Fire Science and Technology
Online ISSN : 1882-0492
Print ISSN : 0285-9521
ISSN-L : 0285-9521
Overview of Fires Following the Great East-Japan Earthquake
Ai SekizawaKatsunori Sasaki
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2011 Volume 30 Issue 4 Pages 91-100


The Great East-Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011 actually caused large-scale and wide range fire damage. It may be said that the fire damage was equivalent or even larger in size and diversity of fire patterns, if comparing to the fire damages in the 1995 Hanshin-Awaji Great Earthquake. Also, this earthquake showed a distinctive feature such that there were quite many fires caused by tsunami directly and/or indirectly. As many of fires that occurred in the cities and towns, where there are coastal zone, were more or less affected by the tsunami, so we deemed them as "tsunami induced-fires" for the sake of convenience in the paper. On the other hand, the fires in the cities and towns, where there are not coastal zone, were not affected by tsunami, so we treated them as "earthquake-induced fires." Since the mechanism of occurrence of “tsunami-induced fires” differs largely from “earthquake-induced fires,” we think these two types of fires should be analyzed separately. In this paper, therefore, we describe the overview of fires following the Great East-Japan Earthquake such as regional distribution of fires and patterns of ignitions of both the above two types of fires. Also presented are the findings from the results of the analysis on the relation between the incidence of “earthquake-induced fires” and the seismic intensity in comparison with the data in the 1995 Hanshin-Awaji Great Earthquake.

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© 2011 Center for Fire Science and Technology, Research Institute for Science and Technology, Tokyo University of Science
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