An 8.9 earthquake hit Japan near Tokyo during the night.   It was around 2 in the afternoon in Japan when the earthquake hit.  The epicenter was right off the coast.  Tsunamis have hit Japan.  Hawaii and the entire Pacific Basin are under tsunami warning meaning imminent danger.  Our entire west coast line, Canada and Alaska are under this warning. 

Pictures coming in of the tsunamis already hitting Japan have been in TV all night.  This earthquake is the largest in Japan since such data has been recorded. 

We will use this thread for updates. 

34 Thoughts to “8.9 Earthquake Hits Japan”

  1. Waves have hit Hawaii and Shemya, Alaska. No damage. Shemya reported 5 foot wave. Midway Island, about 3 foot. Honolulu, first tentative report. 2 ft.

    All nuclear reactors in Japan earthquake zone safely shut down. Entire town of 77,000 in northern Japan reported destroyed.

  2. The images I see on TV don’t even look real. I have never seen anything like this. Holy cow.

    I have friends on the beach in southern Washington State. I hope they don’t get swept away.

  3. Alanna

    Interesting article published yesterday morning concerning a ‘super moon’ triggering natural disasters…

  4. Need to Know

    Here’s a link to the USGS site with details of earthquakes globally. You can also click on maps of just the US, or just California, and get lots of information on each of the quakes.

  5. punchak

    Fantastic pictures! Makes one feel like the tiniest of the tiniest critter on earth.

  6. punchak

    Fantastic pictures! Makes one feel like the tiniest of the tiniest critter on earth.

  7. Holy cow. Amazing. I am sitting here thinking how fortunate I am.

  8. Lighting a light for the victims and their families…

  9. Emma

    A lot of other issues seem pretty puny and trivial today.

  10. Morris Davis

    Watching the videos of the destruction does put things in perspective and makes some things “seem pretty puny and trivial,” as Emma said. Waiting for Pat Robertson to chime in and reveal what the Japanese did.

  11. Juturna

    @Emma – yes,they do. I heard as many as 88,000 are missing. Read somewhere that the Japenese population was aging quickly – very high percentage of Japanese are over 60. Horrible.

  12. How do 4 trains just disappear? They are just gone.

    I have never seen anything like those pictures. I thought Indonesia was bad but somehow it is more horrible because Japan is such an advanced society.

    I don’t mean it is more awful…it looks more awful. Those neat, orderly farms just vanishing under a wave or water….

    Will we ever get to the point where we can predict these things?

  13. When will the collections for relief start? Maybe Clinton and W will kick into action and do some fund raising.

  14. Quake has been upgraded to 9.1. HOLY FREAKING JEBUS JUMPING COW! And they still have to worry about that reactor.

    Do you know about the US’s worst earthquake? New Madrid in 1812?

    See the little cluster by Arkasas and Tennessee? Yep. That’s it. And it had a 4.7 in February.

    And, unlike Japan, we don’t earthquake proof our buildings, especially outside California.

    1. @Cargo, that needs to change. If nothing else, this natural disaster shows just how bad things can get. Imagine if the Japanese didn’t have strict building codes.

      Thanks for the link on New Madrid.

  15. Red Dawn

    Cargo, I was reading about the New Madrid earlier this eve. That is a concern

  16. Fukushima Nuclear Reactor has had some sort of explosion. Thousands have been evacuated.

  17. Raymond Beverage


    How do four trains disappear? Think about the normal undertow you feel when standing in the water at a beach on the at any US coast….

    Then multiply that feeling 100 times over. When a 30 foot wave hits, it has one mother of an undertow.

  18. That much water seems unfathomable. Trains are big pieces of steel. Not saying it can’t be done. Just saying hard to wrap my head around moving something that big and heavy.

  19. I wonder if the Mormons have kicked into action? They have huge warehouses, very well catalogued and arranged, for emergency replacement supplies. When Katrina happened (and other disasters around the world), many young mormons flock to these centers and literally form firelines, passing materials and packing them up.

    The Mormons are often the first on the ground with rescue supplies. They don’t just send supplies. They stay and pitch in to help. It is part of living their faith. They get very little publicity for this kind of work.

  20. Here is a link to how their operation works outside the country. Hopefully supplies can get to Japan faster. In this case, relief was sent to Pakistan after the earthquake last Sept.

    Obviously, disasters in the United States are easier to get to. When Katrina happened, young people went down there to help. I believe they sent young people to Haiti also.

    They have these supplies on hand.

    These supplies include food items (rice, beans, Atmit and powdered milk), hygiene kits, handmade quilts and medical supplies.

  21. I can’t help but think about how orderly and dignified the Japanese are, even in the face of horrible disaster.

    Had our country suffered from 1/10 of that earthquake/tsunami/nuclear emergency, the looting would have already been in effect for a day and half. That fact does not make me proud to be an American.

    Any comments?

  22. IWAKI, Japan – An explosion at a nuclear power plant on Japan’s devastated coast destroyed a building Saturday and made leaking radiation, or even outright meltdown, the central threat menacing a nation just beginning to grasp the scale of a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami.

    The Japanese government said radiation emanating from the plant appeared to have decreased after the blast, which produced an intensifying cloud of white smoke that swallowed the complex. But authorities did not say why, and the precise cause of the explosion and the extent of the ongoing danger were not clear.

  23. @Moon-howler
    You are probably right, MH, that Americans are probably more prone to looting. But I don’t think it’s just us. Wasn’t there looting in Haiti after that disaster?

    Thanks for informing us about the Mormons. I knew they kept supplies, but I never knew how they help out in a disaster. That’s pretty awesome.

  24. Wolverine

    Last I heard, our Fairfax special rescue team was swinging into action once again, apparently along with their counterparts in Los Angeles.

    1. I saw that Wolverine. More public employees to the rescue. Those men and women are incredible. They go to parts unknown on a moment’s notice. Are the Fairfax ones actually volunteer for this duty?

  25. Wolverine

    Good question. The VATF1 (International Urban Search and Rescue) website says 200 personnel from the Fairfax County fire and rescue rosters. A mix of professionals and volunteers plus civilian specialists. They train regularly to maintain skill specialities, often without financial compensation. They and the team in LA are the only ones of the kind in the country. They have some coordinating relationship with the federal emergency response apparatus.

    I heard that about 70 from Fairfax were headed for Japan with equipment and the trained search dogs. As I understand it, if you can cut loose fast from other local obligations and get there first, you get to go. They really have their work cut out for them given the wide swath of destruction and an unknown number of missing. And now you’ve got some possibility of nuclear radiation in the mix to boot.

    1. Well, Wolverine, they really are heroes, if you ask me. I guess I want to point out to everyone once again that they are public servants. In my mind, no amount of money could buy these services.

  26. Wolverine

    There is a photo in the LA Times of the city of Minamisanriku in Miyagi Prefecture which must be the way Hiroshima looked in 1945. The Fairfax rescue team probably could use all 200 of their people and everything else they have available.

  27. Wolverine

    They have upgraded the Japanese quake to 9.0; and some are predicting an aftershock of 6.7 in a couple of days. According to scientists at Caltech in Pasadena, California, a series of very sensitive sensors across Japan made this one of the best recordings ever of a quake. Apparently the quake was so strong that it shifted the Earth on its axis and shortened the length of a day by a hair. Truly awesome.

  28. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    Moon-howler :
    More public employees to the rescue.

    ANYONE else would be accused to politicizing.

    1. @Slowpoke, yup, but not me. I would NEVER be political .. 😈 😉

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