By David Colburn
An 8.9-magnitude earthquake struck 80 miles off Japan’s eastern coast at 5:46 a.m. coordinated universal time (UTC) on Friday, March 11, 2011.
According to msnbc.msn.com, at least 32 people were killed, with numbers rising by the minute. The earthquake triggered issues with a cooling system at a power plant, and the subsequent 13-foot tsunami prompted a nuclear emergency in northeastern Japan.
Five aftershocks, measuring up to 7.1 magnitude, followed the initial earthquake within an hour.
Yukio Edano, the government’s top spokesman, confirmed that Japan was sending troops to join relief efforts.
A tsunami warning was issued for Hawaii, Oregon, California, and Alaska, with an advisory in effect for the southern portion of California. CNSNews.com has stated that a tsunami warning has also been issued for multiple Pacific countries, including Chile.
Tremors from the earthquake were felt as far as1,300 miles west of Tokyo.
If the 8.9 reading is confirmed, it would be the fifth-strongest earthquake since 1900. The Sydney Morning Herald has stated that the 8.9 magnitude of the earthquake would make it the largest earthquake to strike Japan and the seventh largest earthquake in history.
The US Geological Survey website confirmed the following location coordinates: 38.322°N, 142.369°E at a depth of 15.2 miles, with distances that range from 80 miles east of Sendai, Honshu, Japan, 110 miles east of Yamagagta, Honshu Japan, 110 miles east-northeast of Fukushimi, Honshu, Japan, and 231 miles northeast of Japan.
According to wsbt.com, the 7.2-magnitude earthquake of a few days earlier ultimately served as a precursor.
Check out a video of the disaster here.
Also, check out a video of a massive whirlpool caused by the earthquake below:
By Nate Gnau
Japan’s Kyodo News Agency is reporting that 2-300 people are missing in the Sendai area alone, after a 8.9 magnitude quake triggered a tsunami that over half of the population of the island nation felt. Kyodo News also reported that 88,000 total people had been reported as missing, but that number also has been said to include people that are simply stranded in the cities, and are probably fine. Nobody has even begun to try to calculate the economic & financial hits yet.
“When you jump a magnitude from 7 to 8, it’s not 10 times stronger, it’s a 1000 times stronger,” said CNN International meteorologist Ivan Cabrera. “With an … earthquake that shallow, that close to shore, there will be more than one tsunami.”
Effect felt across the Pacific regions
The tsunami has been rocketing all day across the Pacific ocean at 500 miles per hour, at heights of up to 23 feet, but as it hit North America, it was around 7ft tall. The damage has been estimated in California alone to be in the millions, and one man was swept out to sea while taking pictures.
Hawaii was placed on tsunami warning, along with Japan, Russia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Australia, Fiji, Mexico, New Zealand, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, Honduras, Chile, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru and the United States’ entire west coast.
We here at The LC Bridge want to let our readers know that if you have loved ones in an affected area, know that our hearts are with you, and your family and friends.