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Thread: 9.0 Earthquake Strikes Japan

  1. #1

    Default 9.0 Earthquake Strikes Japan

    Japan tsunami damage follows 8.8 earthquake

    March 11, 2011 - 5:35PM

    The Sydney Morning Harold

    The location of the earthquake.

    Japanese television has shown major tsunami damage in northern Japan, following an earthquake that has been upgraded to 8.8.
    Public broadcaster NHK showed cars, trucks, houses and buildings being swept away by the tsunami in Onahama city in Fukushima prefecture.
    Scores of cars were seen floating in Iwate prefecture harbour, local TV said.
    Advertisement: Story continues below
    Click for more photos Earthquake strikes Japan

    A screen grab of images taken from Japanese television showing a tsunami swamping a city in northern Japan.

    Japan earlier issued its top tsunami warning in response to the major offshore earthquake, which strongly swayed buildings 400 kilometres away in Tokyo and sent people fleeing onto the streets.
    The meteorological agency issued its top-level evacuation alerts for the entire Japanese coast, Russia and the Mariana Islands, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said.
    The quake was initially measured as a magnitude 7.9 but was upgraded.
    It warned of a tsunami of up to six metres. Smaller tsunamis of up to 50cm reached some coastal communities, the agency said.
    Know more? Send information and photos to 0414 284 637 or email them here.

    The quake struck about 382km northeast of Tokyo, offshore, the US Geological Survey reported.
    Smoke could be seen rising from a building in Tokyo port.
    Shinkansen bullet trains stopped when the quake struck, while Tokyo port has shut all 19 of its water gates as it prepares for the tsunami.
    Japan’s Coast Guard is halting ships on their way to entering Tokyo’s port,said Takashi Mifune, spokesman for the Bureau of Port and Harbor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.
    Japan’s meteorological agency said the quake struck at 2.46pm (4.46pm AEDST) local time at a depth of 10km, 125km off the eastern coast.
    Footage on national broadcaster NHK from their Sendai office showed employees stumbling around and books and papers crashing from desks.
    Police and coast guard officials said they were assessing possible damage from the quake.
    The yen tumbled against the dollar after the quake, falling to 83.30 against the dollar from 82.81 before the quake struck.
    Several quakes had hit the same region in recent days, including a 7.3 magnitude one on Wednesday.
    The Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre said there was no tsunami threat to Australia.

  2. #2


    Tsunami follows quake in northern Japan The Associated Press

    Posted: Mar 11, 2011 1:27 AM ET

    Last Updated: Mar 11, 2011 1:57 AM ET

    Japan was struck by a magnitude 8.8 earthquake off its northeastern coast Friday, triggering a four metre tsunami that washed away cars and tore away buildings along the coast near the epicentre.

    In various locations along Japan's coast, TV footage showed severe flooding, with dozens of cars, boats and even buildings being carried along by waters. A large ship swept away by the tsunami rammed directly into a breakwater in Kesennuma city in Miyagi prefecture, according to footage on public broadcaster NHK.
    Officials were trying to assess possible damage from the quake but had no immediate details.
    The quake that struck at 2:46 p.m. local time was followed by a series of aftershocks, including a 7.4-magnitude one about 30 minutes later. The U.S. Geological Survey upgraded the strength of the first quake to a magnitude 8.8.
    read the rest:

  3. #3




    2011 March 11 05:46:23 UTC

  4. #4
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Sep 2003


    10X more powerful than the San Francisco EQ of 1906.... (estimate)

    Scary stuff.

  5. #5
    Forum Veteran Dr.T's Avatar
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    ^^^ Too much !...
    No comments !!!
    What a tragedy to everyone in Pacific Zone !

  6. #6
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    They're lucky it was situated offshore.

  7. #7


    Yes and no. If the earthquake was under land, chances are there would have been more direct earthquake damage. However, there would not have been a tsunami, which seems to have cause a lot of damage on its own (and over a larger area).

  8. #8
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    The tsunami will turn out to have killed many more unsuspecting folks near the coast (and caused far more long lasting damage) than the quake itself.

    Watching it all live last night on the TV was horrifying. The mass of water + debris overtaking roadways & cars & houses was jaw dropping.

    Being on the ground and seeing something like that coming at you -- unimaginable what that must be like.

  9. #9


    I'm hoping they can get that nuclear reactor under control. Everything else can be rebuilt, but if that thing melts down... ugh.

  10. #10
    Forum Veteran Dr.T's Avatar
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    March 11, a date cursed for our civilization...
    7 years ago about 200 people were killed in the terrorist attack in Madrid (Atocha Railway Station), it was another bloody March 11 !...

  11. #11


    Video: Dramatic footage of quake & tsunami damage

    During a presidential press conference re: Libya & our dependence on foreign oil, it was reported that we were on our way to Japan with coolant for the nuclear reactor. Very frightening.

  12. #12


    3 nuclear reactors in trouble after Japan quake
    Cooling systems fail; radiation seeps outside one; thousands evacuated

    Kyodo via Reuters
    The Fukushima nuclear plant, the site of a coolant failure after Friday's quake, is pictured in a 2008 file

    NBC, and news services
    updated 1 hour 19 minutes ago 2011-03-11T23:28:27

    TOKYO — Coolant systems failed at three quake-stricken Japanese nuclear reactors Saturday, sending radiation seeping outside one and temperatures rising out of control at two others.
    Radiation surged to around 1,000 times the normal level in the control room of the No. 1 reactor of the Fukushima Daichi plant, Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said. Radiation — it was not clear how much — had also seeped outside, prompting widening of an evacuation area to a six-mile radius from a two-mile radius around the plant. Earlier, 3,000 people had been urged to leave their homes.
    Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Saturday that the temperatures of its No.1 and No.2 reactors at its Fukushima Daini nuclear power station were rising, and it had lost control over pressure in the reactors.
    Fukushima Daini station is the second nuclear power plant the company has in Fukushima prefecture in northeastern Japan, where the troubled Fukushima Daiichi plant is located.
    Tepco said at about 2:46 p.m. local time three of its six reactors shut following the earthquake. All are boiling water reactors.
    Tepco said the reactors shut due to the loss of offsite power due to the malfunction of one of two off-site power systems. That triggered emergency diesel generators to startup and provide backup power for plant systems.
    About an hour after the plant shut down, however, the emergency diesel generators stopped, leaving the units with no power for important cooling functions.
    Nuclear plants need power to operate motors, valves and instruments that control the systems that provide cooling water to the radioactive core.
    Earlier, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said, "Residents are safe after those within a 3-kilometer (1.8-mile) radius were evacuated and those within a 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) radius are staying indoors, so we want people to be calm."
    The country's nuclear safety agency said pressure inside one of six boiling water reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant near Onahama, some 170 miles northeast of Tokyo, had risen to 1.5 times the level considered normal.

    Hours after the evacuation order, the government announced that the plant will release slightly radioactive vapor from the unit to lower the pressure in an effort to protect it from a possible meltdown.
    Edano said the amount of radioactive element in the vapor would be "very small" and would not affect the environment or human health. "With evacuation in place and the ocean-bound wind, we can ensure the safety," he said at a televised news conference.

    U.S. President Barack Obama said he spoke with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan earlier Friday, and that the Japanese leader told him there were no radiation leaks from Japan's nuclear power plants.
    "Right now our Department of Energy folks are in direct contact with their counterparts in Japan and are closely monitoring the situation," a senior administration official who handles nuclear issues told NBC News. "So far the government of Japan has not asked for any specific assistance with regard to the nuclear plant, but DOE and other U.S. government agencies are assessing the role they could play in any response and stand by to assist if asked."
    Japan has a "tremendous amount of technical capability and resources" to respond to the issue themselves for now, sources told NBC News.
    Meanwhile, new power supply cars to provide emergency electricity for systems that failed at the Fukushima-Daiichi plant have arrived there, the World Nuclear Association said.
    "The World Nuclear Association understands that three to four power supply cars have arrived and that additional power modules are being prepared for connection to provide power for the energy cooling system," said Jeremy Gordon, analyst at the London-based WNA.
    The cables were being set up to supply emergency power. Other power modules were in transit by air, WNA added on its website.

    'Stages away from Three Mile Island'
    The cooling problems at the Japanese plant raised fears of a repeat of 1979's Three Mile Island accident, the most serious in the history of the U.S. nuclear power industry. Experts, however, said the situation was, so far, less serious.
    Equipment malfunctions, design problems and human error led to a partial meltdown of the reactor core at the Three Mile Island plant, but only minute amounts of dangerous radioactive gases were released.
    "The situation is still several stages away from Three Mile Island when the reactor container ceased to function as it should," said Tomoko Murakami, leader of the nuclear energy group at Japan's Institute of Energy Economics.
    Toshiaki Sakai, director of the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum International Cooperation Center, said nuclear power companies around the globe have since implemented over 53 safety improvements to avert a repeat.
    The International Atomic Energy Agency estimates that around 20 percent of nuclear reactors around the world are currently operating in areas of significant seismic activity.

    The IAEA said the sector began putting more emphasis on external hazards after an earthquake hit TEPCO's Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in July 2007, until then the largest to ever affect a nuclear facility.
    When the earthquake hit the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant, four reactors shut down automatically. Water containing radioactive material was released into the sea, but without an adverse effect on human health or the environment, it said.

  13. #13


    Japan quake, tsunami take dire toll on economy

    (AP) 5 hours ago

    TOKYO (AP) The Bank of Japan stood ready to prop up the financial system amid fears the Tokyo stock market will nosedive when trading opens Monday following the disasters that killed thousands and devastated the country's northeast.

    Preliminary estimates put repair costs from the earthquake and tsunami in the tens of billions of dollars a huge blow for an economy that lost its place as the world's No. 2 to China last year, and was already in a fragile state.

    Japan' economy has been ailing for 20 years, barely managing to eke out weak growth between slowdowns, saddled by a massive public debt that, at 200 percent of gross domestic product, is the biggest among industrialized nations.

    "In the short term, the market will almost surely suffer and stocks will plunge. People might see an already weakened Japan, overshadowed by a growing China, getting dealt the finishing blow from this quake," said Koetsu Aizawa, economics professor at Saitama University.

    The nation's big-three automakers, meanwhile, said they would halt all production in Japan due to widespread damage to both suppliers and transport networks in the region.

    The Bank of Japan pledged to pump more money into financial markets when it holds a policy board meeting Monday. There is not much left for the central bank to do regarding interest rates, which are already close to zero.

    Tens of billions of dollars are expected to be needed to rebuild homes, roads and other infrastructure requiring public spending that will add to the national debt.

    "The impact on Japan's economy will be devastating," said Sheila Smith, senior fellow for Japan Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, a New York-based think tank. "The long-term economic blow to a country already struggling to lower its budget deficit ... will be significant."

    Noting the 1995 earthquake in Kobe cost $132 billion and was the world's most expensive natural disaster, she said it was too early to say whether the losses from Friday's disaster would be on that massive a scale.

    Four nuclear plants were damaged in the temblors, causing widespread power outages. In a frantic effort to prevent meltdowns, nuclear plant operators ruined at least two reactors by pumping sea water into them.

    In an unprecedented move for tech-savvy Japan in recent decades, Tokyo Electric Power Co. rolled out blackouts of three hours per day to parts of suburban Tokyo and other cities, starting Monday.

    And Tokyo trains, which usually run like clockwork but stopped for nearly the entire day after the quake, will be on a reduced schedule starting Monday, to conserve electricity.

    "It looks like we are going to be running on reduced electricity for a long time. That is a definite risk to industrial production," said Carl Weinberg, chief economist at New York-based researcher High Frequency Economics.

    "For Japan, a nation that lives by the sea, food comes in by the sea, energy comes in by the sea, exports go out by the sea. Everything stops if a quarter of the coastline has been wiped out," said Weinberg who teaches at New York University.

    Profits at both Tokyo Electric and Tohoku Power utility are likely to plummet because of recovery costs for the nuclear power plants damaged by the quake, according to Shigeki Matsumoto, analyst at Nomura Securities Co.

    Toyota Motor Corp., the world's top automaker, as well as Nissan Motor Co. and Honda suspended production at all their auto plants in Japan, starting Monday.

    When production will resume is uncertain. The area hit by the quake is a major center for car production, complete with a myriad of parts suppliers and a network of roads and ports for efficient shipments.

    "There is no way to get our products out, even if we make them, with the roads and distribution system damaged," said Honda Motor Co. spokeswoman Natsuno Asanuma.

    Honda said the production halt will cost it about 4,000 vehicles a day.

    Nissan said the tsunami damaged 1,300 vehicles bound for the U.S., including its Infiniti luxury brand, at Hitachi port in Ibaraki state in the northeast, and 1,000 vehicles stored at another center.

    Among the plants being shut down is one Toyota had just opened in Miyagi prefecture, within the region hardest hit by the quake.

    The factory, Toyota's first new Japan plant in 18 years, had been proudly shown to reporters last month as a welcome development in an otherwise stagnant Japanese auto market. It was set to start producing the Corolla for both the Japanese and North American markets in April.

    Electronics plants in the northeast were also temporarily closed, including those owned by Sony Corp. and Toshiba Corp.

    But Aizawa, the economics professor, warned against too much pessimism.

    A giant disaster can get Japan to pull together and even provide opportunities for construction and jobs as the recovery gets under way, he said.

    "There can be a blessing even in misfortune," he said. "Recovery is about regaining a livelihood for people. No one is going to blame Japan or lower its debt ratings for working on a recovery. This is about lives."

    Ship out of water

    Copyright 2011 The Associated Press

  14. #14
    Forum Veteran Dr.T's Avatar
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    New explosion at Fukushima nuclear plant

  15. #15


    Wind to blow south at quake-hit plant, unlikely to reach

    TOKYO | Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:41am EDT

    TOKYO (Reuters) - The wind over a quake-damaged nuclear complex in northeast Japan, where low levels of radiation have been released, will blow south later on Monday, the Japan Meteorological Agency said, but is not expected to affect Tokyo.
    It will blow in the general direction of the capital, but will be slow and the direction typically changes at slow speeds.
    The Fukushima Daiichi plant, run by Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), is about 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo on the country's northeast coast.
    Engineers were battling to avert a meltdown at three stricken reactors in the worst nuclear accident since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, triggered by Friday's quake and tsunami.
    Low-level radiation has been detected outside the plant but at very low levels. These levels would need to rise something like a thousand times before real fears of contamination are justified, experts say.
    A 20-km (12-mile) evacuation zone has been set up around the plant.
    An explosion at a reactor at the plant on Monday is unlikely to have led to a large escape of radioactivity, the government said.
    Japan's nuclear safety agency, quoting a report from the facility's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co, said radiation near the No. 3 reactor about 40 minutes after the explosion was about one-50th of that considered critical to human health.
    (Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Nick Macfie and Sanjeev Miglani)

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