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1933 Sanriku earthquake: Map


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Kamaishi Bay, Iwate after 1933 earthquake and tsunami
The was a major earthquake whose associated tsunami caused widespread damage to towns on the Sanrikumarker coast of the Tōhoku regionmarker of Honshūmarker, Japanmarker in 1933.


The epicenter of the 1933 Sanriku earthquake was located offshore,east of the city of Kamaishi, Iwatemarker. The initial shock occurred on at 0230 AM on March 2, 1933. The earthquake measured 8.4 on the moment magnitude scale and was in approximately the same location as the 1896 Meiji-Sanriku earthquakemarker. The epicenter occurred far enough away from the town that the earthquake itself did little damage to buildings. Approximately three hours after the main shock was a magnitude 6.8 aftershock, followed by 76 more aftershocks (with a magnitude of 5.0 or greater) over a period of six months.


Although the earthquake did little damage, the associated tsunami, which was recorded to reach the height of at Ōfunato, Iwate, caused extensive damage, destroyed many homes and caused numerous casualties The tsunami destroyed over 7,000 homes along the northern Japanese coastline, of which over 4,885 were washed away. The tsunami was also recorded in Hawaiimarker with a height of , and which also resulted in slight damage. The death toll came to 1522 people confirmed dead, 1542 missing, and 12,053 injured. Hardest hit was the town of Tarō, Iwate (now part of Miyako city, with 98% of its houses destroyed and 42% of its population killed.

See also

Seismology of the Sanriku coast



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  2. The Great Meiji Sanriku tsunami of 1896 is estimated to have generated a wave 38.2 meters high ( Masayuki Nakao, "The Great Meiji Sanriku Tsunami"

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