New footage has surfaced from the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan, and the incredible enhanced video shows the terrifying destructive power of the tsunami.
The tsunami was directly caused by the magnitude 9.0 'megathrust' earthquake that struck off the coast just half an hour beforehand, at around 2:45 p.m. Japan local time. The sudden movement of that much earth all at once set off a shockwave through the water that not only hit the Japanese coast, but also made it all the way to North and South America. As the video shows, the incoming tsunami pulled all the water ahead of it out to sea, draining the coastline and rivers down to their bottom, before the wave itself came crashing in, destroying entire communities and pushing tons of debris along with it.
Of the nearly 16 thousand people who lost their lives in this tragic disaster, it's estimated that over 90% of them were killed by the tsunami, and over 2,600 people are still missing.
The awesome power of this event is still shocking, even more than two years after it happened.
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One after-effect of the disaster that's still being felt even today is the damage done to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, which was directly in the path of the tsunami. Even as recently as three weeks ago, news surfaced that the plant was leaking radioactive contamination into the Pacific Ocean. An innovative solution to this has been proposed, though, which would involve trapping the contaminants behind a wall of ice.
The plan, detailed on Bloomberg, is to install pipes around the site with coolant running through them. The coolant would freeze the water in the soil solid, trapping any contaminants within the perimeter of ice. According to the Bloomberg article, this same technique was used at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee when it was producing weapons grade plutonium for the U.S. military.
The feasibility of the project is still being investigated, with a decision expected by the end of March 2014, and the project (if it gets a go-ahead) would be completed sometime in 2015.
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