Thanks to the Internet, I can find all sorts of interesting articles about disasters. This one deals with the physics of disasters, which for the most part is not something this social scientist understands very fully. But I was intrigued with some of the details of the article. Source is phsicstoday.org; December 2011. Insights from the great 2011 Japan earthquake.
One quote from the Lessons Learned section of the article:
The Tohoku-oki event confirmed the value of applying modern technologies to earthquake and tsunami mitigation efforts. Strain-accumulation measurements, offshore fault-zone observations, and early earthquake and tsunami warning systems all played a role in saving lives, as terrible as the event was. Extreme events can and do happen, and resources may be too limited to fully protect ourselves. Our best prospect for coping with those events’ effects, however, is to draw on our technologies, preparations, and ability to respond when Earth delivers the unexpected, as it did on 11 March 2011.
Predictably, scientists always wish they knew more and always are in hopes of finding more research money!