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JAPAN MEGA QUAKE UPDATE #2

Posted by feww on March 11, 2011

M8.9 Mega Quake Strikes Offshore 130km East of Sendai City, Japan

The Sendai Megaquake with 1.41 exajoule of energy (about 340 megaton, or 24,000 times the size of Hiroshima A-bomb) has caused much destruction in Japan

[NOTE: Humans are currently consuming the equivalent of energy released by Sendai Mega Quake each day. ]

Summary of Events:

  • Large earthquake measuring 8.9Mw struck near the east coast of HONSHU, JAPAN on Friday, March 11, 2011 at 05:46:23 UTC
  • The epicenter was located at 38.322°N, 142.369°E, about 130 km (80 miles) E of Sendai, Honshu, Japan.
  • At least 37 significant aftershocks have struck the area, including 2 measuring 7.1 and 6.8 respectively, as of 11:16UTC on Friday March 11, 2011.
  • Another 12 aftershocks measure ≥6.0.
  • The aftershocks will continue to strike the area for many weeks, possibly months, to come.
  • The quake was the largest ever to hit Japan region.
  • The Mega quake will prove to be an “earth-shattering” event.
  • FIRE-EARTH believes at least one more shock, probably larger than this event, could strike Japan Region. [See also earlier earthquake forecasts for Japan Region in the blog.]
  • A previous FIRE-EARTH forecast for earthquakes in Japan region is posted at Tectonics Update – March 10.


EQ Location Map. Source: USGS. Map enhanced by FIRE-EARTH

THE SENDAI TSUNAMI

  • The Mega Quake generated a massive tsunami which struck the coastal areas of Japan and is now traveling throughout the Pacific Ocean.

As of posting:

  • A tsunami warning has been issued for the entire Pacific basin (mainland United States and Canada not included),  the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.
  • “The Tsunami Warning continues in effect for the coastal areas of California and Oregon from Point Concepcion, California to the Oregon-Washington border.” WCA Tsunami Warning Center said.
  • “The Tsunami Warning continues in effect for the coastal areas of Alaska from Amchitka Pass, Alaska (125 miles W of Adak) to Attu, Alaska.” WCA Tsunami Warning Center said.
  • The list of countries include: Taiwan, Russia, the Philippines,  Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Fiji, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica,  Panama, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.
  • The tsunami could destroy entire low-lying islands in the Pacific region.
  • The Russian authorities have evacuated 11,000 people from coastal areas of Russia’s Kuril Islands, a report said.
  • “Waves up to three meters high triggered by the earthquake hit Shikotan, one of the Kuril Islands, following the quake. Other islands in the Kuril chain have also been hit by smaller waves of up to two meters.”


Click image to enlarge. Source: PTWC

  • At least 20 countries are under tsunami warning.
  • A 10-m wall of water struck the east coast of Honshu and traveled across the land, destroying everything in its path.
  • The quake and thee tsunami have claimed an unknown number of lives in Japan, possibly very many. Many others have been injured. [Early reports put the number of dead at 69 and the injured at several hundred, but the toll should be expected to rise. Many are reported as missing.]
  • The cost of damage from the quakes and tsunami could conceivably reach a trillion dollars.
  • An oil refinery in Shiogama city, Fukushima prefecture exploded.
  • Large fires were reported at a major refinery in Japan’s Chiba prefecture.


An oil refinery caught fire in Ichihara city, Chiba pref. Three major explosions occurred after a pipeline was ruptured by moving debris brought in by the tsunami. Photo: NHK. Image may be subject to copyright.

Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant

  • The authorities have declared emergencies at two of Japan’s nuclear power plants over cooling-system fears.
  • The nuclear power plant in Fukushima developed a mechanical failure in its emergency cooling system after the reactor was shut down following the earthquake, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano was reported as saying.
  • At the Tohoku Electric Power Co’s Onagawa facility the cooling mechanism for the reactor is “not going as planned,” causing a “nuclear emergency situation” to be declared, the Administrator said. The company has asked people living nearby to stay indoors and remain calm, local TV station was reported as saying.


Initial Tsunami Observation.
Source: JMA


Maximum Tsunami Observation. Source: JMA

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