The economic, political, and social consequences of the Triple Disaster have changed Japan in fundamental ways. In October 2012, the Japanese government and the World Bank co-hosted the Sendai Dialogue to highlight the lessons learned from the disasters and to adopt comprehensive guidance for reducing risk in other parts of the world. The Japanese government has declared an emergency after a nuclear power plant was damaged by Friday's massive earthquake. Rescue efforts continued in shell-shocked Japan on Friday night following the country's devastating earthquake and tsunami. And a Japanese coast guard official says a search is under way for a ship carrying 80 dock workers that was swept away when the tsunami struck. In California, many beaches were closed in anticipation of the tsunami waves of six feet expected to reach the West Coast of the US.
The tsunami hit Hawaii on the southern beaches of the island of Oahu, but there were no initial reports of damage.
President Barack Obama, a native of Hawaii, was notified of the massive Japanese quake at 4 a.m. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has also offered help to Japan following the earthquake, Reuters reported. The German government is already sending its first personnel to Japan, including four experts from the Agency for Technical Relief (THW) who are en route to Tokyo, the Foreign Ministry in Berlin stated. The quake, one of the strongest ever recorded, left many people injured, police said, and unleashed a 10-meter high tsunami and widespread flooding. Japanese TV pictures showed the tsunami water carrying debris, including cars and trucks, as well as flames rising into the sky near the capital. Bullet train services in northern Japan were suspended, while transport services in Tokyo were halted.
The Bank of Japan, meanwhile, has said it will do all it can to ensure stability in the financial markets after both the yen and the stock market fell in the wake of the earthquake.
Earthquakes are extremely common in Japan, one of the most seismically active areas in the world, but this latest tremor was unusual because of its intensity. Such strong tremors are relatively common in the Pacific Ring of Fire, a volcanic belt which surrounds the Pacific Ocean, giving rise to earthquakes and tsunamis.

Natural disasters are devastating to all involved but in pictures they can be absolutely beautiful. A man walks with his dog at a destroyed residential area of Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, March 22, 2011, nearly two weeks after the area was devastated by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami.
Japan’s legendary investment in earthquake-resistant design meant that only about 100 people died in the earthquake itself although almost 20,000 people lost their lives in the tsunami. The uprooting of entire communities and the large infrastructural losses produced immediate disruptions in Japan’s extensive supply networks.
A large citizen movement calling for the abolition of nuclear power in Japan developed in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster. It served as a warning that even developed, well-prepared countries are not immune from terrifying disasters.
To continue the learning of lessons from Japan for disaster risk management in Asia, we are organizing a day-long conference at Brookings on May 10, 2013 to examine the lessons from March 11, 2011, the challenges of disaster risk management in Asia and, more broadly, strategies for mainstreaming disaster risk management in development assistance. Hundreds are reported dead in the temblor and tsunami, with officials believing the death toll could rise to more than 1,000┬áin one of the country's worst-ever natural disasters. Police are reporting the discovery of hundreds of bodies in the wake of the natural disaster that struck the northeastern part of the country.
Residents living within a 3 kilometer radius of the plant have been told to evacuate, Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told a news conference. According to the Yomiuri newspaper, they were only designed to measure up to 10 meters -- so it is it likely the tsunami was even higher. He said the world was "shocked and saddened" by the images of the disaster, and offered whatever help the UN could provide. According to government spokesman Christoph Steegmans, Merkel wrote to Prime Minister Naoto Kan to express her dismay at the disaster, offering her sympathy to the families of the victims and wishing a speedy recovery for the injured. They will help support the work of the German Embassy, and will be ready to assist the Japanese if necessary. According to the Mirror, the Queen said in a message: "I was saddened to hear of the tragic loss of life caused by the earthquake which has struck northeast Japan today. According to the Japanese news agency Kyodo, the government reported that dozens of fires had broken out in the northeastern part of the country, with flames and black smoke rising from one oil refinery.

It was the biggest earthquake to hit Japan in decades, and there have been numerous strong aftershocks which scientists say could last for weeks.
The economic destruction of the "Triple Disaster" was massive: 138,000 buildings were destroyed and $360 billion in economic losses were incurred. These in turn caused dramatic drops in industrial production that imposed a toll not only on Japan’s economy, but also on the many other countries linked through these production networks. It illustrated the extremely high economic costs of disasters occurring in developed countries and the vulnerabilities that come with urbanization and coastal settlement. We hope in a small way to contribute to continued learning from Japan’s tragedy and to prevent further tragedies resulting from similar disasters which occur elsewhere.
On Friday evening, the Japanese news agency Kyodo reported officials fear the death toll could rise to more than 1,000. Other THW teams, meanwhile, are being mobilized and would be ready to go to Japan if help is requested. Prince Philip joins me in extending our heartfelt sympathy to your Majesty and the people of Japan. While Japanese companies creatively restored the supply chains in just a few months, the shutdown of the nuclear reactors has had far more damaging long-term economic consequences.
It served as a wakeup call to the world that unanticipated disasters (or "black swans") happen and that those engaged in contingency planning need to be prepared for much more devastating disasters. The world watched in awe as Japanese citizens who had lost everything, immediately sprung to help one another. The dignity, creativity, and orderly response of the Japanese population to this mega disaster is indeed the best measure of Japan’s potential.
Japan’s tragedy has also led to a re-energizing of investing in disaster risk reduction strategies.

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