The 2011 off the Pacific Coast of Tohoku Earthquake resulted in severe damage to housing and housing lots. In particular, the hillside embankments for residential use surrounding the downtown of Sendai city suffered serious damage. Many hillside lands which had been damaged during the 1978 off Miyagi-Prefecture earthquake were subjected to further damage. Typical damaged hillside embankments in Sendai city were investigated and the causes of the damage were discussed in this paper. The main cause of the damage to housing was not the seismic motion but the ground displacement of the fill embankment. A comparison of the damage from the 2011 earthquake with that from the 1978 earthquake indicates that the countermeasures constructed after the 1978 earthquake performed well in that they prevented large landslide type failure; however, they were not successful in reducing the amount of damage to housing or housing lots due to ground displacements from cracks, differential settlement, and shallow slips. A classification of failure types of fill embankment is proposed to be of assistance in the choice of countermeasures.
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