Earthquake in Japan

Today, March 11, 2011 at 5:46 (Greenwich time) in Japan there was a massive quake that caused tsunami and a lot of damage.

The earthquake with almost 9 magnitude took place in 400 km from Tokyo on the northern east of the country and it appeared to be the most powerful natural disaster in the written history of Japan (for last 140 years).

Powerful waves have hit the coast of Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures where dozens of communities suffered. Kyodo news agency informed that 10 meter wave hit Sendai port in Miyagi prefecture.

Japanese police inform about 200-300 dead, mostly drowned, people.

Cargo containers in Sendai port after tsunami

Warning about tsunami spread to the neighboring countries: Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, USA (Hawaii), and Far Eastern coast of Russia.

BBC informs about number of injured citizens and fires that happened as a result of earthquake in the country.

Oil terminal of Ichihara city near Tokyo ignited.

Because of the message about failure in cooling system operation on nuclear power station, thousands of people were evacuated from the territory near nuclear plant in Fukushima city. The cooling system failed to work on one of the reactors after automatic switch off due to aftershocks.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan informed that there was no effluence of radioactivity on the station or any other reactor, but he announced emergency state in relation to the current problems.

20 people got hurt in Tokyo when roof fall on heads of students. Tokyoites gather in parks and open spaces faraway from buildings.

Transport connection does not work. It is possible to get to the point of destination only by taxi or bicycle.

Many people stayed overnight at the office.

UPD: 18:30 11.03.2011

As USGS informs at 14:44 (Greenwich time) near eastern coast of Honshu on at depth of 25.1 km there was another shock of an earthquake with 5.1 magnitude, and at 16:11 shock with 5.5 magnitude according to Richter scale.

UPD: 19:20 11.03.2011

As we were told by our senseis, the biggest destruction happened in the northern regions of Japan. We were also informed that in Kansai region, in Kobe, Kyoto, Nagasaki, and Kagoshimi the situation is safe.

UPD: 21:30 11.03.2011

Tokyo Electric Power company warned Japanese government about emergency state on nuclear plant that suffered from earthquake in Fukushima prefecture. The company informed that the pressure in reactors grew that might result in breakdown. It considers possibility of air outlet from containers of reactor that holds radioactive materials. Tokyo Electric mentions that amount of air outlet will be insignificant.

Earlier Japanese government recommended people that live in 3 km around Fukushima nuclear plant to evacuate.

UPD: 22:05 11.03.2011

Powerful earthquake happened in Nagano prefecture.

According to Kyodo news agency, massive earthquake happened on Saturday at 3:59 (local time) on northern west from Tokyo in Nagano prefecture. According to data of Japanese weatherstation, magnitude of earthquake reached 6 of the Japanese seismic intensity scale (maximum level is 7).

Nagano police announced that they did not receive urgent messages about serious destructions.

UPD: 12:30 12.03.2011 
According to information of NHK World, there was a blast at Fukushima Number One nuclear power station.
The blast happened near reactor No. 1. White smoke rose after it.
Tokyo Electric Power company, which operates the nuclear plant, informed that 4 people were injured. External wall of reactor building was destroyed.
Radioactivity level on the territory of the nuclear power station was higher in 1,000 times than permissible rates; radiation background is higher in 8 times than permissible rates.

UPD: 15:20 12.03.2011
Evacuation zone near the nuclear plant was widen to 20 km as NHK World informs.

Fukushima prefecture’s authorities took decision to widen evacuation zone’s radius around Fukushima Number One (Fukushima Daiichi) from 10 to 20 km.
Currently prefecture’s authorities define localities that should be evacuated according to this decision.
Evacuation of 20 km zone around Fukushima Number One (Fukushima Daiichi) is coordinated with the decision about evacuation of the population in 10 km radius around Fukushima #2.

UPD: 16:40 12.03.2011
Gone with tsunami 
10 thousand people were lost in destroyed city Minamisanriku that faced the main strike of the killing wave of tsunami that was caused by the earthquake.

The government has officially announced that approximately 9,500 people are reported missing in port city Minamisanriku. It is a half of the city’s population.

UPD: 01:30 13.03.2011
On Saturday Japan informed International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that as a result of explosion on Fukushima Number One (Fukushima Daiichi) nuclear plant, background radiation exceeded permissible rates. The emergency received fourth level according to the current scale with seven levels.
According to the definition of IAEA, it is emergency that has ‘local results’ such as small exceeding of background radiation.
IAEA informs that Japanese government spreads iodine-containing preparations that facilitate excretion of radiation from organism.

UPD: 12:39 13.03.2011
Japanese weatherstation reports that massive earthquake that stroke the Pacific coast on northern east of Japan last Friday had 9 magnitude, not 8.8 as it was reported before.
This adjustment was made on Sunday’s morning after executing analysis of earthquake waves and other data. This magnitude is equivalent to the magnitude of the massive earthquake that happened near coast of Sumatra, island in Indonesia, in 2004 that has also caused powerful tsunami waves in the Indian Ocean.

UPD: 13:00 13.03.2011
There is a threat for another reactor on Fukushima Daiichi.
According to the message of Yukio Edano, Secretary General of the Japanese government, water level for cooling of the third reactor decreased and maybe part of fuel slugs came out of water that would lead to its melting.
The similar situation was found on the first reactor on Saturday.
In spite of all made measures, insignificant amount of radiactive materials was found near the third reactor. The amount was the same as near the first reactor on Saturday.
Nuclear plant operating company Tokyo Denryoku has informed that such radiation level is due to discharge of air that contains radiactive matters.

UPD: 22:32 13.03.2011
Japanese authorities announced the emergency situation on yet another nuclear plant.
BBC informs that the source of information are representatives of IAEA.
Besides Fukushima nuclear plant, there is a threat for Onagawa nuclear plant that is situated closer to epicentrum of the destructive earthquake that happened on nothern east of Japan on Friday.
According to IAEA, this nuclear plant has increased radiation level.

UPD: 22:40 13.03.2011
According to the confirmed information, more than 1,300 persons have died as a result of the massive earthquake that had happened in eastern Japan on Friday. Also more than 10,000 people are reported to be missing. The total number of evacuated people is approximately 310,000 persons in six prefectures on nothern east of Japan.

UPD: 08:50 14.03.2011
On Monday, 14.03.2011 approximately at 11:00 o’clock according to the local time there was an explosion on third reactor of Fukushima Daiichi, as NHK World informs.

UPD: 12:10 14.03.2011
Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency informed that all possibilities of cooling were lost on the reactor of Fukushima nuclear plant that was stroke by the earthquake.
The company that operates the nuclear plant was trying to decrease temperature in the reactor since Friday, but despite this no positive result was achieved.
With decreasing water level in the reactor, the danger of hydrogen explosion is increasing.
Currently the preparation of filling the reactor’s containers with ocean water is in the process.

UPD: 18:40 14.03.2011

Seismic activity on southern west of Japan activated Sinmoe volcano.
The volcano emits ashes and stones on 4km height again after several weeks of silence.
Miyakonojo city situated near the volcano is in the highest danger.

UPD: 19:10 14.03.2011

Супутниковий знімок АЕС Fukushima Daiichi після вибухів

Satellite photo of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant after explosions

Salt water flooding is being continued on Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station in order to cool the reactor.
This decision was taken after lowering of the water level in the cooling system has reached critical level for fuel slugs that might led to another explosion on the nuclear plant.
But the threat of damages remains high as Tokyo Denryoku operating company reports.

UPD: 00:40 15.03.2011
According to NHK World, as of Tuesday’s morning 15.03.2011, the official number of natural disaster victims in Japan was 1,898 lost people. Additionally 15,000 persons are considered missing.

UPD: 10:40 15.03.2011

The number of the confirmed victims grew to 2,500 persons. 17,000 people are considered to be missing.

UPD: 12:40 15.03.2011
Fire on the reactor No 4 was liquidated.
Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) informed that the fire that started on reactor No 4 of Fukushima nuclear plant was liquidated.
Official representatives of the company confirm that the fire started on Tuesday at 9:38 according to the local time on the fourth floor near northern west part of the building where the reactor is situated. It was also reported that before the fire there was an explosion, which made damage to the roof.

TEPCO confirmed that the temperature in the water area with used fuel increased from 40 (within norms) to 84 degrees. 
At the government briefing at 11:00 according to the local time, the fire was confirmed, as well as the fact that explosion of hydrogen on fourth reactor had the same character as explosions on first and third reactors. All reactors on the nuclear plant were stopped after the earthquake but the used fuel continued to cause hit while cooling systems of the power stations were out of operation.

UPD: 14:00 15.03.2011
The official number of lost people grew to 3,000 persons.

Approximately 15,000 people are still considered to be missing. On Tuesday in Miyagi prefecture 2,000 persons were found and transported to the safe locations.
Also within search and rescue operations Japan Self-Defense Force has found damaged people even after 4 days after the the disaster.
For example, 4-month-old girl that rescued from the natural disaster by miracle was found in Ishinomaki.

Also an elderly man was rescued after 4 days under ruined house in Miyagi prefecture and 70-year old woman was saved in the same situation in Iwate prefecture.

The rescued people were transported to hospitals.

UPD: 18:40 15.03.2011
The massive earthquake has taken place in central Japan on Tuesday’s evening.
Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency informed about the earthquake with 6+ intensity according to the seismic intensity scale (the maximum level is 7) that has happened yesterday at 10:31 in the evening (local time).

Epicenter of the earthquake was in the eastern part of Shizuoka prefecture on 10 km depth.

UPD: 16:40 16.03.2011
The number of officially confirmed victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan is 4,340 persons. According to the information of NHK World, 9,000 people are considered missing.

UPD: 22:28 16.03.2011
Almost 28,000 persons were urgently evacuated from their homes to other places due to potential radiation danger from the nuclear plant, which was damaged by the earthquake, in Fukushima prefecture.

Today beyond 20 km zone on northern west from the nuclear plant increased background radiation was found. According to the experts, the radiation level was so high that 3 hours of radiation is equivalent to yearly norm rate.

UPD: 22:30 16.03.2011
More than 1.6 million of dwellings in different prefectures remain without water due to damages of the communication networks from the earthquake and tsunami.

308 tank cars with water were sent by the Government to the areas with highest population concentration.

UPD: 16:48 17.03.2011
Japan Self-Defense Force has finished watering reactor No 3 of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant that was damaged by the massive earthquake.
The operation continued for 30 minutes and was finished at approximately 8 o’clock in the evening (local time) on Thursday 17.03.2011. 5 fire engines, which flooded 30 tones of water on the nuclear plant, were used in the operation.
The Ministry of Defense did not confirm that water reached the area with used fuel, but it did reach inside the building with the used fuel.
Construction of water jets allowed military to perform the operation without leaving the vehicles.

The military are going to repeat the operation on Friday.

At the same day military helicopters were used for watering the third reactor of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Two helicopters CH-47 performed more than 4 drawings of water (7.5 tones each) for watering the reactor, but a lot of water was lost in the air during the transportation.

Earlier that day the police was trying to water the reactors from the ground using water jets with high pressure, but this attempt was not successful.

UPD: 19:15 17.03.2011
Today Japan’s police has confirmed that 5,692 persons were lost as a result of the destroying earthquake and tsunami waves that had happened last Friday.
Additionally 9,506 people are considered missing as to the previous information.
However, this number of the missing persons represents only cases that were registered by the police. The police suppose that the real number can be tens of thousands people.
More than 305 thousand people still remain in 2,260 shelters.

UPD: 15:29 18.03.2011
Attempts to cool down a spent fuel storage pool at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have been conducted on 2 fronts, with more attempts planned.

On Friday afternoon, Self-Defense Force units sprayed water at the plant’s No.3 reactor for roughly 40 minutes.
The Defense Ministry says 6 special fire engines went near the reactor building one by one to carry out the operation.

The Tokyo Electric Power Company said separately that its support staff also released water at the reactor, using a fire engine lent by the US military.

Altogether, 50 tons of water has been discharged, and the Defense Ministry says it believes the water has entered the reactor building.

The storage pools at the plant’s No.3 and neighboring No.4 reactors have lost their critical cooling functions, raising the risk of a massive radiation leak.

SDF units began dousing the No. 3 reactor from the air and ground on Thursday, as the situation at the reactor was thought to require more urgency.

Speaking to reporters, the chief of staff of the Air Self-Defense Force, Shigeru Iwasaki, said SDF members who engaged in the operations were exposed to no more than several millisieverts of radiation.

He said this level is unlikely to interfere with their activities, but that he will have to hear from experts before deciding whether to continue the cooling efforts.

Later on Friday, elite units from the Tokyo Fire Department are to discharge more water at the plant.

Inside of reactor number four at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant before the disaster

UPD: 01:19 24.03.2011
More than 25,000 people are officially dead or missing after the earthquake and tsunami that struck northeastern Japan on March 11th.

According to the National Police Agency, 9,523 people are confirmed dead as of 11 PM on Wednesday.

The agency says it has received reports of 16,094 people missing.

Additional information:


1.Valdivia, Chile, March 22, 160 (9.5 magnitude)

2.Prince William Sound, Alaska, USA, March 27 1964 (9.2 magnitude)

3.Sumatra, Indonesia, December 26 2004. (9.1 magnitude)

4. Kamchatka, Russia, November 4 1952 (9.0 magnitude)

5. Arica, Chile, August 13 1868 (9.0 magnitude)

6.Sendai, Japan, March 11 2011 (8.9 magnitude)

(according to

  • Японське Метеорологічна Агенція повідомляє, що небезпека цунамі в районах землетрусу залишається високою.
    Керівник Агентства з моніторингу цунамі, Хірофумі Йокояма, заявив, що після землетрусу цунамі продовжувались в Тихоокеанських прибережних районах з інтервалом в одну годину.

  • Згідно з HNK World вже підтверджено загибель більше ніж 350 осіб, 550 вважаються такими, що зникли безвісти після потужного землетрусу, що стався в префектурі Фукусіма.
    Масштаб катастрофи все ще незрозумілий. В префектурі Міягі було ідентифіковано 25 загиблих. Поліція заявляє про знайдені тіла 200-300 осіб, яких ще не було ідентифіковано. Згідно з їх висновком люди загинули від удару цунамі. Щонайменьше 57 осіб загинуло в префектурі Івате, поліція заявляє ще про про 150, які зникли безвісті. Дані з префектури Фукусіма теж невтішні: 55 загинуло, 380 зникло безвісті. Більше 15 людей загинуло в Токіо та прилеглих районах.

  • В результате землетрясения и цунами в Японии, предположительно, погибло свыше 1000 человек

    С каждым часом поступает все больше печальной информации о количестве жертв и разрушений, вызванных в Японии мощным землетрясением и последовавшими волнами цунами. По данным на 4 часа 30 минут дня по японскому времени число погибших предположительно превысило 1000 человек.

    По сообщению полиции, в городе Сэндай в префектуре Мияги было обнаружено свыше 200 тел погибших, личность которых пока не установлена. Волна цунами углубилась с побережья на сушу на 10 километров. В префектуре подтверждена гибель 149 человек.

    В городе Кэсэннума крупный пожар охватил обширные территории, выходящие к заливу. По сообщению Управления пожарной охраны, пожар мог возникнуть вследствие возгорания нефти, разлившейся из цистерны, разрушенной волной цунами.
    В префектуре Иватэ подтверждена смерть 221 человека. По данным полиции, пропавшими без вести числятся ещё свыше 200 человек, главным образом, в прибрежных районах. Власти сообщают о том, что город Рикудзэн-Таката в префектуре Иватэ разрушен практически полностью.
    В префектуре Фукусима, по сообщениям, погибло 190 человек.
    В префектуре Аомори погибло 3 человека. Масштабы разрушений, причиненных цунами, пока не установлены.
    В городе Токио и соседних с ним префектурах подтверждена гибель, по меньшей мере, 35 человек.