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Posts posted by Ctrl-Z

  1. Hundreds of people are feared dead and injured after a huge earthquake struck Japan early today.


    Minutes after the earthquake, measuring 8.4 magnitude, struck 150 miles north of Tokyo in the Miyagi prefecture at 2.46 local time, a four metre hight tsunami swept into the coastal port of Kamaishi, sweeping ships and cars away and inundating warehouses. Cars and entire houses were also swept off in Onahama city in Fukushima prefecture and fires burned out of controlafter it was inundated by a 7.3 metre wave.


    Horrifying television coverage showed the tsunami engulfing towns and countryside in Miyagi, sweeping away hundreds of homes and cars. It was followed by a fast moving second tsunami.


    A huge plume of black smoke hovered over the port area of Tokyo, as fires broke out in the industrial zone and workers threw themselves under their desks as buildings shook violently. In Tokyo, a number of people were after a roof collapsed at a hall where a graduation ceremony for 600 students was being held.


    Within minutes of the earthquake, which was centred 80 miles off Japan’s eastern coast at a depth of just six miles, a tsunami alert was issued for the whole Japanese coast and the north Pacific including Guam, Taiwan, the Philippines, the Marshall Islands, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Nauru, Micronesia and Hawaii as the meteorological office warned of a possible 32 foot wave. It later extended the warning to Australia,NZ and the South American Pacific coast including Mexico, Chile and Peru.


    Narita airport in Tokyo closed, bullet trains were cancelled and nuclear plants shut down. Sendai airport was completely indundated by the tsunami.


    Naoto Kan, the Prime Minister said in an address to parliament: “The government will do everything possible to minimise the damage. it will do its utmost.â€


    It was one of the biggest earthquakes ever to hit Japan. We felt it strongly in my office, he 10th floor of a modern building in Tokyo. After the initial big jolt we could feel strong rattling and swaying which last for at least a minute. An aftershock minutes later felt even worse. I sheltered under my desk and through the window could see other workers in buildings across the street also taking refuge.


    In 16 years in Japan I have not felt such a strong earthquake.

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