Assessment of disaster losses in rice paddy field and yield after tsunami induced by the 2011 great east Japan earthquake

Yuei An Liou, Hsueh Chun Sha, Ting Ming Chen, Tai Sheng Wang, Yi Ting Li, Yen Cheng Lai, Min Hsin Chiang, Li Teh Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The Great East Japan Earthquake on 11 March 2011 triggered an extremely destructive tsunami that hit the Tohoku region of Japan severely. According to data from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishes of Japan, Tohoku accounted for 27.59% of Japan's rice yield in 2010. It is an impact to a country that relies on rice as its main food source. This paper utilizes remote sensing techniques to estimate the disaster losses in rice field and yield in Fukushima and Miyagi, the most severely damaged coastal prefectures of the Tohoku region, by using a developed Rice field Identification and riCe yield Estimate (RICE) algorithm for analyzing the satellite images. In this study, the pre- and post-earthquake MODIS/Terra satellite images are utilized. It is found the disaster losses in rice field are 1932.52 ha and 718.43 ha in Miyagi and Fukushima, respectively, which are expected to cause a decrease in annual rice yield by 9,472.60 tons in Miyagi and by 2,939.10 tons in Fukushima, equivalent to a total annual loss of $US 1411 Mio. Such loss will be, very unfortunately and undoubtfully enlarged by several orders of magnitude when the contamination of nuclear radiation on the surrounding environment is considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)618-623
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Marine Science and Technology (Taiwan)
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2012


  • RICE algorithm
  • Rice field
  • Rice yield


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