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Posts Tagged ‘Tokyo’

Strong Earthquake Strikes Japan Trench, E of Fukushima

Posted by feww on October 6, 2017

KAT – 334G

M6.0 quake strikes 250km E of Namie, Fukushima, Japan

Earthquake Details:

Magnitude: 6.0 mww [USGS]
Location: 37.485°N, 143.954°E
Depth: 10.0 km
Time: 2017-10-06
07:59:33.110 (UTC)


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Earthquake NW of Tokyo Rattles Eastern Japan

Posted by feww on September 14, 2017


Slowly, but surely…

[NOTE: The quake occurred within 6 hours of the latest atrocity committed by Japan. –Moderator]

An earthquake measuring 4.6 magnitude struck about 11km NW of Imperial Palace in Tokyo at a depth of 48.8 km, shaking 10 prefectures in eastern Japan at 11:15am local time, according to Japan monitoring agency.

Earthquake details:

Magnitude: 4.6 mwr
Location: 35.772°N, 139.615°E [2km SSW of Wako, Japan]
Depth: 48.8 km
Time: 2017-09-14 00:27:23 (UTC)

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Significant Earthquakes Strike Japan

Posted by feww on June 12, 2016

M5.0 quake strikes 36.0 km NNE of Tokyo, Japan

Centered at 36.0N, 139.9E [6km ENE of Noda, Ibaraki Pref.] the event occurred at a depth of 40km.

The quake struck at 07:54 local time [UTC + 9hrs] on 12 Jun 2016 and registered 4/7 on the local seismic intensity, the weather agency said.

M4.3 quake strikes Kumamoto Pref.

EQ Details
Magnitude: 4.3Mw [-5/7]
Location: 32.5N, 130.7E; depth= 10km
Region Name: Kumamoto-ken, Kumamoto-chiho
Time: 22:08 [UTC+ 9hrs]  on 12 Jun 2016

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Strong Earthquake Strikes Near Nishinoshima Volcano

Posted by feww on November 20, 2015

M6.0 quake strikes SSE of Chichi-shima, Japan

Centered at 25.9ºN, 143.4ºE, about 90km SSE of Chichi-shima, the quake occurred at a depth of 10km , according to Japan’s weather agency.

Approximate Distances

  • 990km SSE of Katsuura, Japan
  • 1,050 SSE of Tokyo

Nishinoshima Volcano (27.247°N, 140.874°E)

The quake struck near Nishinoshima volcano, which resumed eruption on Tuesday. Intermittent eruptions have helped the volcanic island to grow by more than 12-folds in the past two years.

Located about 1,000 kilometers south of Tokyo, Nishinoshima Island currently measures about 2,000 meters across.

In 2013, an undersea eruption formed a new island near Nishinoshima, and continuing lava flows eventually linked the two islands several months ago.

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Two Major Fires Break out Near Tokyo, Japan

Posted by feww on August 24, 2015

Massive Fire Breaks Out at a Steel Plant in Kawasaki

A massive fire broke out at a steel plant in the industrial city of Kawasaki, near Haneda airport, about 25km from central Tokyo.

The fire started at a cooling tower in the plant, which is owned by Nippon Steel, a company official told AFP.

The blaze was the second large fire to break out in Japan on Monday, after a series of explosions rocked a US military base in Sagamihara, said a report.

Sagamihara [pop: 850,000,] located 40km southwest of Tokyo, is the third most populous city in Kanagawa prefecture.

Eyewitnesses described the blasts as a series of continuous explosions that lasted up to 15 minutes.

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Three Significant Earthquakes Rattle Fukushima Nuke Plant

Posted by feww on August 6, 2015

Earthquakes strike near Fukushima NPP

The largest of the three quakes, measuring 5.2Mw, scored 4 on the local seismic intensity scale of 7 close to the Fukushima Daiichi  NPP.

M 5.2 earthquake strikes SSW of Fukushima, Japan
Location: 36.497°N, 140.595°E
Depth: 44.3 km
Time: 2015-08-06 09:22:28 UTC
Nearby Cities:

4km (2mi) NE of Funaishikawa, Japan
12km (7mi) SSW of Hitachi, Japan
12km (7mi) NNE of Hitachi-Naka, Japan
13km (8mi) NNE of Katsuta, Japan
121km (75mi) NE of Tokyo, Japan

M 5.0 earthquake strikes east of Fukushima, Japan
Location: 37.521°N 141.503°E
Depth: 39.0 km
Time: 2015-08-05 11:56:09 UTC
Nearby Cities:

44km (27mi) E of Namie, Japan
75km (47mi) NE of Iwaki, Japan
78km (48mi) SE of Marumori, Japan
80km (50mi) SE of Watari, Japan
259km (161mi) NE of Tokyo, Japan

M 5.0 earthquake strikes offshore east of Fukushima, Japan
Location: 37.780°N 141.539°E
Depth: 50.7 km
Time: 2015-08-03 05:30:12 UTC
Nearby Cities:

57km (35mi) NE of Namie, Japan
66km (41mi) ESE of Watari, Japan
69km (43mi) ESE of Iwanuma, Japan
69km (43mi) ESE of Kakuda, Japan
284km (176mi) NE of Tokyo, Japan

[Source: USGS/EHP]

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Volcanic Vent at Owakudani Valley near Tokyo Erupts

Posted by feww on June 30, 2015

Mt. Hakone erupts spewing ash and steam

A “minor volcanic eruption” has occurred at Mt Hakone near Tokyo starting Monday night through Tuesday, according to officials.

Fresh layers of volcanic ash were discovered Tuesday morning around a newly-formed vent in the Owakudani valley, which forms part of the Mount Hakone range (Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park) located in Kanagawa prefecture.

Volcanic tremors have been shaking the Hakone mountain since Monday morning, officials said, warning nearby residents that the volcano could eject sizable rocks to a radius of about one kilometer and smaller rocks even further.

The warning level on the Hakone was  raised to level 3 [“Do not approach the volcano,”] at 12:30 JST today [June 30,  2015.]

The volcano has been ejecting steam over the past few months.

Mt Hakone is located about 80 km SW of central Tokyo. More than 45 million people live within a 100-km radius of the volcano according to FIRE-EARTH Population Models.

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M6.9 Quake Strikes North of Bonin Islands, Japan Region

Posted by feww on June 24, 2015

Deep earthquake occurs WNW of Chichi-shima, Japan

Centered at 27.7N, 140.3E the quake occurred at a depth of about 480km at 21:19 JST (UTC + 9:00 hours) on Tuesday, according to Japan weather agency.

The epicenter was located about 900km south of Tokyo, Japan.

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Significant Quake Strikes Near Tokyo

Posted by feww on May 25, 2015

M5.6 Earthquake strikes north of Tokyo, Japan

Centered at 36.1N, 139.6E the quake struck at a depth of about 50km, the local weather agency reported.

EQ Details [JMA]

  • Magnitude: 5.6
  • Location: 36.1N, 139.6E; depth=50km
  • Region: Saitama prefecture (about 32km N of Tokyo, Japan)
  • Date/Time: 14:28 JST (UTC + 9hrs) on May 25, 2015

The quake was felt throughout Japan’s main island of Honshu.

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M5.9 Quake Strikes Sick Japan

Posted by feww on July 5, 2014


Significant earthquake strikes near Miyako, Japan

Centered at 39.675°N 142.034°E the quake struck off Iwate Pref., near east coast of Honshu, Japan, according to USGS/EHP.

The seismicity registered up to 5 (lower) on the 7-level local scale.

Earthquake Details
Magnitude: 5.9 [GEOFON Program]
Event Time: 2014-07-04 22:42:04 UTC
Location: 39.675°N 142.034°E depth=44.9km (27.9mi)
Nearby Cities:

  • 8km (5mi) ENE of Miyako, Japan
  • 24km (15mi) NNE of Yamada, Japan
  • 36km (22mi) NNE of Otsuchi, Japan
  • 47km (29mi) NNE of Kamaishi, Japan
  • 488km (303mi) NNE of Tokyo, Japan

FIRE-EARTH Earthquake Forecasts for Japan

FIRE-EARTH Science Team has suspended its research on Japan seismicity, California ditto.


For detailed FIRE-EARTH Earthquake Forecasts tune into UDCCpf daily @ 06:32UTC.

 Related Links

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Thousands Take Shelter as Massive Snowfall Buries Japan

Posted by feww on February 17, 2014


Record snowfall continues to paralyze central Japan, thousands seek shelter

Scores of evacuation centers were opened in two dozen cities and towns  in central Japan sheltering more than 1,600 people who were stranded in cars and trains, as well as thousands of residents who feared their homes, damaged in the snowstorm, could collapse.

Some 1,000 vehicles have been stuck in snow on freeways NW of Tokyo since early Saturday.

Supermarket shelves were left bare, as delivery trucks, also stuck in the snow, failed to arrive, according to reports.

The latest snowstorm has killed at least 18 people and left up to 2,000 others injured.

More snow is forecast along Japan’s Pacific Coast starting Tuesday.


Snow forces Toyota, Honda, Suzuki … to suspend operations at multiple plants

Toyota Motor Corp  suspended operations at four plants in Aichi prefecture, central Japan because heavy snow has disrupted its parts delivery chain, according to reports.

Honda Motor also stopped production at its plants in Saitama Prefecture near Tokyo for similar reasons.

Suzuki Motor announced on Monday it too had halted production at 3 plants in Shizuoka Prefecture.

Many other major manufacturers have followed suit including Seiko Epson and the Hitachi group, said reports.

Related Link

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Massive Snowstorm Paralyzes Tokyo, Much of Japan

Posted by feww on February 16, 2014


Record snowfall plagues Japan, killing at least 11, injuring hundreds

The second major snowstorm to batter Japan in one week left at least 11 people dead and more than 1,200 others injured.

More heavy snow is forecast along the Pacific Coast of Tohoku through Sunday, as officials warn of strong winds and avalanches.

heavy snow blocks expressway to tokyo

Tokyo and surrounding areas were pounded by record snowfall Friday through Saturday morning. The extreme event forced cancellations of up to a thousand flights, suspensions of many train services and severe  disruptions to road traffic.

Hundreds of thousands of people were stranded at train stations and airports throughout the country, as snowstorm knocked out power to tens of thousands of homes in 7 prefectures.

Up to 30cm of snow left large sections of expressways in and around Tokyo impassable, reported NHK.

“On the Tomei Expressway linking Tokyo and Aichi Prefecture, vehicles have remained virtually stranded for more than 20 hours in Shizuoka Prefecture. The jam stretches for about 40 kilometers.”

The Shinkansen bullet train services were suspended on lines linking the capital with Nagano prefecture in  central Japan, Niigata pref. on the Japan Sea Coast, and Yamagata pref. in the northeast, said the report.

Related Links

Posted in 2014 disaster calendar, 2014 disaster diary, 2014 Disaster Forecast, 2014 global disasters, Climate Change, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Japan Hit by Major Snowstorm

Posted by feww on February 8, 2014


Major Snowstorm leaves 5 dead, 500 injured across Japan

A major snowstorm, said to be the worst to hit japan in two decades, has left at least 5 people dead and more than 500 others injured in snow-related incidents, according to reports.

Up to 22 cm (8.7 inches) of snow fell over Tokyo on Saturday, breaking the previous record of 20 cm set in 1994, according to reports citing the meteorological agency.

Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) has issued a severe storm warning for the capital Tokyo, and the suburb of Tama, advising people stay at home.

The agency forecast heavy snow for Saturday through Sunday morning, for the Greater Tokyo Area.

Heavy snow forced airport authorities  to cancel up to 1,000 flights into, within or out of Japan late Friday through Saturday. Many train  services were  suspended and dozens of major roads closed, especially in the Kanagawa prefecture, a part of Greater Tokyo Area.

More than 3,200 snow-related accidents were reported across the country, many caused by vehicles skidding on icy roads, said NHK.

Posted in 2014 disaster calendar, 2014 disaster diary, Climate Change, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, Global Disasters 2014, significant events | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Significant Aftershocks Follow Powerful Japan Quake

Posted by feww on October 26, 2013

Quake magnitude revised down to 7.1Mw, as significant aftershocks strike

Magnitude of the powerful earthquake that struck off Fukushima coast has been revised down to 7.1Mw by USGS/EHP.

The revised details are as follows

  • Magnitude: 7.1Mw
  • Time: 2013-10-26 02:10:16 UTC+09:00
  • Location: 37.170°N, 144.665°E [475km (295mi) ENE of Tokyo, Japan]
  • Depth: 10.0km

At least 4 significant aftershocks have occurred, as of posting, the largest of which measured 5.5Mw.

Meantime, the authorities evacuated the crippled Fukushima Power Plant, after Tsunami Advisories were issued.

The plant operator said on Saturday there was no damage or change in radiation levels at the station following the quake, according to reports.

A 30cm tsunami reached Japan’s east coast, NHK reported.

The quake reportedly shook buildings far away as Tokyo, about 230 km south of Fukushima nuclear plant, and 475km WSW of the epicenter.

Earthquake Location Map

japan quake aftershocks 26oct13
Source: USGS/EHP

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FRANCISCO to Bring More Rain to Sodden Coastal Japan

Posted by feww on October 23, 2013

Typhoon FRANCISCO to Swipe Japan’s Pacific Coast

FRANCISCO, the 27th Typhoon of 2013, would likely follow a somewhat similar path to typhoon WIPHA, which dumped more than 800 millimeter of rain over Izu Ōshima Island in 24 hours, as it swiped Tokyo region.

WIPHA unleashed massive landslides on the volcanic Island, killing dozens of people (29 confirmed dead , 16 others missing presumed dead), destroying or damaging hundreds of homes and forcing thousands to evacuate last Wednesday.

FIRE-EARTH Models show FRANCISCO making landfall with probability of about 55 percent, as of 03:00UTC on October 23, 2013.

francisco 23oct13
Typhoon FRANCISCO moves closer to southern Japan, watched by Super Typhoon LEKIMA. VISIBLE/INFRARED satellite image (FIRE-EARTH Enhancement) recorded at 01:30UTC on October 23, 2013. Original image sourced from: CIMSS/SSEC/WISC.


  • Time: 03:00UTC – October 23, 2013
  • Movement: NW (305 degrees) at 15km/hr
  • Position: Near 24.3ºN, 131.1ºE
  • Location: About 270km Southeast (118 degrees) of Naha, Okinawa, Japan
  • Max Sustained Winds: 140km/hr
  • Max Wind Gusts: 215km/hr
  • Significant Wave Height:   10m
  • Source: FIRE-EARTH and others

typhoons projected pathes
Projected paths of Typhoon FRANCISCO and Super Typhoon LEKIMA as of 01:30UTC on October 23, 2013. Original images sourced from: CIMSS/SSEC/WISC. Enhanced by FIRE-EARTH

Typhoon Stats for NW Pacific

  • The 60 year average (1951-2010) No of Typhoons: 20.9
  • No of typhoons so far this year: 28
  • Percent Increase: 34 [Calculated by FIRE-EARTH blog]

typhoon list 2013

Related News

Nansei Sekiyu KK, a Japanese refiner owned by Petrobras, has shut down marine operations at its 100,000 barrels-per-day refinery in Okinawa, due to typhoon FRANCISCO, said a report.

More details to follow…

Related Links

Links to Typhoon WIPHA

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Crimes Against Nature: Water Overflows from 12 Fukushima Barriers

Posted by feww on October 21, 2013

Radioactive water may have reached the ocean, says plant operator

Water has overflowed 12 barriers around holding tanks at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, and some of it may have reached the ocean, the plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) said on Sunday.

“The utility says workers found water overflowing from five barriers Sunday afternoon. They found additional overflows in seven barriers Sunday evening,” reported NHK.

Although the barriers are 30 centimeter high, they already contained at least 20 centimeters of water due to earlier downpours brought by Typhoon WIPHA. The barriers overflowed after more than 100 millimeters of rain fell in four hours  Sunday afternoon. Workers can pump out the water at a rate of about 1.5 centimeters per day.

“The operator of the crippled plant also says workers released some of the water accumulated inside barriers into the ground. The utility says the water met safety standards for radioactivity set by the Nuclear Regulation Authority.” said NHK.

Other Disaster News in Japan

More rain amplifies misery on Izu Oshima Island

Izu Ōshima Island is keeping its evacuation advisories in effect as town officials brace for more torrential rains that  may cause further destructive mudslides.

Officials in Ōshima have already evacuated more than 580 people and issued evacuation advisories to nearly 2,300 people in 1,200 households on the island on Saturday, reported NHK.

Massive mudslides caused by Typhoon WIPHA last week killed at least 27 people, with 19 others still missing, presumed dead. The typhoon destroyed or damaged more than 300 buildings, and overflowing rivers and mudslides continue to  close roads.

Izu Ōshima, a volcanic island in the Izu Islands, lies about 100 km south of Tokyo and is administered by the Tokyo Metropolitan government.

Related Links

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Typhoon WIPHA Dumps 800mm of Rain Over Tokyo

Posted by feww on October 16, 2013

UPDATED at 04:00UTC on October 16, 2013

  • Typhoon WIPHA has killed at least 14 people in Japan, according to NHK. Most of them victims died as a result of collapsing buildings due to flooding and mudslides.
  • The typhoon dumped more than 800 millimeter of rain over 24 hours as it swiped the region. That’s more than double the average for the month of October.
  • The storm has left at least 37 people injured in 16 prefectures, said NHK.
  • More than 50 people are reported as missing on Izu Oshima island, located about 120km south of Tokyo, according to local reports.
  • Authorities had advised 23,000 homes to evacuate.
  • “It is the strongest typhoon in 10 years to pass the Kanto (Tokyo area) region,” said senior forecaster at Japan Meteorological Agency.
  • Fukushima nuclear plant operators said they were pumping out rainwater from the storage tanks.
  • “We are making preparations for proper management of contaminated water. We will patrol places that could have inflows of water (from the typhoon rains),” said Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO).

WIPHA brings heavy rain and strong winds to Tokyo and most of Japan

WIPHA has dumped more than 800 millimeters (31.5 in) of rain over the past 24 hours, twice the average rainfall for the month of October according to Japan Meteorological Agency.

The island of Izu Oshima, located south of Tokyo, received 122 millimeters of rain in a one-hour period Wednesday morning.

WIPHA was still a typhoon force Wednesday morning with sustained winds of about 126km/hr and gusts exceeding 180km/hr. It was located near 36.1°N, 141.6°E, moving NE at 65km/h at of 00:01UTC on October 16, 2013.

WIPHA failed to make landfall. The eye of the storm came to within 40km of land at its closest point near Katsuura, Chiba Prefecture. Probability of the typhoon making landfall was about 78 percent, based on the most favorable conditions, as projected by FIRE-EARTH on Tuesday.

ty2613 -oct16 -NHC
Typhoon WIPHA.  IR satellite image (NHC Enhancement) recorded at 23:32UTC on October 15, 2013. Source of original image: CIMSS/SSEC/WISC. Re-enhanced by FIRE-EARTH.

ty2613 -oct16
Typhoon WIPHA. Visible/Shortwave IR (FIRE-EARTH Enhancement) satellite image recorded at 23:32UTC on October 15, 2013. Source of original image: CIMSS/SSEC/WISC.

WIPHA forced airlines to cancel hundreds of flights affecting up to 100,000 passengers. Dozens of bullet trains as well as other train services were also cancelled.

The typhoon affected oil refining marine operations in several prefectures located on coastal Honshu.

More details to follow…

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Typhoon WIPHA Targets Tokyo

Posted by feww on October 15, 2013

WIPHA Currently Large and Strong

WIPHA, the 26th typhoon of the year, was located about 1,040km SSW of Yokohama (211 degrees), Japan, tracking N at about 25km/hr. [Timed at 00:15UTC on October 15, 2013]

Typhoon WIPHA

  • Time: 00:15UTC – October 15, 2013
  • Movement: N (05 degrees) at 25km/hr
  • Position: Near 27.26ºN, 133.94E
  • Location: Near 1,040km SSW of Yokohama (211 degrees), Japan
  • Max Sustained Winds: 170km/hr [Cat 2B on FEWW Scale]
  • Max Wind Gusts: 210km/hr
  • Significant Wave Height: ~ 15m
  • Source: FIRE-EARTH and others

WIPHA is expected to weaken to a cat 1 storm force before landfall. (Probability of WIPHA making landfall is about 78 percent, as of posting—FIRE-EARTH projection.)

Typhoon Stats for NW Pacific

  • The 60 year average (1951-2010) No of Typhoons: 20.9
  • No of typhoons so far this year: 26
  • Percent Increase: 24.4 [Calculated by FIRE-EARTH blog]

Typhoon WIPHA. Visible/Shortwave IR satellite image recorded at 23:32UTC on October 14, 2013. Source: CIMSS/SSEC/WISC. Enhanced by FIRE-EARTH.

WIPHA 15oct2013
Typhoon WIPHA. Water Vapor (FIRE-EARTH Enhancement) satellite image recorded at 00:32UTC on October 15, 2013. Source: CIMSS/SSEC/WISC.

wipha -digityph
Typhoon WIPHA. MTSAT-2 IR satellite image (FIRE-EARTH Enhancement)  recorded at 02:00UTC on October 15, 2013. Source: Digital Typhoon

More details to follow…

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Mass Evacuations Forced by MAN-YI in Japan

Posted by feww on September 16, 2013

Up to two million people under mandatory evacuation or advised to evacuate: Report

Authorities in Japan have issued mandatory evacuation orders for an estimated 800,000 people in 205,000 households in seven prefectures, and advised an additional 1.2 million people in 346,000 residences in 18 prefectures to evacuate their homes due to the massive Tropical Cyclone MAN-YI.

The cyclone is currently racing up in a northeasterly direction in the northeastern Japan, including the Tohoku region, having made landfall in Aichi prefecture on Monday morning.

The cyclone has already dumped in excess of 550 millimeters (20 inches) of rain in western and central Japan, with eastern and northern regions told to expect more than 80 mm per hour.

Tropical Cyclone MAN-YI. IR/WV Difference Image 2013-09-16 @ 07:32UTC. Source: CIMSS/SSEC/WISC.

Weather officials issued special warnings for Shiga, Kyoto and Fukui prefectures.  The warning is reserved for events when there is a significant likelihood of a major natural disaster “of a magnitude observed only once every few decades,” said NHK.

nhk storm image-yt

The storm has killed at least one person, left five people missing and injured 671 others, reports said.

More than 360 homes have reportedly been damaged, many of them severely.

  • About 74,000 households have been left without electricity.
  • More than 500 domestic flights have been cancelled.
  • Bullet train services have partially been suspended after wind speeds exceeded the safety limit, said NHK.

There are reports of widespread flooding and numerous mudslides in the affected regions, according to reports.

Related Links

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Tornado Destroys or Damages Hundreds of Homes in Japan

Posted by feww on September 2, 2013

Tornado destroys blocks, injures dozens, overturns vehicles near Tokyo

Powerful winds from a suspected tornado, “towering about 300m high,” ripped through Koshigaya city in Saitama Prefecture, near Tokyo,  damaging parts of the city and  injuring several dozen people—many of them requiring hospitalization.

The winds knocked over concrete utility poles, uprooted hundreds of trees and overturned dozens of vehicles, report said.

The rare twister also hit the city of Noda in Chiba prefecture, destroying or damaging at least two dozen buildings.

Power was cut off to at least 33,000 customers, TEPCO said.

Still frames from a video report broadcast by NHK, Japan, compiled by FIRE-EARTH.


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Magnitude 7.1 Quake Strikes Off Sanriku, Japan

Posted by feww on July 10, 2011

Powerful Earthquake Strikes Off the East Coast of Honshu Japan

The quake, epicentered at 38.0ºN 143.5ºE , struck at a depth of 10 km at 09:57 JST (00:57 UTC) on Sunday Jul 10, 2011  off the coast Sanriku (Tohoku Region),  Honshu, Japan, Japan’s Meteorological Agency (JMA) reported.

The earthquake occurred about 250km east of Fukushima and 405km NE of Tokyo.

TSUNAMI STATUS:  JMA has just issued the following Tsunami Bulletin:

Tsunami Warning/Advisory- Issued at 10:00 JST 10 Jul 2011

Tsunami Advisories have been issued for the following coastal regions of Japan: PACIFIC COAST OF TOHOKU

Tsunami Advisories have been issued for the following coastal regions of Japan:


Tsunami Forecast
Tsunami height is expected to be about 0.5 meters. Attention advised.

10-degree Map Centered at 40°N,145°E

EQ Location Map. Source: USGS

Earthquake Shakemap

Source: USGS

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China Food Import Alert

Posted by feww on October 18, 2008

Tainted beans from China sicken three in Japan

Frozen green imports had high level of insecticide

(Kyodo News) An extremely high concentration of insecticide has been detected in frozen green beans imported from China, causing a woman in the Tokyo suburb of Hachioji and two other people in Chiba Prefecture to fall ill, reports said Wednesday.

The 56-year-old woman bought the beans Saturday and ate some of them Sunday, the Hachioji health department said. She started vomiting from the foul taste and smell and later experienced numbness in her mouth and more nausea.

The city of Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture, said later Wednesday that two people experienced numbness of the tongue after eating beans from a package with the same lot number as the one in the Hachioji case. Police seized the remaining beans from the Kashiwa incident and were conducting checks.

The Hachioji health department said it detected 6,900 parts per million of the organophosphate insecticide dichlorvos in the beans, which is 34,500 times the government standard for imports.

A bag of green beans similar to the one that contained an extremely high level of insecticide dichlorvos. Photo:  Tokyo Metropolitan Government handout.

At that concentration, which the ministry said is nearly equal to an undiluted solution of the insecticide, eating just 0.07 gram of the beans could be enough to trigger acute symptoms in a 60-kg person, it said.

The beans were manufactured by Yantai Beihai Foodstuff Co. in Shandong Province and imported by Tokyo-based Nichirei Foods Inc. for sale under the Ingen brand.

Prime Minister Taro Aso told reporters Wednesday that Tokyo will ask Beijing to work to improve the safety of exported food products from China. “(Food) products from China have caused problems in many places (for about a year),” he said.

This is not Yantai Beihai’s first tainted product. The ministry said it also detected unacceptable levels of the insecticide chlorpyrifos in another frozen bean product made by the company in 2002 that was exported to Japan. Although the concentration was 0.15 ppm, a level that shouldn’t cause immediate health problems in humans, the product had to be destroyed, it said.

A total of 265 tons of the frozen green beans have been imported in the past year. The government is warning consumers not to eat them and asking distributors to halt sales of the product until it can confirm what made the consumers sick. Quarantine offices nationwide have been ordered to halt import procedures for all food products from the Chinese company.

Frozen “gyoza” (dumplings) from China tainted with the agrochemical methamidophos sickened three families earlier this year in Chiba and Hyogo prefectures. It was later revealed that gyoza made by the same Chinese firm, containing the same pesticide, caused a food poisoning outbreak in China over the summer that Beijing authorities initially urged Japan not to report. Copyright Kyodo News

Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has revealed that high concentrations of dichlorvos have been detected in foods imported from China on 14 different occasions since 2000. The contaminated products included  matsutake mushrooms, nonglutinous rice, vegetables, corn, frozen strawberries, dumplings and and herbal medicines.

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Smoke Detected at Japanese Nuke Plant

Posted by feww on October 10, 2008

Japan’s Nuclear Cowboys

Sensors detected smoke at Tokaimura nuclear complex about 120km northeast of Tokyo on Friday. Smoke was detected at a solid waste facility where metal waste is incinerated. The operator claimed there was no release of radioactivity.

The fuel reprocessing center in Tokaimura was the scene of an uncontrolled nuclear chain reaction in September 1999 which killed two employees and contaminated about 700 people with radiation.

“Japan’s nuclear power program has a history of accidents and lax oversight. In August, liquid containing uranium splashed out of a container at a nuclear fuel plant southwest of Tokyo, exposing two people to radiation.” AP reported.

Engineers at Tokaimura plant triggered the world’s worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl. Credit: New Scientist. Image may be subject to copyright.

Emergency response personnel at the site of the Tokaimura criticality accident, Japan, September 30, 1999. Source: The Encyclopedia of Earth.

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Massive Action

Posted by feww on September 11, 2008

Japan’s Mikasa Foods to fire its entire staff!

Mikasa Foods Co., an Osaka-based wholesaler, which sold “industrial-use” rice unfit for human consumption to food manufacturers, will fire its entire workforce of about 100 employees because of fallout from the scandal, Japan’s Asahi Shimbun reported.

“While the company will close operations at its rice cooking and processing factory in Toyonaka, Osaka Prefecture, it will maintain its Kyushu factory in Chikuzen, Fukuoka Prefecture, which resold government stocks of contaminated rice imported from China and other countries that it had purchased at low prices.” (source)

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Heavy Rains Flood Central Japan

Posted by feww on August 30, 2008

Heavy rains wreak havoc in central Japan

About 1.5 million people from 500,000 households in Aichi prefecture, central Japan, were ordered to evacuate as heavy rains flooded central Japan Friday, Kyodo News agency reported.

The evacuation orders were later lifted as rain abated; however, the officials warned about more rains in the area.

Cars travel down a flooded street between fields in Okazaki, 230 km (143 miles) west of Tokyo, August 29, 2008. (Credit: Reuters). Image may be subject to copyright.

“While the evacuation order was lifted, we urged residents to be cautious as we expect heavy rains tonight,” said a police official in the city of Okazaki, about 230 kilometers southwest of Tokyo.

“While the evacuation order was lifted, we urged residents to be cautious as we expect heavy rains tonight,” said Naoyuki Kato, a police official in the hardest-hit city of Okazaki, 140 miles (230 kilometers) southwest of Tokyo.

Okazaki, the worst affected city in the area, experienced a recors  downpour of about 15 centimeters per hour, Japan’s Meteorological Agency said.

A 76 year-old woman was drowned in her home, a man was in serious condition, and three others were missing in Okazaki.

Okazaki, 230 km (143 miles) west of Tokyo August 29, 2008 - i3
Homes are seen flooded after heavy rain in Okazaki, 230 km west of Tokyo August 29, 2008. REUTERS/Kyodo. Image may be subject to copyright.

Other highlights from Asahi Shimbun report:

  • The Tokai and Kanto regions were worst affected by the downpours from Thursday through Friday.
  • Heavy rain caused floods and landslides across wide areas. A mudslide in Hachioji, western Tokyo, derailed a Keio Takao Line train late Thursday.
  • In the 24 hours to 8:50 a.m. Friday, the rainfall had reached 302.5 millimeters.
  • As of 6 p.m. Friday, a total of 829 houses in 12 prefectures, including 687 in Aichi, were flooded above floor level.
  • In addition, 2,493 houses in 17 prefectures were flooded below floor level.
  • In the Kanto region, heavy rain damaged points at Takao Station late Thursday, cancelling 195 train runs and affecting 130,000 people.
  • On Thursday night, a Keio Takao Line train was derailed by a mudslide on the tracks.
  • Thunderstorms caused power outages to 20,000 households in Tokyo as well as in Kanagawa, Tochigi and Ibaraki prefectures on Friday morning.
  • Water levels were critical at six rivers in the Tokai and Kanto regions.
  • Sporadic torrential rain could fall again because continued atmospheric instability was expected.

Japanese firefighters search for a missing 80-year-old woman at the Iga river near her damaged house in Okazaki, Aichi prefecture, on August 29.  (AFP/Jiji Press). Image may be subject to copyright.

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Posted in Climate Change, energy, environment, food, Global Warming, health, Ibaraki, Kanagawa, Tochigi | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »