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Japan Tsunami Reconnaissance Team -- April 2011

Tsunami's Incredible Force Evident Quickly

Gary ChockThe first of as many as seven ASCE reconnaissance teams to investigate the damage caused by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami arrived in Japan on April 15. Led by structural engineer Gary Chock, P.E., S.E., M.ASCE, president of the Honolulu-based practice Martin & Chock, the first team documented the performance of buildings and other structures not addressed by other teams. The team concentrated on Miyagi and Iwate prefectures, with a focus on how what they learn can be incorporated into the tsunami structural design provisions under development for the next revision of the ASCE 7 standard, Minimum Design Standards for Buildings and Other Structures. In this daily diary, Chock details the team's activities and shares photos of what they observed.

Read each day's entries:
Day 1  |  Day 2  |  Day 3  |  Day 4  |  Day 5  
Day 6  |  Day 7  |  Day 8  |  Day 9  |  Addendum
 

Day 1 -- Saturday, April 16

Tossed fishing vessel

The first group of the ASCE Tsunami Reconnaissance Team (Ian Robertson, David Kriebel, Iaon Nistor, and me) met with researchers associated with Dr. Tomoya Shibayama of Waseda University (Dr. Hiroshi Takagi of the Tokyo Institute of Technology plus Dr. Hideyuki Kasano and Dr. Miguel Esteban of Waseda University) for a coordinating discussion, including some observations from the Japanese research teams that have been visiting all affected coastal areas except for Fukushima prefecture.

Thereafter, we flew to Misawa Airport in northern Honshu. Our field work will be following a north to south strategy. Our flight kept us out of the United States-designated 50-mile exclusion zone around the heavily damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

In Hachinohe, we started to encounter tsunami effects at the ferry and fishing ports. Here, the tsunami's height had been eight meters above sea level. There were a number of fishing vessels that had been lifted onto the wharf, as seen in the photo above.

On Tuesday, we will proceed down to Tarou and Miyako City.

Day 1  |  Day 2  |  Day 3  |  Day 4  |  Day 5
Day 6  |  Day 7  |  Day 8  |  Day 9  |  Addendum
 

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