Friday, March 11, 2011

Japan earthquake Six dead as quake, tsunami hit Japan A magnitude-8.9 earthquake hit northeastern Japan

Japan earthquake Six dead as quake, tsunami hit Japan A magnitude-8.9 earthquake hit northeastern Japan


Hawaii was put on 'red alert' today as the enormous earthquake that struck off the coast of Japan was expected to cause tsunamis across the Pacific Ocean.



The 8.9 magnitude quake has devastated Japan after it struck off its north eastern coast this morning and sent 30ft high waves sweeping through the city.
Repercussions of the quake are expected to hit Hawaii today as powerful tidal waves rip through the ocean.


The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii has widened its tsunami warning to include Hawaii and the rest of the Pacific Ocean.
Warning were issued Thursday at 9:31 p.m. HST. Sirens were sounded shortly afterward in Honolulu alerting people in coastal areas to evacuate. The first waves were expected to arrive at 2:55 a.m. HST Friday.

The warning also includes Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and Central and South America. The coast of North America is not included in the warning.
Tsunami warnings are issued due to the imminent threat of a tsunami. Huge tidal waves could devastate the island which lacks some of the infastructure to cope with major natural disasters.
Hundreds of terrified residents were said to be panic buying today as they braced themselves for the waves to strike.
In Japan, the powerful quake sennt ten-metre waves surging inland and caused fires in Tokyo.
Drivers were seen fleeing the waves on highways close to the coast as the impact of the huge quake swept ashore while the car park at Disneyland in Tokyo was submerged.
Dramatic footage showed the surge washing away cars, a bridge and buildings at the mouth of the Hirose-gawa River, which flows through the centre of Sendai, while a roof caved in at a graduation ceremony in Tokyo.
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, and numerous people are believed to have been injured.
More than four million people are believed to currently be without power and the Japanese army has now been deployed.
Japan's meteorological agency said the tsunami struck Sendai, which has a population of about one million.
About 70 percent of Hawaii's population resides in Honolulu, and as many as 100,000 tourists are in the city on any given day.
In the Philippines, officials ordered an evacuation of coastal communities along the country's eastern seaboard in expectation of a tsunami following the quake.
Disaster management officials in Albay province southeast of Manila say they ordered residents to move to designated evacuation sites that are at least 15 feet (5 meters) above sea level.
In Guam, authorities advised people to evacuate low areas of the U.S. territory and seek ground higher than 50 feet above sea level and 100 feet inland.
The Northern Mariana Islands, another U.S. territory, was also under the warning, and the Hyatt Regency in Saipan has moved guests to three highest floors of the seven-story hotel.
Hotel spokesman Luis Villagomez said the hotel had received about three tsunami warnings in the last year but no serious damage.
Tsunami warnings are issued due to the imminent threat of a tsunami. The coast of North America is not included in the warning.
The quake struck at 2.46pm local time and was followed by five powerful aftershocks within about an hour, the strongest measuring 7.1.
The US Geological Survey upgraded the strength of the first quake to a magnitude 8.9, while Japan's meteorological agency measured it at 8.4.
The meteorological agency issued a tsunami warning for the entire Pacific coast of Japan. NHK was warning those near the coast to get to safer ground.
The quake struck at a depth of six miles (10km), about 80 miles (125km) off the eastern coast, the agency said. The area is 240 miles (380km) north-east 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. NHK said more than 4 million buildings without power in Tokyo and its suburbs.
The ceiling in Kudan Kaikan, a large hall in Tokyo, collapsed, injuring an unknown number of people, NHK said.
Osamu Akiya, 46, was working in Tokyo at his office in a trading company when the quake hit.
It sent bookshelves and computers crashing to the floor, and cracks appeared in the walls.
"I've been through many earthquakes, but I've never felt anything like this," he said. "I don't know if we'll be able to get home tonight."
Footage on NHK from its Sendai office showed employees stumbling around and books and papers crashing from desks.
It also showed a glass shelter at a bus stop in Tokyo destroyed by the quake and a weeping woman nearby being comforted by another woman.
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 a 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.
The tsunami roared over embankments in Sendai city, washing cars, houses and farm equipment inland before reversing directions and carrying them out to sea. Flames shot from some of the houses, probably because of burst gas pipes.
In Tokyo, hundreds of people were evacuated from Shinjuku station, the world's busiest, to a nearby park. Trains were halted.
Tokyo's main airport was closed. A large section of the ceiling at the one-year-old airport at Ibaraki, about 50 miles (80km) north-east of Tokyo, fell to the floor with a powerful crash.
TV announcers urged viewers near the shore to move to strong concrete buildings and stay above the third floor.
Japan's Fire and Disaster Management Agency said it was still assessing the damage but had not confirmed any deaths.
One person was injured at a baseball stadium in Sendai, but his condition was not immediately known.

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