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This mix includes raw sewage, which adds to the potential for disease.
This tsunami, caused by a massive earthquake that measured 9.0 on the Richter scale, reached a maximum height of 40.5 meters (133 feet), traveled as much as 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) inland and was responsible for 20,000 deaths, as well as the widespread release of radiation.
The reactor cooling systems apparently functioned normally during the event, but the facility's protective seawall was too low to shield the backup generators from the advancing wave.
The mass destruction caused by a tsunami is devastating.
Buildings and homes can be torn from their foundations.
A tsunami is a series of large waves generated by an abrupt movement on the ocean floor.
They are caused by the movement of the ocean due to earthquakes, landslides, volcanic eruptions, or the shifting of tectonic plates.Many tsunamis are too small to notice, but some can have a leading wave as tall as 30 meters or more.As powerful as a wave this size is, however, it's the mass of water behind it that is responsible for most of the physical destruction.“Most strong earthquakes occur in subduction zones where an ocean plate slides under a continental plate or another younger ocean plate”(NEAMTIC).These causes can then lead to the ocean rising into large waves leading to a tsunami.The wave crashes against objects near the shore and destroys them, but the water behind it can move much farther inland, lifting buildings off their foundations and creating a swirling pool of debris.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the bulk of deaths that result from a tsunami are drownings, but, due to the destruction of public health and sanitation infrastructure, health conditions deteriorate so badly when the tsunami recedes that many more people die in the days after the event.The Japanese word "tsunami" means "big wave," and it's the preferred way to refer to the phenomena that used to be known as tidal waves.Tsunamis don't have much to do with ocean tides -- they are created by seismic events, such as earthquakes and landslides on the ocean floor.Salt inhibits plant growth and can render farmland sterile for several years.The entire contents of commercial and industrial buildings can be washed out by the mass of water, and as a result, chemicals can get mixed together in dangerous combinations and may be washed out to sea or deposited on the ground.