Japan Earthquake Affects Many at UND


Sean Lee

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

University of North Dakota


Despite being thousands of miles away, the earthquake and tsunami that rattled Japan have affected many on the campus of The University of North Dakota.

“My parents called me, they said [Japan] was hit by a huge earthquake,” said Tokai University exchange student Wataru Yamazaki. “They were concerned for my other Tokai friends.” Partnerships between UND and Tokai University in Tokyo cycle over hundreds of Japanese aerospace students on an 18-week rotation. In addition, students from Japan, Hawaii and the Pacific Coast at UND found themselves facing potential disaster.

“The earthquake itself is not that devastating to humans,” said Lance Yarbourgh, UND Assitant Professor of Geology and Geological Engineering. “What is really devastating is the aftermath, the tsunamis that are created. The approximate speed of a tsunami is about 500 miles per hour, roughly a little faster than a jumbo jet.”

The record 9.0 magnitude quake occurred just off the coast of Japan, which triggered a massive tsunami that devastated Japan’s northern islands.

Four UND students studying around the Tokyo are returning home safely. The students were quickly ordered back home following the quake by the University, that monitors over 200 students studying in over 20 countries.