By P Chong Saturday, 12 March 2011
Until last night I hadn’t known that my youngest brother Mike, Pacific Regional Manager for DuPont, was still in Tokyo, as he told me he was on his way to the U.S. Spoke to him on Skype last night and what a first-time seismic experience for him!
He was in the street when the greatest earthquake in 140 years hit off-shore the Island of Honshu, with its epicentre only 24 Km beneath the sea. Tokyo shook . . . chaos reigned . . . everything stopped functioning. No taxis were available & he had to walk with jostling crowds all the way back to his hotel.
The magnitude of the earthquake was said to be 8.8 in the Richter Scale. On the Japanese Scale of 0 to 7, it measured 7. The time was 2.46 pm on Friday, 11 March 2011.
Japan lies in the seismic zone known as “The Ring of Fire” which encircles the Pacific Rim – Philippines, Indonesia, New Zealand, East Coast of South America, up to California and right up to Alaska. Tsunami warning was let out to all these places. Initial tsunami waves in Japan were as high as 7 metres & 10 metres. All low lying coastal areas were subsequently warned of evacuation to higher ground. According to Meteorological Agency waves as high as 2 to 3 metres are to be expected with subsequent after shakes recorded in the region of 6.6 Richter Scale.
At the time of writing, NHK satellite TV of Japan announced death toll to be over 422 & 740 missing, but final figures would be hard to confirm. Japan does look to be one ‘ring of fire’.
Took some shots directly from the TV as the scenes were being televised. So here are the shots for your perusal . . .
Talk of the might & power of any country . . . all pale in significance when compared to the might of God. We are so very insignificant! Be humble man!
Everywhere ablaze . . . smoke & fire along the Pacific coast of Japan
As reported on Sunday, 13 March 2011 at 2.57 am, casualties stood at 680 and it could go beyond 1,000. In fact, in Miyagi Prefecture alone, it is estimated the casualties could be as high as 10,000. It’s the aftermath of the quake bringing on tsunami waves as high as 7,3 metres one after another. According to RT Satellite TV reports, Japan stands the danger of a nuclear disaster similar to that of Chernobyl with the detection of nuclear leaks as a result of explosions at Fukushima nuclear plant to the north of Tokyo. Four injured casualties were found to be affected by radiation leaks with more people being tested.. The question is how bad & extensive will it be & whether it can be contained.
It is feared that this earthquake disaster will stall Japan’s effort to recover from its weak economy. Authorities need to do far more than merely evacuate people from the area. This is a great national tragedy and Japan has appealed for international help.
All along the Pacific coast of Japan, casualties & death keep on mounting. Modern society has never seen the like of it. It’s staggering . . . a disaster that sees the engulfing seas of waves devastating entire villages & towns. It’s nature unleashing all its fury & might. Is this the sign from God, I wonder!
2 thoughts on “Greatest Earthquake in 140 Years Hit Japan”
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Dear brother….that night I slept with my shoes on in case I have to dash out. I could not sleep cos the building was structure was adjusting from the day’s many tremors..the wall was vritually squeaking. I had the hotel duty manager to my room and he assured that the hotel ( ANA Intercontinental Asakasa ) was built to withstand an earthquake of 7 richter scale and what was felt in Tokyo was 6 on that day. And he assured that the squeaking was the building adjusting itself. I nevertheless slept little. Had cups of water around the room as it was the sure way to check if my mind was playing up or it was really another tremor. I dashed down to the lobby a couple of times and there were many people in the lobby; prefering to be there vs staying up in their rooms high up!
I could not get a flight out th next day as all flights were virtually delayed or cancelled but managed ot get a flight out on that sunday. It was a relief to be up in the air.