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Research Project . By: Braelynn Beltran. Thesis Statement. A major e arthquake in Japan or California is most likely to cause the most damage to physical structures and habitat, the most loss of life, and the greatest financial impact within my lifetime. . According to “NOAA” (2012)

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research project

Research Project

By: Braelynn Beltran

thesis statement
Thesis Statement

A major earthquake in Japan or California is most likely to cause the most damage to physical structures and habitat, the most loss of life, and the greatest financial impact within my lifetime.

japan past events
According to “NOAA” (2012)

1847 Zenkojiearthquake =12,000 deaths

1855 Tokyo earthquake = 6,757 deaths

1891 Mino-Owariearthquake = 7,273 deaths

1896 Sanriku earthquake and tsunami = 27,000 deaths

1923 Sagami Gulf earthquake = over 99,000 deaths

1995 Kobe earthquake = 5,502 deaths

Japan Past events
california past events
California Past events

According to San Diego History Center:

  • In March 1872, an earthquake in the Sierra-Nevada Fault system killed 27 people at Lone Pine and destroyed 52 to 59 adobe homes.
  • Two destructive earthquakes nearly one hour apart caused about $1 million property damage in southern Imperial Valley on June 22, 1915.
  • The Long Beach earthquake of March 1933 resulted in $40 million in damages and 115 lives lost.
  • The Northridge earthquake of January 17, 1994, displaced more than 20,000 people from their homes. There were 57 deaths and economic losses were estimated at $20 billion.
probability of another earthquake
Probability of another earthquake



On August 29,2012 Japanese government released information on a massive earthquake to take place off the country’s Pacific Coast that would far surpass the impact of last year’s devastating temblor("Japan’s new quake," 2012).

According to California Earthquake Authority (CEA):

California has a 99.7 percent chance of having a 6.7 magnitude earthquake or larger during the the next 30 years (Wager, 2010).

california earthquake prediction

Predictions (Henderson, 2011)

  • 2,000 deaths
  • $200 billion in damage
  • 7.8 southern California quake on the San Andreas Fault
California earthquake Prediction
japan earthquake prediction japan s new quake 2012
Japan Earthquake prediction ("Japan’s new quake," 2012)
  • 320,000 people could be killed
  • 9.0 Magnitude
  • Likely to occur in the 460 miles of water that stretch along the lower half of the country’s Pacific coastline
  • The most severe projection assumes the earthquake would occur on a winter night with winds of 8 meters per second.

California Damage Even a reduced 7.2 quake would cause $30 billion in building damage, $10 billion more in additional costs - and if fires carry through the the city, damage could rise by $4 billion (Henderson, 2011).


Japan Damage Predictions made nine years ago for an earthquake in the same region forecasted 25,000 deaths and a tsunami of no higher than 20 meters (66 feet). the death toll could be reduced by 80% if residents leave within 10 minutes of the tsunami alert ("Japan’s new quake," 2012).

california warning system
California warning system

An Earthquake Early Warning System for the west coast of the United States is being established by the United States Geological Survey. The USGS has the Federal duty to publish alerts for earthquakes, to improve public safety, and to cut losses through effective predictions and warnings. USGS currently issues rapid, automatic earthquake information through the Internet, email, text messages, and social media ("," 14 0).

the earthquake early warning systems usgs gov 14 0
The Earthquake Early Warning systems ("," 14 0).

Allows Californians to:

  • permits people to drop, cover and hold on
  • gives businesses time to shut down and move workers to safe locations
  • grant medical professionals time to stop delicate procedures
  • protect travelers by providing time for trains to slow or stop, for elevator doors to open, for bridge traffic to clear, for slowing or stopping traffic, and even stopping landings and take-offs at airports
  • enable emergency responders to prepare by opening fire station doors and starting generators.
japan preparation japan s new quake 2012
Japan Preparation("Japan’s new quake," 2012)

The Japanese government’s Headquarters for Earthquake Research Promotion is continually working to reinforce buildings, homes, and the capital’s infrastructure. Buildings in Tokyo held up unexpectedly well in last year’s quake and will continue to be built with natural disaster in mind.

japan preparation
Japan Preparation
  • According to TIME magazine: “Japan is one of the most earthquake-prone countries in the world — but it's also one of the best equipped to handle them.”
california financial impact mcintyre 2010

A huge quake in California, mainly one in Los Angeles or San Francisco could cost tens of thousands of lives and do an extreme amount of damage to a large part of the US economy.

An upset to the nation’s GDP during its current tenuous state of recovery could drive the country back into recession.

A natural disaster in California would certainly curb its economic activity which is over $2 trillion each years. A huge quake could fee hundreds of billions of dollars in damage and the demand for massive aid.

California financial impact (McIntyre, 2010)
japan financial impact jones 2010
Japan financial impact (Jones, 2010)
  • 1. Recovery: The country will need to cope with a massive human and financial loss. The country will also have to focus on rebuilding. This will take billions in private and public funds.
  • 2. Stronger Yen: The widely mingled Japanese currency is going to have to come home to help rebuild the country, proposing that the historically weak yen is going to start increasing against its counterparts.
  • 3. Oil Prices: They could drop, but only briefly. Japan is a very large economy. The country imports all their oil, they don't have any natural oil reserve. There is less requirement for energy.

A major earthquake in Japan or California is most likely to cause the most damage to physical structures and habitat, the most loss of life, and the greatest financial impact within my lifetime.

By: Braelynn Beltran


1., March 11) Japan quake: Loss and recovery in numbers. Retrieved from

2. Henderson, P. (2011, March 15). Special report: Big California quake likely to devastate state. . Retrieved from

3. Irvine, T. (1999). Vibration data. LOMA PRIETA 1989. Retrieved from

4. Japan’s new quake forecast: 320,000 could die in worst case. (2012, August 30). Retrieved from

5. Jones, L. (2010, March 1). Are we prepared for an 8.8 quake?. . Retrieved from

6. McIntyre, D. (2010, February 07). How much would a california earthquake hurt the economy? Retrieved from

7. NOAA. (2012, March 9) MARCH 11, 2011 JAPAN EARTHQUAKE AND TSUNAMI). Retrieved from

8. Rauhala, E. (2011, March 11). Time world. Retrieved from,8599,2058390,00.html

9. San Diego history center. (n.d.) FACTS ABOUT CALIFORNIA EARTHQUAKES. Retrieved from


10. (14 0) Earthquake Early Warning System. Retrieved from

11. Wager, C. (2010). The big one: California's future earthquake probabilities. Retrieved from