~ Devastation in Japan

Thoughts and prayers for all affected.

On Friday March 11th, Japan was hit by and earthquake that measured 8.9 by the US Geological Survey.  It hit at 1446 local time (0546 GMT) at a depth of about 24km and generated a 23-30 foot Tsunami that hit the coast of Japan, traveled 6 miles inland, and created a whirlpool just off shore.

Tsunami waves swirl near a port in Oarai, Ibaraki Prefecture (state) after Japan was struck by a strong earthquake off its northeastern coast Friday,

The death toll continues to rise – at least 1,000 ; missing – 9,500 in the town of Minamisanriku in Miyagi prefecture. Infrastructure damage to roads and buildings, rail and train shut down, storage tank fire at a major refinery in Chiba,  at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Japan, that was damaged and suffered loss of coolant, radiation leak and explosion at the plant.

More information:  live feed at CNN;  comprehensive video and reporting at BCC; impressive collection of pictures on the devastation at The Atlantic.

*Update III

Relief aid organizations.  Please help if you can.










*Update II

Twitter (h/t @oceanbluepress):  AmbassadorRoos John V. Roos

We’re advising all Americans living within 10 km of the#Tokushima Nuclear Power Plant to evacuate immediately.#japan #earthquake

*Update I

SOS Hillary Clinton:

“We just had our Air Force assets in Japan transport some really important coolant to one of the nuclear plants,” Clinton said at a meeting of the President’s Export Council.

“You know Japan is very reliant on nuclear power and they have very high engineering standards but one of their plants came under a lot of stress with the earthquake and didn’t have enough coolant,” Clinton said.

Japan to release of radioactive vapor at Fukushima Daiichi plant.

Japan’s nuclear safety agency says pressure inside one of six boiling water reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant had risen to 1.5 times the level considered normal.

The agency said the radioactive element in the vapor that will be released would not affect the environment or human health.

From Seattle Times:

President Obama: Japan earthquake potentially ‘catastrophic’

Japan’s PM: Japanese quake caused ‘major damage’



Police in Miyagi Prefecture say between 200-300 have been found in the coastal city of Sendai alone, Japan’s Kyodo News Agency reported late Friday. The death toll is likely to rise as there are few casualty counts yet from the worst-hit areas.

Japanese authorities ordered the precautionary evacuation of a nuclear plant affected by the earthquake, saying that while there was no immediate danger, crews were having trouble cooling the reactor. The Fukushima plant is one of four closest to the quake that the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency said were safety shut down.

The epicenter was offshore 373 kilometers (231 miles) away from Tokyo, the United States Geological Survey said.

But residents there continued to feel aftershocks hours after the quake. More than 30 aftershocks followed, with the strongest measuring 7.1.

Tsunami warnings have been put in place for Hawaii and the Pacific coast of the US.

Japan tsunami map - 11 March 2011


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