On March 11, 2011, Japan experienced the strongest earthquake in its recorded history. The earthquake struck below the North Pacific Ocean, 130 kilometers (81 miles) east of Sendai. Sendai is the largest city in Tohoku, the northeastern region on the island of Honshu. The earthquake is named after this region.
The Tohoku earthquake triggered a tsunami. A tsunami is a series of powerful waves caused by an event such as an underwater earthquake or volcanic eruption. The Tohoku tsunami hit the coast of Japan with waves up to 40 meters (132 feet) tall.
The Tohoku earthquake and tsunami were terribly destructive. The tsunami destroyed homes, businesses, roads, railways, and factories. The most devastating impacts were probably the damaged reactors at a nuclear power plant, which released radioactive material into the environment and forced people to leave the area for years.
large settlement with a high population density.
geographic territory with a distinct name, flag, population, boundaries, and government.
to disable or weaken.
harm that reduces usefulness or value.
to ruin or make useless.
very destructive or damaging.
forced removal of something, often people or organisms, from their communities or original space.
the sudden shaking of Earth's crust caused by the release of energy along fault lines or from volcanic activity.
conditions that surround and influence an organism or community.
to leave or remove from a dangerous place.
part of a body of water deep enough for ships to dock.
meaning or effect.
structures and facilities necessary for the functioning of a society, such as roads.
body of land surrounded by water.
industrial facility for the generation of electric energy.
having unstable atomic nuclei and emitting subatomic particles and radiation.
any area on Earth with one or more common characteristics. Regions are the basic units of geography.
movement of tectonic plates resulting in geologic activity such as volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.
to cause or begin a chain of events.
ocean waves triggered by an earthquake, volcano, or other movement of the ocean floor.
activity that includes a discharge of gas, ash, or lava from a volcano.
moving swell on the surface of water.