As most people are already aware, Japan was recently struck by its strongest earthquake on record, an 8.9-magnitude temblor that shook buildings across Tokyo and unleashed a seven-meter-high tsunami that killed hundreds and engulfed towns on the northern coast.
Hundreds more were reported missing after waves as high as 23 feet swept ashore, according to state broadcaster NHK. Flood waters washed away buildings and vehicles, airports where shut down, the bullet train service was suspended, and an emergency evacuation order was issued for a nuclear power plant north of Tokyo.
More than a dozen aftershocks greater than magnitude 6 have rocked the region, Dave Applegate, a senior adviser at the U.S. Geological Survey, told reporters on a conference call.
“They will continue for not just days, weeks but months and potentially years,” Applegate said.
He said the energy released by the temblor was 30 times that of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, and it was the biggest quake within the boundaries of the North American and Pacific tectonic plates in more than a thousand years.
U.S. President Barack Obama, saying he was “heartbroken” over what he called “a potentially catastrophic disaster,” called Kan (Japanese President) and offered “whatever assistance is needed.”
After the earthquake, a tsunami warning was issued for more than 20 nations including the Philippines, Indonesia, and Chile, although no unusual waves were reported. Tsunami waves began reaching the western U.S. coast as communities from southern Oregon to Los Angeles prepared for swells and rough seas. The U.S. Coast Guard even started a search for a person who was apparently swept out to sea in northern California as waves prompted evacuations of some coastal areas.
It was the world’s strongest earthquake since a December 2004 temblor in Indonesia that left about 220,000 people dead or missing in 12 countries around the Indian Ocean. The earthquake struck at 2:46 p.m. local time yesterday 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.
“We’ve asked for help from the U.S. military stationed in Japan,” Edano told reporters in Tokyo. Options being considered include allowing firefighting helicopters to land on the USS Ronald Reagan, an aircraft carrier, for refueling and transporting medical supplies, he said.
“The world is shocked and saddened by the images coming from Japan this morning,” Ban told reporters Friday in New York.
As with every natural disaster, there will be severe economic repercussions due to this quake/tsunami but I believe the world should be more focused on the issue at hand — helping out our fellow humans. There is tons of information available online regarding the quake as well as live updates on the catastrophe in several publications.
Check out this raw footage of the Tsunami slamming Northeast Japan:
Several charity organizations are already on site providing food to residents, but a fully devised plan is still to be concocted as to how to help the residents. Therefore, if you are planning to donate to a charity, I would recommend waiting another day or two until the charity has released a sure fire plan as to how they intend to help out during this tragic time.
Future Pocket’s Relief Fund
Future Pocket is currently in communication with several sponsors in an attempt to assist Japan as much as possible. Look forward to a relief effort on behalf of everyone here at Future Pocket later on today and find out how you can help the victims of the Japanese Earthquake / Tsunami!