no effect on the other side of the Pacific.

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