March 11, 2011


The big one has hit Japan.

This is awful.

I'm watching footage of this tsunami rolling across a rice paddy carrying what looks like a ferry.
It was felt in Beijing.
There is more here, here and here.

ImageFrom NHK
It sounds like it was just north of Tokyo. The epicenter was in Hachihone, but was big enough that Tokyo was affected. This is about the worst it could possibly be. There appear to be fires all over.

As I type this there is also a Tsunami heading for Guam, CNMI and Hawaii, as well as Taiwan.

UPDATE 10:00 EST :
I just got in from work and it's even worse than I feared.

Japan has been dealt a grave blow.

Magnitude wise this is worse than the Great Kanto Quake, and it's the 5th most severe in history.

I'm sick at my stomach watching this.

It looks like Sendai has been utterly smashed.

Pic via

I'm seeing multiple reports that the Japanese meteorological agency is saying that Kurihara (population 77,000) has been utterly destroyed. Given its location that is not unlikely.

The BBC roundup is here. They report that the Fukushima nuclear power plant suffered a coolant failure and a state of emergency has been declared, but there seems to have been no radiation release. UPDATE: Yet.

Passenger trains on coastal lines are reported....missing.

Danny Choo has pictures.

More pics here.

Tokyo was NOT hit by the worst of the quake, but damage was still very severe. There appear to be major fires in the area around the big Ferris wheel and the Tokyo Big Sight.

According to Yahoo News the Yurakamome elevated line (which services that area) is completely out of service and is now being used as a sidewalk by the passengers.

Keep in mind that Japan is the best in the world at earthquake preparedness. They have a crackerjack civil defense system and top notch building codes.....and yet...

This hurts to look at.

Guam and CNMI seem to have dodged the tsunami somehow, Hawaii has received little damage thus far, but some of the aftershocks were over 7 on the Richter scale so more are on the way. A tsunami is going to hit the west coast in about 30 minutes as I type this.

There is info on the US 7th Fleet via Galrahn

There have been no reported injuries of any 7th Fleet personnel, and no reported damage to 7th Fleet assets.

Ships in port Yokosuka stationed linehandlers to made adjustments as the water level changed in Yokosuka harbor. No damage has been reported to any of the ships.

Ships in Guam have been directed to sortie if feasible. Ships unable to sortie will initiate full personnel recalls and be standing by to adjust lines during changes in sea level.

CTF-72 (Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Force) headquarters in Misawa was briefly evacuated. It continues to be without power and is operating from a generator

CTF-76 (Amphibious Force) headquarters in White Beach, Okinawa, has moved its watch to higher ground at Kadena AFB, Okinawa, in anticipation of the forecasted tsunami.

We are assessing the situation and positioning forces so that they are ready to respond and provide disaster relief if directed.

USS ESSEX, with the embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, arrived in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, this morning. The ship is making preparations to depart as early as this evening.

USS BLUE RIDGE, which arrived in Singapore this morning, is onloading a Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief (HADR) kit and making preparations to depart tomorrow morning.

USS TORTUGA, currently in Sasebo, Japan, is making preparations to embark LCUs and get underway as early as this evening.

We are initiating a full muster of all 7th Fleet personnel in Japan, and accounting for the condition of their family members.

To reiterate, this is simply a posturing of forces. We currently have no direction to conduct disaster response operations. Such a direction would come only following a request from the Government of Japan

Telephone lines in Japan are overwhelmed and the internet seems twitchy.

Google has set up a friend finder.

US Forces Japan have established OPERATION TOMODACHI and are set to provide relief if they are asked.

The Japan Red Cross site is offline as I type this.

UPDATE 2: 88,000 missing thus far.

UPDATE 3: USA Today has a list of charities.

It's dark there now. Many in Japan from Chiba to  Iwate have no power and the only light they have is from burning buildings. Our Japanese friends are in for a very tough time.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 04:06 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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1 There's only so much building codes can do when the Earth decides to rearrange itself.  Still, without the strict building codes and expert engineering, the loss of life would have been astronomical rather than just horrifying.

I can't watch the video of the tsunami at all.  They kept repeating it on Sky News and I had to look away.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Sat Mar 12 00:41:57 2011 (PiXy!)

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