Japan rethinks earthquake and tsunami safety

Reporting from Kesennuma, Japan— Structural engineer Kit Miyamoto was giving a speech in Japan on earthquake safety when this month’s record quake struck, giving him a front-row seat for the unfolding disaster and what steps might save lives next time.

"This disaster basically paralyzed the whole country," said Miyamoto, president of West Sacramento-based Miyamoto International, standing amid the wreckage in this battered coastal city. "We can learn a lot of lessons for California."

What worked, and what didn’t?

Sea walls

Although some of the lessons will take years to nail down, experts said some things stand out already. One problem, some said, was Japan’s overreliance on the massive sea walls that were favored by its politically powerful construction industry and that provided a false sense of security.

Read the rest of the story: Japan earthquake: Japan rethinks earthquake and tsunami safety.

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