Pacific Ring of Fire was angry again… After the disaster from New Zealand, a huge quake hit Japan. The earthquake hit Japan’s northeastern Honshu island Friday, said the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), which issued a huge tsunami warning. The quake was felt at the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
A 10-meter tsunami has washed the port in Sendai city, where many house were flooded with seawater. Meanwhile, the runways of Sendai airport were submerged from tsunami, said local media reports. The US tsunami monitoring centre has widened a warning following the huge quake and tsunami in Japan to virtually the entire Pacific coast, including New Zealand. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre expanded a previous alert to include the US state of Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand and the entire coast of Central and South America. Also, according to Russia’s state news agency, RIA Novosti, the regional Tsunami Research Center, Sakhalin AHEM, declared the warning for coastal communities of three districts of the Sakhalin region: Yuzhno-Kuril, Kuril and Northern Kuril.
The JMA revised the magnitude of the quake from 7.9 to a magnitude of 8.8 while the U.S. Geological Survey upgraded it to 8. 9. Notice that Japan is located in area of circum-Pacific seismic belt.
Prime Minister Naoto Kan vowed Friday that the government will make full efforts to deal with the impact of a powerful earthquake . “Our government will make all-out efforts to minimize the damage caused by the earthquake” Kan said at a news conference after the government set up a task force to deal with the quake, noting that the quake has caused extensive damage. But Naoto Kan said nuclear power facilities in the area were not damaged and there was no radiation leakage. But nuclear plants have been closed until stabilization of situation.
The quake was felt at the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The Nikkei index of the Tokyo Stock Exchange fell 179.95 points to 10,254.43. The Topix index of all first section shares tumbled 1.7 per cent, or 15.33 points, to 915.51. Note that the market was already weighed down before the earthquake by unrest in the Middle East, eurozone debt worries, a wider than expected US trade deficit and China’s announcement of a rare trade deficit for February. Among major share movers, Honda Motor, Kyocera, and Fast Retailing all finished sharply down, falling 2.6 per cent to 3,310 yen, 3.0 per cent to 8,170 yen and 2.9 per cent to 12,250 yen. The yen fell to below 83 to the US dollar as dealers rushed away from the earthquake risk, but recovered in the late afternoon to 82.89 to the greenback, compared with 82.91 in New York late Thursday.
According to preliminary estimates, today’s Japan earthquake ranks as the seventh most powerful on record, slightly stronger than the quake that hit Chile in 2010. The magnitude 8.8 earthquake in Chile resulted in the deaths of more than 130 people in Japan. Chile is expected to feel the effects of today’s quake as tsunamis rip through the Pacific Ocean. Chile’s 8.8 magnitude quake affected at least 1.8 million people in Chile and surrounding areas. The total economic loss to Chile was estimated at US$30 billion.
Update: Japan has establishing preventive the Nuclear Alert as a result of the fire at the nuclear plant at Onagawa. No radioactive leak, but fire fighting attempts have failed.
Update_2: Next day after Apocalypse – Certainly the Japanese are a heroic people. They proved it again. Sometimes the history is unfair, life is unfair, nature is unfair. I saw nothing of the hysteria that flows when the despair and panic usually contain a large mass of people. Maybe we must to learn something from it. I said «maybe» ? I was wrong… No, not «maybe». Absolutely !
Japanese media reported that at least 1,000 were believed dead, thousands more injured and tens of thousands displaced by the three-story wall of water that crushed their homes and brought much of the modern country to a standstill.
The japanese government expanded the area arond around Fukushima No.1, a crippled nuclear power plant subject to emergency evacuation, as radiation levels inside the facility were reported to have surged and operators struggled to
keep the plant’s cooling system operating on battery power. It increased the radius to 10 km from 3. Prime Minister Naoto Kan confirmed the decision before boarding a helicopter to visit the plant. A Japanese nuclear safety panel said radiation levels were 1,000 times above normal in a reactor control room after a huge quake damaged the plant’s cooling system. Some radiation had seeped outside the plant, with levels just outside the facility’s main gate measured at eight times normal, Public Broadcaster NHK quoted nuclear safety officials as saying. Officials of Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said a release of accumulated vapor from the reactor posed no risk to people or the environment, despite raising the background radiation level 1,000 times normal.
Update_3: Rescue workers, police and local officials continued to struggle Monday to recover growing numbers of bodies and confirm the fates of tens of thousands of people still unaccounted for, while supplies were running short following Friday’s devastating earthquake and tsunami. Some 2,000 bodies were found Monday on two shores in Miyagi Prefecture. About 1,000 bodies were found coming ashore on hardest-hit Miyagi’s Ojika Peninsula while another 1,000 were spotted in the town of Minamisanriku where the prefectural government has been unable to contact about 10,000 people, or over half the local population. According to Reuters, the damage is currently estimated to amount approx. 171 billion dollars. Foreign Ministries from many countries have advised their citizens to avoid traveling in Japan.
The nuclear disaster in Japan’s quake-hit Fukushima nuclear power plant could not have come at a worse time for the U.S.-based General Electric Co (GE), which is holding its Corporate Executive Council (CEC) meet in the Capital as part of its plans to seek a major share in the $150 billion expansion of India’s nuclear industry over the next decade. The Fukushima NPP, which has seen two explosions in the last four days after being hit by a massive earthquake and Tsunami, has a reactor installed by GE.
The deputy head of the Chernobyl Centre for Nuclear Security, Valeriy Glygalo, says the state of the Fukushima power station can in no way be compared with that of the doomed Chernobyl plant. “The Japanese reactors are of a modern type and designed for earthquake zones even though what has happened has exceeded the envisioned norms” he tells the Interfax Ukraine news agency. “There should not be serious consequences like those from Chernobyl” he adds.