Damage related to the 2011 tohoku earthquake in and around kamaishi city – beyond the tsunami disaster

Tsuneo Ohsumi, Yuji Dohi, Hemanta Hazarika

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Widespread damage was caused in eastern Japan as a result of the earthquake and tsunami which occurred in 2011 off the Pacific coast of Tohoku (hereinafter, the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake). A large tsunami struck the coastal area of eastern Japan and caused damage to buildings, breakwaters, tide embankments and river levees. The joint reconnaissance team of the Tohoku and Kyushu branches of the Japanese Geotechnical Society investigated the geotechnical damage in the south-central coastal area of Iwate Prefecture from the beginning of April to September 2011. This report summarizes the geotechnical hazards and the damage to port structures, roads, railways, river levees, and buildings caused by the earthquake motion and tsunami in the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake in the south-central coastal area of Iwate Prefecture. Major investigation areas are Kamaishi City (Koshirahama Port, Touni-Chou), the coastal area of Ofunato City (Sanriku-Chou Yoshihama, Sanriku-Chou Okirai), and Rikuzentakata City. In the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake, many people could not or did not evacuate from the tsunami. However, students at junior high and elementary schools started tsunami evacuation quickly, resulting in what is known as the “Kamaishi Miracle.” This study focused on the tsunami evacuation of children in Unosumai district, Kamaishi City.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1185-1200
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Disaster Research
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)


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