Earthquake and Tsunami Hits Japan and the Pacific Region
A massive earthquake that registered 8.9 on the Richter scale hit north eastern Japan, 250 miles away from the capital of Tokyo at 0546GMT, which was followed by 10 meter high tsunami waves that destroyed the coastal city of Sendai, Miyagi and Fukushima, according to NHK Television of Japan.
The earthquake shook buildings in downtown Tokyo for several minutes and started half a dozen fires including at the Ichihara Refinery on the outskirts of the city engulfing blazing storage tanks. Japan, which is well prepared to face earthquakes, reported 20 deaths thus far, though the causalities from the ongoing tsunami is yet to be gauged.
Television footage showed a black wall of water carrying sludge and moving debris washing away cars, factories, houses, ships and equipment moving inland at a breathtaking pace across Sendai.
The airport was flooded and all other transport system was affected making it impossible for people to flee. Four nuclear reactors tripped automatically activated by safety alarms following the quake and rapid mass transport was shut down to prevent damage and destruction.
The tsunami warning was extended to Taiwan, Indonesia, New Zealand and Hawai'i besides several Pacific Islands which are said to be lower than the massive rolling water wall several hundred miles wide and will be hit during the next 12 hours.
This is the third major natural disaster to have hit the Pacific in the last three months causing devastation and damage in an unprecedented scale.
On January 3rd, Cyclone Tasha emerged from the South Pacific seas with gale wind speeds of over 60 miles per hour and hit the north east coast of Queensland Australia. It dumped 10 inches of rain in a matter of 24 hours over north east Australia already, which was already under the effect of La Nina, the high temperature zone in western Pacific, which had brought excessive rainfall and flooding during December. The floods got worse and caused damages of over $50 billion to Australia's formidable mining economy.
This was followed by the huge earthquake that measured 6.3 on the Richter scale at Christchurch New Zealand last month, which brought down thousands of buildings and killed over a 100 people.
The quake not only devastated New Zealand’s second largest city pushing rebuilding costs to $20 billion but also ripped off 30 tons of ice that sheared off of the huge Tasman Glacier in the nearby Aoraki mountain range, causing massive waves and flooding in nearby lakes.