Strongest earthquake in Japan in 140 years
12. March 2011. | 10:14
Source: Emg.rs, Tanjug
At least 310 people were killed, 531 reported missing and hundreds injured in 8.9 magnitude earthquake, the worst that hit Japan in 140 years. According to Serbian embassy in Tokyo all Serbian citizens in Japan are safe. TV footage showed devastated areas and destroyed infrastructure and many inhabitants from the coastal areas were evacuated to higher areas.
At least 310 people were killed, 531 reported missing and hundreds injured in 8.9 magnitude earthquake, the worst that hit Japan in 140 years.
According to Serbian embassy in Tokyo all Serbian citizens in Japan are safe.
The quake that struck at 2:46 p.m. local time hit north-eastern coast of Japan unleashed a 4 and 10-meter tsunami that washed away a passenger ship carrying 100 people and a train running near Nobiru Station connecting Sendai to Ishinomaki.
The quake struck at a depth of 24 kilometres, about 130 kilometres off the eastern coast.
Japan ordered thousands of residents near a Fukushima nuclear power plant to evacuate on Friday after the quake caused a problem in the plant's cooling system and Japan's nuclear safety agency ordered more than 2,800 people in the area to evacuate following the government's declaration of a state of emergency at the plant, the AP reported.
Government of Japan launched the measure so they can be fully prepared for the worst case scenario, thought there is still no radiation leakage.
It was the first time Japan has declared a state of emergency at a nuclear power plant.
The plant is just south of the worst-hit Miyagi prefecture, where a fire broke out at another nuclear plant. The blaze was in a turbine building at one of the Onagawa power plants.
The International Atomnic Energy Agency's Incident and Emergency Centre had said that the four nuclear power plants closest to the quake which occurred near the east coast of Honshu, Japan, had been "safely shut down".
North-eastern coast of Japan was hit by several tsunamis, the biggest one 10-meter high that washed away cars and tore away buildings along the coast.
The American Tsunami Monitoring Centre issued warning for the whole of the Pacific basin, except for mainland United States and Canada. The warning includes Mexico, US state of Hawaii and Central and South American countries on the Pacific, AFP reports.
At an emergency meeting Japan's government decided to send all available troops to be sent to the quake-hit area. The government will make an all-out effort to ensure the safety of all the people and contain the damage to the minimum.
The main quake, which was felt as far as 2.500 kilometres in Beijing, was followed by a series of powerful aftershocks, including a 7.4-magnitude one about 30 minutes later.
TV footage showed devastated areas and destroyed infrastructure and many inhabitants from the coastal areas were evacuated to higher areas.
Waves of muddy waters flowed over farmland near the city of Sendai, carrying buildings, some on fire, inland as cars attempted to drive away.
The quake affected Japan's key transportation systems, including Narita airport, which shut its runways for safety checks to leave 10,000 passengers stranded, before reopening for departing flights only.
All Tokyo area trains were halted, while the shinkansen bullet train service in the quake-torn areas has been suspended. Tokyo's Narita airport was closed indefinitely.
Friday earthquake was one of the biggest ever recorded in the world since officials began keeping records in the late 1800s.
The strongest earthquake ever recorded was a magnitude 9.5 earthquake that hit Chile in 1960 and in Indonesia in 2005 with 8.9 magnitude, deputy director of Seismological Survey of Serbia Branko Dragicevic told Tanjug.