March 11, 2011 at 1:58 am #2352
Japan Hit By 7.3-Magnitude Earthquake
Published March 08, 2011 FoxNews.com AP
March 9: Japan Railway Sendai Station staff help stranded bullet train passengers as the high-speed train service is suspended at the station in Sendai, north of Tokyo, following a magnitude 7.3 earthquake hit northern Japan.
A tsunami alert was issued after northern Japan was hit with a 7.3 magnitude earthquake. Buildings shook hundreds of miles away in Tokyo, but there were no immediate reports of significant damage or injuries.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center warned areas along the coast within 60 miles of the earthquake epicenter to be aware of the possibility of a tsunami and take appropriate action, a statement read.
The US Geological Survey said the quake struck off the east coast of Honshu, some 267 miles northeast of Tokyo, at a depth of 6.2 miles.
A 24-inch tsunami reached the coastal town of Ofunato, in Iwate prefecture, shortly after noon. The meteorological agency warned that a tsunami of about 20 inches would hit the coast.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii said a Pacific-wide tsunami was not expected.
“We have confirmed that small tsunami have come up on the shores, but we have no reports of damage at this point,” said Shinobu Nagano, an emergency and disaster response official in Iwate prefecture. “We are still trying to determine the impact of the quake.”
Some train lines in the area were temporarily stopped after the quake, but they were restarted shortly after noon. Tohoku Electric Power said there was no damage at its nuclear power facility in the region.
There was a 6.3 magnitude aftershock shortly after the main quake, the meteorological agency said.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the 7.2-magnitude quake struck 8.8 miles underground, some 104 miles east of the closest major city of Sendai. The two agencies often have slightly different numbers.
Japan lies on the “Ring of Fire” — an arc of earthquake and volcanic zones that stretches around the Pacific Rim and where about 90 percent of the world’s quakes occur.
In 1933, about 3,000 people were killed around Ofunato by an earthquake and tsunami that had a maximum wave height of 94 feet, according to the USGS. In 1896, a magnitude 8.5 earthquake generated a tsunami that killed 27,000 people in the area.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
March 11, 2011 at 2:00 am #5213
Just heard that the second quake today/Friday has now been upgraded to 8.8 Magnitude which makes it a “Great Earthquake” ~ 1000X worse than the 7.8 it was thought to be (~3:30pm Japan/ 12:30pm US central). The warnings for the heightened Tsunami for Japan & Asian area (~9:54 GMT first wave) has been heightened and is expected be worse than the 8.5 quake in 1896 or 9.0 quake in 2004.
I remember thinking after the Hawai volcanic eruption early this week that it was strange that no earthquake had occurred in ring of fire area ……. now we know. Hawai will also be in warning area for Great Earthquake Tsunami.
March 11, 2011 at 2:09 am #5212
Major tsunami damage in northern Japan
March 11, 2011 1:42 AM ET
By MALCOLM FOSTER
TOKYO (AP) – Japan was struck by a magnitude-8.8 earthquake off its northeastern coast Friday, triggering a 13-foot (4-meter) tsunami that washed away cars and tore away buildings along the coast near the epicenter.
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 2:46 p.m. 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.
The meteorological agency issued a tsunami warning for the entire Pacific coast of Japan. National broadcaster NHK was warning those near the coast to get to safer ground.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii said a tsunami warning was in effect for Japan, Russia, Marcus Island and the Northern Marianas. A tsunami watch has been issued for Guam, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia and the U.S. state of Hawaii.
The quake struck at a depth of six miles (10 kilometers), about 80 miles (125 kilometers) off the eastern coast, the agency said. The area is 240 miles (380 kilometers) northeast of Tokyo.
In downtown Tokyo, large buildings shook violently and workers poured into the street for safety. TV footage showed a large building on fire and bellowing smoke in the Odaiba district of Tokyo.
In central Tokyo, trains were stopped and passengers walked along the tracks to platforms.
Footage on NHK from their Sendai office showed employees stumbling around and books and papers crashing from desks.
Several quakes had hit the same region in recent days, including a 7.3 magnitude one on Wednesday.
Thirty minutes after the quake, tall buildings were still swaying in Tokyo and mobile phone networks were not working. Japan’s Coast Guard has set up task force and officials are standing by for emergency contingencies, Coast Guard official Yosuke Oi said.
“I’m afraid we’ll soon find out about damages, since the quake was so strong,” he said
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