2011 Japan Tsunami vs. 2004 Indian Tsunami

  • By reComparison Contributor
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Difference between 2011 Japan Tsunami and 2004 Indian Tsunami

Tsunamis are formed when ocean waves come pouring onto the coast and the devastation that the water deluge causes is of a high magnitude. Usually, tsunamis follow earthquakes that occur in the area, which was the case with the recent Japanese tsunami and the Indian tsunami. However, though both of these were horrible events, there are some big differences between the two: the death count, the way each location was prepared for this type of event and the magnitude of the earthquakes that caused the tsunamis.

2011 Japan Tsunami
2004 Indian Tsunami

Death Count

The death counts for the Japanese tsunami are still rolling in. Right now they are estimating around 10,000 have been killed due to the tsunami that wreaked havoc through the area. However, the Indian Tsunami killed hundreds of thousands when it hit the enormous range of coastal areas, which is the main difference between the two that experts are pointing out. The majority of people are citing that the Japan tsunami did not have as high of a death count because the area was more readily prepared for such events.

Preparation for a Tsunami

Those who have ever experienced a tsunami know that once the earthquake hits, the majority of these areas have around ten minutes before the tsunami hits. This is where the two tsunamis differ completely. Emergency sirens and services in Japan were already warning people to get to higher ground because a tsunami was going to hit. There was however, at least on instance where the earthquake tragically knocked out the emergency siren. However, for those who experienced the Indian tsunami, they basically reported having no warning, thus people were caught completely off guard. Those who lived near the coast of Japan were always taught that following an earthquake the chances of a tsunami were expected immediately following. Therefore they automatically kicked into survival mode, whereas the Indian, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan, Indonesian and Thai communities simply did not have this level of formal survival education.

Magnitude of Earthquakes that Caused Tsunami

Both of these regions experienced earthquakes that are considered some of the strongest that the world has seen in many years. Both the Indian and Japanese earthquakes were recorded at 9.0 magnitudes. They both occurred around eight miles off the shoreline which gave scientists, emergency response devices and people near the shores about the same amount of time to respond. Approximately 230,000 people lost their lives due to the Indian tsunami and the world responded with a gasp, disaster aid and a resolve to improve emergency response technology and public management under such conditions going forward.

Japan is located on a volatile fault location and experiences earthquakes quite often. All structures are built to withstand earthquakes and tsunamis, most inhabited areas have flood walls in place. There are 55 nuclear power plants in Japan which proved not to withstand dire effects of the 9.0 earthquake. In addition, the earthquake and aftershocks seem to be affecting volcanic activity on the island.

Similarities and Differences

  • Both of these tsunamis caused many problems for the citizens of the area, and caused many deaths.
  • The Japan tsunami is recording a number of around 10,000 being killed, however the final count is still not known.
  • The Indian tsunami killed hundreds about 230,000.
  • Japan was more prepared for a tsunami as they had warning systems in place and people were much more knowledgeable about what could happen.
  • The Indian tsunami was somewhat of a surprise to those in the area, and because of this they were not ready to handle the effects.
  • The Indian tsunami affected about 20 different communities in proximal coastal areas.
  • The Japanese tsunami affected far fewer people. The present dangers posed by the highly unstable coastal nuclear power plants are aggravated by the fact that there is no visibility regarding what is happening inside. The contracting service which manages the nuclear plant operations is not willing to share information openly with the anyone outside - apparently this includes the Japanese government and highly respected foreign nuclear physicists. 

2011 Japanese Tsunami smashes boats, cars and everything

2004 Indian Tsunami

 
 

Discuss It: comments 8

really cool

  • Guest
  • Someone Else wrote on April 2011

Not really cool killed thousands of people that could have been really inportant and that would suck epically so thats really death caped...

this is really sad. so many lives lost. my class have to do a project about tsunamis, i was chosen to do the comparssion between japan and indonesia. i hate this everytime i watch a video it brings me close to tears. my hopes and prayers go out to these people.

  • Guest
  • andy p. wrote on 2 days ago

god bless you :)

  • Guest
  • anonymous wrote on January 2012

Innocent people killed for no reason. It horrible. No one deserves to die like that. I mean, think of all the children that would have been orphaned on those terrible days.

  • Guest
  • byron sexy wrote on March 2012

saddnesssssssssss

  • Guest
  • BANANA LWMINWS wrote on March 2013

SAD TIMES!

  • Guest
  • Mared wrote on April 2014

I'm in the middle of a project comparing the Japan tsunami 2011 and the Indian Ocean tsunami 2004, and even though thousands upon thousands of lives perished in those disasters, I doubt, after learning so much about both tsunamis over the last couple of days, that those disasters will happen again, as in they won't have the same effect ever again. The world has learnt so much from these tsunamis. I still get really upset when watching video footage of the tsunamis though :(

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