Monday, March 19, 2012

Tsunami that hit around Fukushima nuke plant was 21 meters high: researchers

The tsunami that hit the Pacific coastline within what is now the no-go zone around the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant topped 21 meters, researchers have found.

A team of researchers headed by University of Tokyo professor Shinji Sato and the Fukushima Prefectural Government found that up to 21.1 meters of tsunami had struck the coastal areas within a 20-kilometer radius from the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant on March 11, 2011.

The finding came one year after the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami struck, as the 20-kilometer nuclear exclusion zone had hampered researchers from conducting a field survey there.

Clad in protective gear, the researchers entered the no-go zone on Feb. 6 and 7 this year, covering 28 locations along a 40-kilometer coastal stretch from Minamisoma to Naraha, Fukushima Prefecture.

After examining the traces of tsunami left on window glass and roof tiles, researchers found that a 21.1-meter-high tsunami had hit the Kobama district of Tomioka, Fukushima Prefecture, located between the Fukushima No. 1 and No. 2 nuclear plants; followed by a 16.5-meter-high tsunami that attacked the town of Futaba; and tsunami 15.5 meters high in Namie and 12.2 meters high in Minamisoma and Okuma. Overall the tsunami topped 10 meters high at a total of 16 locations. Read More