Mar 11

Major Earthquake at 8.9 Hits Japan

Japan was hit by a massive earthquake measuring 8.9 in the Richter scale at about 2:46 pm, local time March 11, 2011.   The quake unleashed a 13-foot (4-meter) tsunami that was seen carrying cars, boats, and other debris as it tore along the coast near the epicenter. Aftershocks continue to hit the area with magnitudes of over 7 while waves continue to pour menacingly over the shoreline.

The epicenter was 373 kilometers (231 miles) away from Tokyo, but residents there felt the tremors.  Minutes after the quake, buildings were still swaying in Tokyo and mobile phone networks were unavailable.   Approximately 4 million homes around the area are now without power.

At the moment, assessment of damage and injuries are still not available as waves continue to crash from the coast.  A tsunami warning was in effect for Japan, Russia, Marcus Island and the Northern Marianas. Meanwhile, a tsunami watch was issued for Guam, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia and Hawaii.

Here is a rough video from the live coverage.

For my Philippine readers, please be advised that the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) identified 19 provinces along the east coast in the Philippines that are expected to get hit by a 1-meter tsunami between 5 pm to 7 pm local time. Though the waves are estimated at shoulder level, it can still inflict damage as it is expected to continue for hours. Residents along the coast of these identified provinces are advised to evacuate and seek higher ground. Following are the provinces:

• Batanes Group of Islands
• Cagayan
• Ilocos Norte
• Isabela
• Quezon
• Aurora
• Camarines Norte
• Camarines Sur
• Albay
• Catanduanes
• Sorsogon
• Northern Samar
• Eastern Samar
• Leyte
• Southern Leyte
• Surigao del Norte
• Surigao del Sur
• Davao Oriental
• Davao del Sur

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