AP Photo 53 minutes ago
Hotel guests are seen after they evacuated the building following an aftershock, in Ichinoseki, Iwate Prefecture, Japan, Friday, April 8, 2011. Japan was rattled by a strong aftershock and tsunami warning Thursday night nearly a month after a devastating earthquake and tsunami flattened the northeastern coast.
Reuters Pictures 21 minutes ago
An employee walks out from an office room after a strong earthquake at a hotel in Oshu, Iwate prefecture, April 8, 2011. A major earthquake shook the northeast of Japan late on Thursday, and a tsunami warning was issued for the coast already devastated by last month’s massive quake and tsunami that crippled a nuclear power plant.
Another strong quake rattles tsunami-ravaged Japan
TOKYO – Japan was rattled by a magnitude-7.4 aftershock Thursday night nearly a month after a devastating earthquake and tsunami flattened the northeastern coast.
The strongest aftershock since the day of the magnitude-9.0 megaquake was a fresh blow to victims of that March 11 quake and subsequent tsunami that killed some 25,000 people, tore apart hundreds of thousands of homes and has sparked an ongoing crisis at a nuclear power plant.
Damage and injuries from the aftershock were not immediately clear. The Japan meteorological agency briefly issued another tsunami warning Thursday night, but later canceled it.
Officials at the tsunami-ravaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant said there was no immediate sign of new problems caused by the aftershock. Japan’s nuclear safety agency says workers there have retreated to a quake-resistant shelter in the complex. No one there was injured.
Officials say Thursday’s aftershock hit 30 miles (50 kilometers) under the water and off the coast of Miyagi prefecture. The quake that preceded last month’s tsunami was a 9.0-magnitude. The U.S. Geological Survey in Golden, Colo., later downgraded Thursday’s quake to 7.1.
Buildings as far away as Tokyo shook for about a minute.
In Ichinoseki, inland from Japan’s eastern coast, buildings shook violently, knocking items from shelves and toppling furniture, but there was no heavy damage to the buildings themselves. Immediately after the quake, all power was cut. The city went dark, but cars drove around normally and people assembled in the streets despite the late hour.
The quake struck at 11:32 p.m. local time.
Paul Caruso, a geophysicist at USGS, said it struck at about the same location and depth as last month’s hug quake. It’s the strongest of the more than 1,000 aftershocks that have been felt since, except for a 7.9 aftershock that day.
Another USGS geophysicist, Don Blakeman, said it was the strongest aftershock since March 11, although several aftershocks on that day were bigger.
The USGS said the aftershock struck off the eastern coast 40 miles (65 kilometers) from Sendai and 70 miles (115 kilometers) from Fukushima. It was about 205 miles (330 kilometers) from Tokyo.
A Pacific Tsunami Warning Center evaluation of the quake said an oceanwide tsunami was not expected. However, it noted quakes of that strength can cause waves that are destructive locally.AP
New 7.4 quake triggers tsunami alert in Japan
Japan’s quake-devastated northeast faced a fresh tsunami alert on Thursday after a massive 7.4 magnitude temblor shook the region, as engineers pumped in nitrogen into a reactor at the Fukushima nuclear facility in their desperate bid to prevent another hydrogen blast.
The powerful earthquake jolted the Miyagi prefecture, 118 km north of Fukushima. The quake that hit 40 km under the water, prompted an immediate tsunami alert with authorities warning that it could trigger waves up to three feet high. The quake was felt as far away as Tokyo and Japan’s national broadcaster NHK asked those in the quake-hit areas to evacuate to higher ground. Kyodo reported no immediate casualties or damage.
NHK said people in that area should evacuate away from the shore to a safe place. Workers were evacuated from Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant after Thursday’s tremors, reported CNN. Buildings as far away as Tokyo shook for about a minute.
NHK also reported a tsunami advisory for Iwate prefecture, saying a tsunami is expected to arrive in coastal regions there as well. The Pacific Tsunami [ Images ] Warning Center said based on all available data, “a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami is not expected and there is not a tsunami threat to Hawaii.”
The US Geological Survey said the quake was centered 66 km from Sendai — one of the areas worst hit by last month’s quake — 118 km from Fukushima, where a crisis has been under way at the nuclear plant since last month’s tsunami. It took place shortly after 23:30 hours local time, the CNN reported.
A magnitude 9.0 earthquake on March 11 devastated northeast Japan and damaged the atomic facility at Fukushima that is presently the centre of the country’s worst nuclear crisis since World War II. Officials said Thursday’s earthquake caused no further damage to the crippled plant.
The fresh quake struck Japan as authorities mulled extending the evacuation zone around the radiation-leaking plant.
For the first time since the March 11 quake and tsunami, police in protective gear launched a search for around 2,500 people missing within the 10-20 km radius of the crippled plant, where such an operation had not been carried out before due to high levels of radiation.
A day after registering rare progress by plugging a 12-inch crack leaking highly radioactive water into the sea, the plant’s operator Tokyo Electric Power Company said its workers injected chemically-stable nitrogen into the No 1 reactor, where a build-up of hydrogen gas had raised concerns about a possible radiation-leaking explosion.
Last month’s hydrogen blasts at the No 1 and No 3 reactors following the quake and tsunami destroyed reactor buildings, causing release of radioactive steam. TEPCO said the operation to reduce the risk of a blast has gone smoothly, Kyodo reported.
The utility said it plans to pump nearly 6,000 cubic metres of nitrogen, an inert gas, over a six-day period, nearly four weeks after the twin disaster left over 27,000 people dead or missing. TEPCO also continued to dump low-level radioactive wastewater from the plant into Pacific Ocean to create storage for more highly contaminated water. Around 6,000 tonnes of water have been discharged so far.
As Japan battled to cool its overheating reactors, the number of foreign nationals, who left Japan in the week after the earthquake, was reported to be 240,000, up 100,000 from the previous seven days.
Graphic shows location of latest 7.4 earthquake off the coast of the Miyagi prefecture.
People watch a TV news as they gather at an evacuation center in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, early Friday, April 8, 2011, following a big aftershock that rocked earthquake-weary Japan late Thursday.
AP Photo 1 hour ago
A cyclist passes by a road damaged by Thursday’s earthquake in Kurihara, northern Japan Friday, April 8, 2011. A big aftershock rocked quake-weary Japan late Thursday, rattling nerves as it knocked out power to the northern part of the country and prompted tsunami warnings that were later canceled.
AP Photo 44 minutes ago
Broken windows are seen following Thursday’s earthquake in Sendai, northern Japan Friday, April 8, 2011. A big aftershock rocked quake-weary Japan late Thursday, rattling nerves as it knocked out power to the northern part of the country and prompted tsunami warnings that were later canceled.
AP Photo 34 minutes ago
Evacuees react following a strong aftershock at a shelter in Fukushima, northern Japan early Friday, April 8, 2011. The quake rocked quake-weary Japan late Thursday, rattling nerves as it knocked out power to the northern part of the country and prompted tsunami warnings that were later canceled.
Jepun dilanda gempa lagi
TOKYO 7 April – Jepun hari ini dilanda gempa bumi kuat sekali lagi berukuran 7.4 skala Richter di perairan timur laut negara ini.
Dilaporkan gempa itu berlaku di tempat sama semasa gempa pada 11 Mac lalu berukuran 9 pada skala Richter.
Agensi Meteorologi Jepun turut mengeluarkan amaran tsunami dengan ombak setinggi lebih satu meter dijangka melanda kawasan pantai.
Menurut pegawai, pusat gempa terletak 40 kilometer di bawah laut di luar perairan Miyagi pada pukul 11.32 malam waktu tempatan (10.32 malam waktu Malaysia).
Bangunan sejauh di Tokyo dilaporkan turut bergegar selama beberapa minit.
Pusat Kajian Geologi Amerika Syarikat (USGS) dalam laporan awal turut melaporkan gempa berukuran 7.4 magnitud melanda luar pantai timur Jepun, 100 kilometer dari Sendai dan 140 kilometer dari Fukushima.
Beratus-ratus gempa susulan melanda wilayah timur laut Jepun sejak 11 Mac lalu, tetapi hanya sedikit yang mempunyai kekuatan melebihi 7 skala Richter.
Gempa itu berlaku polis Jepunbertungkus-lumus mencari beribu-ribu mayat yang hilang semasa kejadian tsunami sebelum mayat-mayat itu mereput di sekitar kawasan perairan yang ditutup ekoran kebocoran radiasi di loji tenaga nuklear Fukushima.
Selepas hampir sebulan gempa kuat yang mengakibatkan tsunami melanda timur laut Jepun, lebih 14,700 orang dilapor masih hilang dengan kebanyakan mereka dihanyutkan ke laut.
Beberapa hari selepas bencana pada 11 Mac itu, para penyelamat berusaha keras mencari mangsa di bawah runtuhan bangunan, namun kebocoran radiaso dari kompleks nuklear Fukushima Daiichi telah melambatkan usaha berkenaan.
Para pegawai berkata, masa sudah suntuk untuk mencari dan mengenal pasti mereka yang terbunuh dalam kejadian itu dan kini sedang meningkatkan usaha mencari mayat-mayat berkenaan.
”Kita perlu menemui mayat itu sekarang kerana mereka sedang mereput. Ia adalah perlumbaan antara masa dan ancaman radiasi nuklear,” kata jurucakap polis wilayah Fukushima, Ryoichi Tsunoda.
Setakat ini 12,500 telah disahkan maut dalam bencana tersebut.
Dalam perkembangan terbaru di loji tenaga nuklear itu, kebocoran radiasi semakin menurun.
Selepas berjaya menampal keretakan yang mengakibatkan kebocoran itu semalam, juruteknik hari ini mula mengepam nitrogen ke dalam kebuk reaktor bagi mengurangkan risiko letupan hidrogen. – AGENSI