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8.9 Earthquake Hits Japan

March 11th, 2011

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. 

  1. March 11th, 2011 at 08:57 | #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. March 11th, 2011 at 09:04 | #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
    March 11th, 2011 at 10:49 | #3

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/space/20110310/sc_space/willmarch19supermoontriggernaturaldisasters

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

  4. Need to Know
    March 11th, 2011 at 12:41 | #4

    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.

    http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/

  5. Big Dog
  6. punchak
    March 11th, 2011 at 15:16 | #6

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

  7. punchak
    March 11th, 2011 at 15:16 | #7

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

  8. March 11th, 2011 at 16:05 | #8

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

  9. March 11th, 2011 at 16:27 | #9

    Lighting a light for the victims and their families…

  10. Emma
    March 11th, 2011 at 17:49 | #10

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

  11. Morris Davis
    March 11th, 2011 at 18:15 | #11

    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.

  12. Juturna
    March 11th, 2011 at 18:34 | #12

    @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.

  13. March 11th, 2011 at 19:44 | #13

    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?

  14. March 11th, 2011 at 19:46 | #14

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

  15. March 11th, 2011 at 23:00 | #15

    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?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1812_New_Madrid_earthquake

    See the little cluster by Arkasas and Tennessee? Yep. That’s it. And it had a 4.7 in February.
    http://folkworm.ceri.memphis.edu/recenteqs/

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

    • March 12th, 2011 at 05:55 | #16

      @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.

  16. Red Dawn
    March 11th, 2011 at 23:45 | #17

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

  17. March 12th, 2011 at 06:55 | #18

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

  18. Raymond Beverage
    March 12th, 2011 at 07:37 | #19

    @Moon-howler

    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.

  19. March 12th, 2011 at 09:27 | #20

    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.

  20. March 12th, 2011 at 09:39 | #21

    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.

  21. March 12th, 2011 at 09:45 | #22

    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.

    http://newsroom.lds.org/article/church-sending-relief-supplies-to-pakistan

    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.

  22. March 12th, 2011 at 13:13 | #24

    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?

  23. March 12th, 2011 at 15:06 | #25

    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.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110312/ap_on_bi_ge/as_japan_earthquake

  24. March 12th, 2011 at 15:07 | #26

    @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.

  25. Wolverine
    March 12th, 2011 at 22:31 | #27

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

    • March 12th, 2011 at 23:11 | #28

      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?

  26. Wolverine
    March 13th, 2011 at 00:30 | #29

    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.

    • March 13th, 2011 at 00:48 | #30

      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.

  27. Wolverine
    March 13th, 2011 at 04:49 | #31

    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.

  28. Wolverine
    March 13th, 2011 at 05:23 | #32

    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.

  29. Slowpoke Rodriguez
    March 13th, 2011 at 09:13 | #33

    Moon-howler :
    More public employees to the rescue.

    ANYONE else would be accused to politicizing.

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