Massive Earthquake Rocks Japan

March 11, 2011


A powerful earthquake measuring a staggering 8.9 on the Richter scale, hit about 80 miles east of Honshu, Japan causing massive damage. Tokyo, located 200 miles from the epicenter, was also rocked by the quake and suffered damage. People reportedly poured from buildings into the streets.  It is the largest earthquake to hit Japan in 140 years.

Over 4.5 million people in the Tokyo region have no electricity. Japan's bullet trains have been stopped.

Earlier this week a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Japan, which is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire.

A tsunami that followed the earthquake produced a 33 foot wave that swept cars, boats and buildings inland in Kamaichi. The airport was flooded and people were seen on top of the roof. There are reports that many buildings and a oil storage tanks are burning. Over 4 million people are without electricity.

A tsunami warning was issued for all of the Pacific region, including the Philippines, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Hawaii and the west coast of the United States. Waves from the tsunami are expected to hit California about 8 am PST.  

Friends in the Northern Marianas said that the "all clear" has not yet been issued, and they are still at NMC where they went after the call to evacuate. (6:30 am EST)

A 4.6 earthquake hit Hawaii hours after the Japan quake as the island coastal residents were evacuating in case the tsunami hits. Buses were taking coastal dwellers to higher ground when the earthquake hit.

On February 22, 2011 a 6.3 magnitude earthquake devastated Christchurch, New Zealand destroying buildings and killing 166.

President Obama issued this statement:
Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to the people of Japan, particularly those who have lost loved ones in the earthquake and tsunamis. The United States stands ready to help the Japanese people in this time of great trial. The friendship and alliance between our two nations is unshakeable, and only strengthens our resolve to stand with the people of Japan as they overcome this tragedy. We will continue to closely monitor tsunamis around Japan and the Pacific going forward and we are asking all our citizens in the affected region to listen to their state and local officials as I have instructed FEMA to be ready to assist Hawaii and the rest of the US states and territories that could be affected.


Capatain said...

The Tsunami has already hit the Phil. There has been no reported damage so far.
The wave was about 1 meter high and came ashore between 5-7 pm.depending on the areas. Subic Bay Freeport area so far no reported damage along with Maraviles, Bataan.
A few canoes have washed up on shore in some areas.
Areas that have an extended reef are expected to be reporting some minor flooding and damage.

Wendy said...


Stay safe. Friends in Saipan said that the tsunami warning is still in effect. This article mentions Wake and Saipan.

A tsunami is supposed to hit Hawaii within the hour.

Anonymous said...

Photos and video of Japan earthquake. Damage is horrible: Sending prayers to the Japanese people.

the teacher said...

Of the four primary type islands, Tsunamis pose danger to continental islands or the coast of continents much more than Saipan or the populated NMI. They can potentially be devastating to low atolls as well. An 8.0earthquake 100 miles off the west coast of Saipan would pose potential danger to PI and the Chinese coast, and possibly low lying atolls like the Caroline Islands, but would not likely get the deck of Oleai wet. We are a raised limestone island in incredibly deep water and tsunamis would pass here much like they pass by ships in the ocean. The islands south of Saipan are raised limestone and to the north is generally younger high volcanic islands which would not likely experience danger from a tsunami either.

Anonymous said...

ok Teacher, explain American Samoa to us.

Anonymous said...

A. Samoa, have extended reefs in many areas at different places around the island.
Same as W. Samoa and the Island of Savaii. Very shallow main harbors and approaches. Very extensive damage whenever a Typhoon hits also.
The Big Island of Hawaii, Tsunami has little affect on Kona Coast,the depth of the water is over 5k feet less than 1/4 mile of the coast (thus OTEC and other cold water Aquaculture is in operation) but some places on the Hamukua Coast and other specific isolated places have extended reef and villages have been washed away (and not rebuilt). Hilo usually always will get damage in the same areas. There is/was a longtime popular local hotel there that used to have the wave heights drawn on the street level restaurant walls with the dates of the Tsunami that hit over the years, back from 1930's.