Liquefaction Rampant Around Tokyo, Japan

A friend took these photos in Ishimari, south of Tokyo. This coastal city was fortunately out of the way of tsunamis, but liquefaction is tearing up the ground. Liquefaction occurs when water rises from deep in the earth to create mud because of shaking. Imagine pouring a handful of dirt into a bowl of water and then shaking it around.

Liquefaction devastated Tokyo's Disneyland. The theme park, built on landfill and soft infill soil, has been evacuated and clogged with slimy mud. Over 70,000 tourists are stranded there.

Coincidentally, New Zealand residents are outraged that predictions of liquefaction damage were ignored by leaders. That country was recently devastated by an earthquake of their own, a much smaller one. Environmental designers often fail to consider the damage and death that this phenomenon causes.

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