Monday, April 18, 2011
Dean at SMU gives first-hand account of Japan’s deadly earthquake
A seismology expert explained how the quake and tsunami affected other parts of the world in its aftermath.
DALLAS William Tsutsui, dean at Southern Methodist University's Dedman College, won't soon forget March 11, 2011, the date that a deadly earthquake hit Japan. Tsutsui and some colleagues were visiting Tokyo to further relations between the U.S. and Japan when the earth began to shake.
Tsutsui and Brian Stump, a seismology expert, were on hand on Tuesday at SMU to discuss the earthquake in Japan with attendees and SMU students.
When Tsutsui recalled that scary day, he said he thought the bus he was riding was having mechanical problems. But when he glanced outside, he could see buildings nearby "swaying" back and forth.
Once the earthquake stopped, Tsutsui and the delegation went on to have their meeting, unaware that further devastation had taken place in northern Japan. Tsutsui said they saw absolutely no damage to any building in Tokyo: no broken glass, not even a brick on the street; just some bicycles knocked down from the tremors. And the Japanese seemed to go about their business as if nothing happened.
Stump, a seismology expert, spoke about the earthquake itself. Thousands of miles from the epicenter of the earthquake, sensors all over the world were able to pick up readings of the seriousness of this natural disaster. In effect, one earthquake affects the whole world.
Waves from the tsunami in Japan hit the west coast of the United States about four hours after they hit Japan. About a month later, debris from Japan started to reach the west coast of the United States and other areas of the world.
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