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NOVA: Japan’s Killer Quake

Airs Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Callum Macrae stands amid destruction and debris in Ofunato, Japan.

Police boat in debris in Ofunato, Japan.
Enlarge this image

Above: Police boat in debris in Ofunato, Japan.

Nuclear After Japan

Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute addresses what Japan's crisis may mean for the future of nuclear energy.

Anatomy of a Tsunami

Launch this interactive to see how the tsunami of 2004 developed, from its birth at the seafloor to its impact on coasts around the Indian Ocean.

In its worst crisis since World War II, Japan faces disaster on an epic scale: a rising death toll in the tens of thousands, massive destruction of homes and businesses, shortages of water and power, and the specter of nuclear-reactor meltdowns.

The facts and figures are astonishing. The March 11th earthquake was the world's fourth-largest earthquake since record keeping began in 1900 and the worst ever to shake Japan.

The seismic shock wave released more than 4,000 times the energy of the largest nuclear test ever conducted; it shifted the earth's axis by six inches and shortened the day by a few millionths of a second.

The tsunami slammed Japan's coast with 30-feet-high waves that traveled six miles inland, obliterating entire towns in a matter of minutes.

“Japan’s Killer Quake” combines authoritative on-the-spot reporting, personal stories of tragedy and survival, compelling eyewitness videos, explanatory graphics and exclusive helicopter footage for a unique look at the science behind the catastrophe.

This program originally aired in 2011.

NOVA is on Facebook, and you can follow @novapbs on Twitter.

Video

Full Episode: NOVA: Japan's Killer Quake

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Watch Japan's Killer Quake on PBS. See more from NOVA.

Above: In its worst crisis since World War II, Japan faces disaster on an epic scale: a death toll likely in the tens of thousands, massive destruction of homes and businesses, shortages of water and power, and the specter of nuclear meltdown. With exclusive footage, NOVA captures the unfolding human drama and offers a clear-headed investigation of what triggered the earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent nuclear crisis. Can science and technology ever prevent devastation in the face of overwhelmingly powerful forces of nature?

Comments

Avatar for user 'Japanesetourist'

Japanesetourist | October 1, 2011 at 8 a.m. ― 3 years, 2 months ago

It was hard to see the actual footage of the March 11, 2011 Japanese Earthquake then followed by the Tsunami which took so many countless lives on the PBS channel here in Boston that aired September 29, 2011.

What I noticed was that the narration and words or the actual people who survived Japan's Tsunami especially were most revealing from this aspect none of these survivors gave any special thanks to God, Divine Providence , or a Miracle as to the reason they each made it through this horrific event. Their safety lay in their own hands and by their own physical luck and grit each would find the courage to beat death.

For the most part Japanese people aren't Christians and so I am glad that those people chronicled in this presentation were not saying they made it because of God. You the viewer were left to speculate how come each one made it, some viewers are sure to give credit to Miracles, God, or Prayer, but none of these survivors prayed, spoke of God, or believed it was a Miracle.

I sure enjoyed this presentation thoroughly.

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