Tsunami Earthquake in Tokyo Japan News and Video today.
Earthquake Strikes Japan; Tsunami Destroys Buildings. An 8.9-magnitude earthquake, the world’s strongest in more than six years, struck the coast of Japan, causing a tsunami as high as 10 meters that inundated towns north of Tokyo.
One person was killed and many people are missing or injured across northern Japan, national broadcaster NHK Television said. Airports were closed and bullet train services suspended. More than 4 million homes are without power, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said.
The quake struck at 2:46 p.m. local time 130 kilometers (81 miles) off the coast of Sendai, north of Tokyo, at a depth of 24 kilometers, the U.S. Geological Survey said. It was followed by a 7.1-magnitude aftershock at 4:25 p.m., the agency said.
NHK showed images of people getting medical treatment in northern Japan and footage of a tsunami sweeping buildings across farmland as far as 1.5 kilometers inland. Ships were smashed into harbor walls and cars were washed away.
“I call on citizens to act calmly. Especially those who are near a beach, please evacuate to higher ground to avoid the tsunami,” Prime Minister Naoto Kan said after convening an emergency response team. “The Self-Defense Forces are already mobilized in various places.”
The Japanese yen was little changed at 82.76 at 4:54 p.m. The Nikkei 225 Average fell after the quake and closed 1.7 percent down. Japanese government bonds rose sending the yield on the 10-year security down 2.5 basis points to 1.27 percent.
Army to Help
Kan ordered the army to aid rescue efforts after the quake, which struck 373 kilometers northeast of Tokyo.
Today’s temblor was the biggest since a magnitude-9.1 earthquake triggered a tsunami off northern Sumatra, Indonesia in December 2004 that left about 220,000 people dead or missing in 12 countries around the Indian Ocean.
A 6.9-magnitude earthquake in Kobe, western Japan, killed more than 6,000 people in 1995, while the 7.9-magnitude Great Kanto Quake of 1923 destroyed 576,262 structures and killed an estimated 140,000.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued alerts for more than 20 countries including the Philippines, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.
The Japan Meteorological Agency is warning of further aftershocks and told people to avoid coastal areas and evacuate to higher ground, according to an official at a press conference in Tokyo shown on NHK. Aftershocks continued through to 5 p.m. Japan time.
The airport in Sendai, a city of 1 million people 310 kilometers north of Tokyo, was flooded by the tsunami, according to NHK footage. Tokyo’s Narita airport shut down, Kyodo News reported. Haneda, the capital’s other main airport, also closed, NHK said.
East Japan Railway Co., the nation’s largest train operator, suspended operations of trains in the Tokyo area along with its bullet train operations, according to its website. Tokyo Metro Co., the capital’s largest subway operator, said on its website it stopped trains, forcing commuters to line up for taxis.