How the great Tohoku-Sendai earthquake and tsunami happened

The great Tohoku earthquake (moment magnitude 9.0) of 11 March 2011 beneath the Pacific Ocean off the largest Japanese island of Honshu resulted in the devastating tsunami that tore many kilometres inland along its northern coast line and affected the entire Pacific Basin (see NOAA animation of the tsunami’s propagation) .

English: Sendai Rinkai Railway locomotive(SD55...
Railway locomotive thrown aside by the 11 March 2011 Tsunami in Japan. (credit: Wikipedia)

This article can now be read in full at Earth-logs in the Geohazards archive for 2017