The beginning of the Great Tohoku Earthquake. Start here to read events as they unfolded, all listed in reverse chronological order. To see the latest developments, click the link below.
23.43 Simple map of areas affected by the blackout. Check your location and time (city list is below).
23.40 Reports state that the team at unit 3 in Fukushima have succeeded in opening the valve to reduce pressure in the nuclear reactor housing (via TBS)
22.17 English translation for the blackout listing – check your prefecture and city below (in Japanese)
Scheduled blackouts (Note: Groups 1 and 2 have two scheduled periods)
Group 1 Beginning sometime within: 6.20-10.00 (blackout itself will last 3 hours)
Group 2 Beginning sometime within: 9.20-13.00 (blackout itself will last 3 hours)
Group 3 Beginning sometime within: 12.20-16.00 (blackout itself will last 3 hours)
Group 4 Beginning sometime within: 13.50-17.30 (blackout itself will last 3 hours)
Group 5 Beginning sometime within: 15.20-19.00 (blackout itself will last 3 hours)
Group 1 Beginning sometime within: 16.50-20.30 (blackout itself will last 3 hours)
Group 2 Beginning sometime within: 18.20-22.00 (blackout itself will last 8 hours)
Check your group below – information mirrored from the Mainichi website. (Japanese)
Check your prefecture here
第１グループ ６：２０～１０：００ の時間帯のうち３時間程度
第２グループ ９：２０～１３：００ の時間帯のうち３時間程度
第３グループ １２：２０～１６：００ の時間帯のうち３時間程度
第４グループ １３：５０～１７：３０ の時間帯のうち３時間程度
第５グループ １５：２０～１９：００ の時間帯のうち３時間程度
第１グループ １６：５０～２０：３０ の時間帯のうち３時間程度
第２グループ １８：２０～２２：００ の時間帯のうち８時間程度
◇第１グループ GROUP 1
＜平成２３年３月１４日（月） ６：２０～１０：００ １６：５０～２０：３０＞
◇第２グループ GROUP 2
＜平成２３年３月１４日（月） ９：２０～１３：．００ １８：２０～２２：００＞
◇第３グループ GROUP 3
◇第４グループ GROUP 4
◇第５グループ GROUP 5
22.06 Legible blackout schedule up at Mainichi:
21.25 Map showing the two major power networks in Japan. Energy conservation is absolutely necessary for those living on the 50kHz network grid in the East of Japan. Of course, saving energy is important, so those on the Western 60kHz are still encouraged to cut back during these difficult days. (via @Mutantfrog)
21.03 Tentative schedule of power outage locations and times:
20.30 Prime Minister Kan calls the earthquake the greatest crisis in Japan in 65 years since WWII. He is calling for all people to conserve power in Japan by turning off appliances and unplugging devices from the power outlets. Nuclear power stations in two locations in Tohoku and Kanto as well as thermal power stations in 5 locations have stopped functioning. This has led to a 10 million kw shortage (equaling the annual electric usage for 2500 homes – via @Goldie_luvmj), meaning that it is necessary to utilise controlled blackouts to minimise the power consumption and disruption. The blackouts are scheduled to begin from tomorrow.
20.20 The water gauge at unit 3 in Fukushima is not rising as water is pumped in to cool the system. There is concern that the water is not being adequately applied and the task force is looking in to the matter.
19.20 Remember, even thought the tsunami warnings have been cancelled, there is still a 70% chance of a level 7 earthquake occurring in Japan within the next 3 days. Be prepared.
Here’s the source from before:
19.03 Front page of the Sunday Independent newspaper in the U.K:
18.47 Amazing footage of the earth cracking in Japan.
18.18 All tsunami warnings have now been cancelled:
17.53 Before and After pictures of the earthquake and tsunami damage:
17.43 English Press Releases from the Nuclear and Industrial and Safety Agency (NISA) (via @durf)
17.11 Intentional venting of the air was carried out for Unit 3 of Fukushima Plant I as well to lower the pressure inside the containment vessel (via @norishikata)
Noriyuki Shikata is the “Deputy Cabinet Secretary for Public Relations, Director of Global Communications at Prime Minister’s Office of Japan. Worked for Ministry of Foreign Affairs. http://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/index-e.html”
16.59 Edano, Chief Cabinet Secretary, has instructed that information channels should be set up in various languages to ensure residents who cannot understand Japanese receive correct information. (via @NHK t.v)
16.48 920,000 homes are still without power in the Tohoku and Kanto areas. (via @NHK t.v)
16.39 Reactors at unit 3 in Fukushima currently being cooled with seawater to prevent explosion or further radiation leaks. Once filled with corrosive seawater it will difficult to ever use the reactors again.
16.25 Satellite image showing the damage from above. The water come in about 2km from the shore.
16.14 Eyewitness account by @jamesinjapan on the quake.
That night, however, was terrifying – not because of any particular event, but as a result of our fear. Aftershocks hit time after time, little shakes and big bumps, each time forcing us to question whether it was time to flee the building.
We started the night with just a single emergency rucksack on standby at the entrance, but through the early morning we had assembled two further bags with clothes and blankets – basic essentials that might make a disaster more comfortable. By 06:30, unable to withstand the constant stress of the earthquake alert system, I drifted off.
16.12 Stunning pictures of the aftermath:
16.00 Explanation of the state of the units in Fukushima plant 1.
Below, units 4-6 are under examination.
The orange section at the bottom shows the outer storage building for the reactor. High pressure is building up inside it at units 2 and 3. At unit 1, it has been filled with sea water to prevent further damage or radiation leaks.
The blue section shows the cooling situation. unit 3 is currently being cooled with water, unit 2 is still unstable.
The green section shows the power outage. None of the reactors are functioning.
15.40 Unit 3 at Fukushima plant 1 is in trouble. Topping up the water in the cooling system is failing and a hydrogen explosion may be imminent. Government says that it will not affects the nuclear reactor or core. Currently radiation levels there are at 184.1 micro sieverts/hour. (via NHK t.v)
15.36 Google earth map of the distance between Fukushima nuclear power plant and Onagawa (via @mutantfroginc @watermelondave)
15.12 Situation at Onagawa nuclear power plant – 21 micro sieverts detected/hour by the Monitoring Post set up. This is higher than normal (anything over 10 micro sieverts/hour requires evacuation). However, this radiation is said to not be from the Onagawa plant, but more likely from Fukushima. The Onagawa plant is shut down and currently safe.
14.58 Satellite pictures of the damage done by the earthquake and tsunami.
14.53 Latest explanation of the Fukushima situation (via NHK t.v)
Below: Water levels at unit 3 in Fukushima have been restored using pumps from fire engines. Currently at over 2m and stable.
14.44 Mirrored the report on who can and can’t give blood in Japan (from Mutantfrog)
Who can and can not donate blood in Japan
March 13th, 2011 by Roy Berman
[Correction: Accidentally typed Australia at first below, should have been Austria all along.]
There has been a lot of confusion over who exactly is allowed to donate blood according to Japanese regulations, especially foreigners. To try and clarify the situation I have translated the entire list of categories of persons who are NOT allowed to donate blood in Japan, from the Japanese Red Cross official web page.
The biggest confusion is regulations relating to foreigners, especially because of mad cow disease aka spongiform encephalitis (Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease).
The following categories of people are BANNED from donating blood in Japan.
Please do not clog blood donations centers if there is even a chance you fall into one of the following categories, and instead find some other way to help.
Please also note first of all that ANYBODY who has entered Japan in the last four weeks may NOT give blood.
First, the rules relating to BSE/Mad Cow Disease
To clarify the below rules, please calculate your TOTAL amount of time spent in ANY of the countries in categories 1~4 during the relevant risk period for that country. If your total period of time in a high-risk country during a high-risk period is equal to 6 months or more than you are banned from blood donations for life.
Similarly, if you have spent a total of 5 years total in any of the countries listed in all 6 categories during risk periods, then you are banned from blood donations for life in Japan unless a new medical test in the future causes the regulations to change.
Please note that no countries in North or South America are on this list; despite the worries over Canadian/US beef it was never transmitted to humans.
Anybody who has spent a TOTAL of 30+ days in the UK between the years 1980 and 1996.
Anybody who has spent a TOTAL of 6+months in the UK between 1997 and 2004. (Note: Also include period of stay under category 1,3,4 in this total.)
Anybody who has spent a TOTAL of 6+ months in Ireland, Italy, Holland, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Germany, France, Belgium, Portugal, between the years of 1980 and 2004. (Note: Also include period of stay under category 1,2,4 in this total.)
Anybody who has spent a TOTAL of 6+ months in Switzerland between the years of 1980 and 2004. (Note: Also include period of stay under category 1,2,4 in this total.)
Anybody who has spent a TOTAL of 5+ years in Australia, Austria, Greece, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, between the years 1980 and 2004. (Note: Also include period of stay under category 1,2,3,4,6 in this total.)
Anybody who has spent a TOTAL of 5+ years in Iceland, Albania, Andorra, Croatia, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia, Czech Republic, Vatican City, Hungary, Bulgaria, Poland, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Macedonia, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Norway, Lichtenstein, Romania, between the years of 1980 through the present day. (Note: Also include period of stay under category 1,2,3,4,5 in this total.)
Next the rules relating to blood parasite diseases.
Anybody who has entered the country in the past four weeks.
Anybody who has entered Japan after visitinga malaria high-risk area within the last year. This is true even if you were only at a resort area of the country. HOWEVER, if you have been specifically tested for malaria and been found negative you may donate blood.
Anybody who has entered Japan after living in a malaria high-risk area within the last three years.
Anybody who has ever lived in a region known for Chagas Disease, AKA American trypanosomiasis. (This is a blood parasite like malaria.)
Anybody recently returned from Africa or who has lived in Africa and ever tested positive for African trypanosomiasis (African sleeping sickness.)
Anybody who has ever tested positive for babesiosis, another blood parasite most commonly found in tropical regions such as Africa or Latin America.
Also anybody who has engaged in medical work, research, field work, etc. in any regions known for similar diseases should not donate blood.
Last are other categories of persons who may not donate blood.
Anyone who has or has had heart disease, or malignant tumor,
Anyone who has rheumatic fever or is on antibiotics due to risk of rheumatic fever
Sufferers from any convulsive disorder
Sufferers from blood-loss related diseases such as hemophilia or purpora.
Anyone with medicine allergies, nephritic syndrome, chronic inflammation disorders.
Anyone currently experiencing extreme hunger or sleep deprivation.
Anyone currently taking prescription drugs, except for those such at vitamins with no harmful side effects.
Pregnant women or breast-feeding mothers.
Anybody with a fever, specifically temperature of 37℃ or higher
HIV, hepatitis infected persons (free AIDS testing centers link)
Anyone who has ingested marijuana or other psychoactives within the last year
Any man who has engaged in homosexual behavior
Anyone with a history of sex with anonymous partners
Anyone who has been treated for hepatitis A within the past 6 months. Also, since it is often transmitted by shellfish, anybody whose family member has been treated for hepatitis A within the past 1 month. Hepatitis B and C stay in your system, so you are permanently banned.
Anybody who has ever RECEIVED a blood transfusion. (Due to the possibility of viruses as yet unknown to medical science.
Anybody who has gotten a body piercing (ears included) within the past year.
Anybody with a piercing on a mucous membrane such as the lip, tongue, nose, no matter when you got it.
Anybody who has gotten a tattoo within the past year.
Anyone who has been vaccinated using an inactive vaccine within the past 24 hours for diseases such as influenza, Japanese encephalitis, cholera, hepatitis A, pneumonia, whooping cough (pertussis), tetanus (may not be a complete list)
Anyone who was given anti-HBs human immunoglobulin in combination with a hepatitis B vaccine, anyone who was given an emergency rabies vaccine (that is, after being bitten) within the past 1 year.
Anyone given a vaccination for mumps, rubella/German measles, Bacille Calmette-Guerin (tuberculosis vaccine), or other mildly active vaccine (live attenuated) vaccine or any hepatitis B vaccine within the past 4 weeks.
Anyone vaccinated against smallpox within the past 2 months.
Anyone given an antisterum for tetanus, snake bite or other poison, gas gangrene, botulism etc. within the past 3 months.
Anyone who has had dental surgery that caused bleeding within the past 3 days.
14.21 Unit 3 at Fukushima plant 1 is recovering after water levels cooling the reactor were topped up.
14.10 How the World is reporting on the Japan quake:
14.04 The latest on the state at Fukushima. Unit 1 has been filled with sea water and is under control. Units 2 and 3 have experienced problems and radioactive vapour has been released into the atmosphere to reduce pressure, as was done with the reactor in the first unit.
On Sunday, they announced that the cooling system at a second reactor in the same aging plant had failed, forcing officials to release radioactive vapor into the atmosphere. At least 210,000 people were told to evacuate the areas.
The cooling systems at three other reactors at a second nuclear plant had also failed, officials said. While cooling might still be revived, if it could not, these reactors could also require emergency cooling, they said.
For now, the most pressing concern stemmed from a radiation leak and explosion at the No. 1 reactor of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station on Saturday. Officials were forced to flood the overheating reactor with seawater to avoid a nuclear meltdown.
By Sunday officials were forced to take steps at another reactor — No. 3 — to avert a nuclear meltdown after a critical failure of their cooling systems briefly exposed fuel rods — a dangerous state that could lead to meltdown.
On Sunday morning, officials injected water and boric acid into the second reactor and released radioactive vapor to ease pressure, said Yukio Edano, the chief cabinet secretary. The reactor’s fuel rods had become exposed, he said, which called for the extraordinary measures.
13.52 The Japanese government rates the accident at the Fukushima Number One nuclear power plant at level 4 on an international scale of 0 to 7. (via @mutantfroginc)
13.50 Instructions are being giving for people living within the 20km radius around Fukushima to be evacuated, totally 210,000 people. (via NHK t.v)
13.48 Japan Newbie has published a list of useful Japanese vocabulary related to the earthquake:
13.46 Latest figures: over 1600 people dead (via NHK t.v).
13.41 Latest figures on TBS: Over 2700 dead or missing.
13.38 Mutantfrog has published an article detailing who can NOT give blood in Japan Useful reading.
13.30 150 SDF troops along with water tanks and pumps have been sent to reactor 2 at Fukushima nuclear power plant ready to start work releasing the radioactive steam and cooling the reactor core (it has not yet been decided when). Problems have been reported at the second reactor since this morning. Due to the loss of the first reactor yesterday and the continuing problems, controlled blackouts are being predicted in order to deal with the lack of power. (via TBS tv)
13.00 After careful analysis, the Japan Meteological Agency has upgraded the Tohoku earth to a Moment Magnitude (Mw) of 9.0. The effects were felt 500km North-South and 200km East-West and the quake lasted around 5 minutes. There still remains a 70% risk of the highest magnitude 7 (on the Japanese scale) aftershock for up to 3 days within the 500x200km area, so people are being advised to take care.
12.50 Live Updates Resume
**End live Updates** Thanks for sticking with me again everyone. Really gotta catch up on some proper sleep now. Keep following the live updates on Twitter with other people in Japan and be vigilant – earthquakes and tsunamis are still occurring and likely to do so for some time yet. Good night! We’ll see what tomorrow brings after a good rest.
02.41 Tohoku Earthquake upgraded to ‘Severe Disaster’ status by Japanese government.
02.22 How Japan’s Earthquake and Tsunami Warning Systems work:
02.20 Amazing citizen-shot video of floating houses in Japan (you need to create NicoNicoDouga account) (via @shioyama)
02.00 Press conference about the nuclear reactor cooling process. Japan’s Self Defence Force (SDF) have been cooling the reactor of plant no. 1 in Fukushima by filling the container with sea water. Boric acid was also added to the mix to absorb the neutrons and prevent the nuclear fuel from re-activating.
Wikipedia article about the Sievert for measuring radiation (via @mutantfroginc)
01.53 Link to site with 3 live streaming japanese news channels about the ongoing earthquakes (via @mutantfroginc)
00.50 Tokyo Supermarket empty as people stock up on food (via @tokyocooney)
00.26 Seismic activity using Trend Compass (via @shibuya246) Circle size shows magnitude, colour shows depth:
Note: The graph plotted ends *before* the current earthquake events began (thanks to @daniel_garcia_r for pointing that out).
00.21 Explanation from an alleged Nuclear Reactor Operator from Reed College about nuclear reactor cooling systems.
In response to the question How serious is the threat to the Fukushima nuclear plant? on Reddit.
Disclaimer: IAaNRO (I Am a Nuclear Reactor Operator. I work part-time at my college’s research reactor)
Short Answer: It’s unlikely. It’s been shutdown, but the core is still producing heat. It’s not impossible for it to meltdown, but the main concern right now is that the steam pressure is rising in the cooling system, to the point where the system might rupture if nothing is done.
(Note: Originally I thought it was impossible for this reactor to meltdown at this point, but I’ve since been corrected. I’ve edited my answer slightly to reflect this)
Nuclear power reactors are of two main varieties: Pressurized Water Reactors, and Boiling Water Reactors. The plant in question is a Boiling Water Reactor (BWR). BWRs work by using the core’s thermal energy to boil the cooling water into steam, and then channelling the steam in order to turn a steam turbine. After it exits the turbine, the steam is cooled in a condenser, where it turns back to water, and then is sent back into the core. The condenser requires cool water to be actively pumped through it, to keep the pipes upon which the steam condenses from becoming too hot. The water/steam that runs through the core and the turbine is referred to as the “primary cooling system”, and the water running through the condenser is the “secondary cooling system.” The primary is assumed to be contaminated (that is, it is measurably radioactive), whereas the secondary system is not, since it is isolated from the primary.
As far as I can tell, the chain of events for this particular plant went something like this:
Shortly after the quake, the reactor successfully shut down in anticipation of the tsunami. This means that no more fission is occurring in the core. A meltdown a la Chernobyl is a result of uncontrollable fission. This will not be another Chernobyl. However, just because U-235 is no longer fissioning, doesn’t mean that the core isn’t producing heat. The fission fragments (those isotopes produced as a result of the U-235 fissioning) will continue to decay through alpha, beta, or gamma emission, until stable elements at the bottom of the decay chain are reached. The decay of these fission fragments and their decay products will cause the core to continue to produce heat for some time after shutdown.
Presumably due to the fact that every reactor near the east coast of Japan was being shutdown, offsite power for the secondary cooling system was unavailable, so the power plant had to rely on onsite backup power, but the onsite power only lasted for 8 hours. After that, the secondary cooling system failed, which is what triggered the declaration of the Nuclear Emergency, and evacuation of those living within 3Km of the plant.
Since the core is continuing to produce heat, and consequently steam, the steam pressure inside the primary system is rising above normal levels. They are hesitant to bleed off steam into the containment dome, since the dome was probably damaged in the quake, but obviously bleeding off some steam is better than having the primary system rupture. Thankfully, most of the really nasty decay products have a relatively short half-life. In particular, Nitrogen-16, which gives off pretty high energy betas when it decays, has a half-life of 7.2 seconds. Therefore, releasing the steam is undesirable, but not catastrophic, and probably not even particularly hazardous. The radioactive materials in the cloud will be longer-lived decay products of hydrogen and oxygen in, and as far as I’m aware none of those are particularly active. The cloud will be dilute itself after release, which will lower the intensity of the radiation field significantly. Therefore, the total radioactivity release will be many orders of magnitude lower than that of Chernobyl or Three Mile Island.
tl;dr: Right now, the fear isn’t meltdown, it’s mainly the steam pressure. The media are definitely playing up the meltdown angle, though.
Like I said, I’m a nuclear reactor operator–if you still have questions, please ask me.
March 13th, 2001
23.47 Japan Sub-culture updates with a page explaining how you can help the disaster efforts.
23.44 Another level 5 quake recorded in Niigata
23.39 National Police Agency confirm 5000 homes submerged in Rikuzen Takata city, Iwate prefecture. In Sendai, Wakabayashi-ku and Arahamachi-ku 2700 homes have been completely washed away and 200-300 bodies have been found on the shore.
23.29 Map showing the radius around Fukushima. Currently only a 20km risk area has been identified.
23.22 Softbank allows free SMS messages within Japan for a week form the quake.
23.19 Heading in the wrong direction (via @shioyama)
23.11 NHK reports that cooling the Fukushima reactor with seawater should be done by about 1am.
22.50 3 civilians awaiting rescue in Fukushima prefecture diagnosed with radiation sickness.
22.45 Mutantfrog has translated the TEPCO Fukushima nuclear plant profiles into English:
22.22 Terrifying footage from inside Sendai area at the time of the initial tsunami:
22.19 A low level 5 quake recorded in Fukushima prefecture, Hamadori. Tsunami warnings issued. This is the first level 5 quake since the level 6 one at 5.46 this morning.
22.10 10,000 people missing in tsunami-hit town of Minami-Sanriku, Miyagi prefecture (population: 17,800) (via @pinktentacle, NHK)
22.01 Outline of TEPCO nuclear reactors 1-6:
21.57 Fukushima evacuation areas for reactors 1 and 2:
21.46 Current death toll at over 1000 people.
20.45 Edano, Chief Cabinet Secretary, briefs the public on the situation at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, reactor 1. Beginning 14.00, valves were opened to begin releasing pressure building up in the nuclear reactor. Before this, radiation amounts were increasing. At 15.36 an explosion occurred as a result of the levels of water used for cooling the reactor decreasing. This gave rises to large amounts of radioactive steam, increasing pressure. This steam had a chemical reaction with the metal-coated pipes covering the nuclear rods, producing hydrogen. The hydrogen eventually combined with oxygen to cause the explosion, damaging the surrounding concrete and steel structure. The container and nuclear core reactor itself have not been damaged, so there will be no large radiation leaks. According to Edano, the density of radiation did not increase after the explosion. At 15.29, 1015μSv/h of radiation was detected (*edit* according to other sources this is equivalent to an annual dose for a human being). The explosion then took place at 15.36. At 15.40, 860μSv/h of radiation was detected, and at 18.58, 70.5μSv/h, showing that the level of radiation was decreasing. Currently, the radiation leakage to outside has not changed much. In order to prevent any further damage or leakage Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) are to fill the reactor with seawater (something rather unprecedented) to ensure it does not reach a critical state again. These measures have been put into place as of 20.20. Residents within the 10-20km radius are not in immediate danger, but the government wanted to err on the side of caution and extend the radius in case of any further complications. Asks all citizens to react calmly and beware of false information.
20.35 Kan, Prime Minister of Japan, speaking live on television. Government making full efforts to rescue missing persons and take care of people in evacuation areas. Regarding 1st and 2nd nuclear power plant in Fukushima, the first priority is the safety of people. New development has resulted in extending the evacuation order extended to 20km radius.
Images of before and after the explosion:
Explosion at 3.36pm, Fukushima nuclear power plant:
Fukushima nuclear power plant:
**Live Updates Resume as of 20.32**
Gotta leave you for now all. Thanks for the support!
05.49 Another level 6 in Nagano.
05.45 Latest figures: 184 dead, 708 missing, 947 injured.
05.37 I was just interviewed on CNN about the earthquakes here in Japan. – Sorry I missed an hour of updates!
Short interview about 2 hours 51 minutes in towards the end of this recording: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/13251729
04.34 Another level 6 quake measured in Nagano.
04.26 Quakes still continuing every few minutes:
04.04 Another big quake scale 6 recorded in Nagano, Niigata and other areas. I felt a slight tremor here near Nagoya.
04.01 Great Tohoku Earthquake ranks 5th biggest in the world since 1990.
03.48 Latest figures from the National Police Agency: 167 dead, 515 missing, 827 injured.
03.45 2 workers reported missing from the 1st Fukushima nuclear plant. 1 reported dead from the 2nd plant.
03.37 Diagram showing how the vapour would be released from the reactor.
03.27 Has been decided that it is necessary to release the pressure in the nuclear reactor. A small amount of radioactive vapour may be given off, but it should not cause a threat as people have been evacuated from around the immediate area. (via NHK)
03.20 Radiation leak could occur at Fukushima nuclear plant: Minster for Economy, Trade and Industry Banri Kaieda. Any leak though, would be small (Kyodo) (via @japantimes)
03.16 Another aftershock recorded on a scale of 3. Looks like they are continuing after all, so take care everyone. #signingout
03.14 Emergency warning for incoming earthquake in China and Ibaraki. Take care all.
**End live updates** I’m signing out. It’s been 10 hours since I started blogging and I’m shattered. Keep following the news on Twitter and the various news sites. My thoughts are with the people in Northern Japan. I pray the worst is over. Peace.
03.00 Tsunami warnings still being issued. Stay away from the coasts until clear. Be vigilant and prepare for aftershocks for days to come!
02.59 New Scientist article about Japan’s largest ever earthquake.
02.58 Looks like things might be starting to calm down a little. Aftershocks still continuing on a scale between 1-4, but gradually seem to be weakening.
02.55 According to the National Police Agency, in 9 of the northern prefectures there have been 151 deaths, 547 missing and 798 injured. Casualties are being reported on a mass scale due to communities being caught in the huge tsunamis immediately following the earthquakes.
02.48 Ginza, Marunouchi, Namboku, Hanzomon line working; Hibiya, Tozai, Chiyoda, Yurakucho, Fukutoshin partially working; theyll all run all night (via @nobi)
02.46 12 hours since the initial quake.
02.37 US Air Force to bring cooling agents to stressed Fukushima nuclear reactor.
02.30 Emergency lines opened for foreign residents:
02.17 48 dead in Fukushima, 370 missing
02.13 Defense Ministry says 1,800 households in Minamisoma city, Fukushima Prefecture is destroyed, JIJI Press reports (via @jt_kamiya)
02.13 Measures are being considered in order to release the pressure building up in the reactor core. Currently no radiation leakage, but there is still a possibility.
02.10 Nuclear reactor in Fukushima still holding up with the temporary cooling measures. No radiation leakage yet, but water level rapidly diminishing.
01.54 Over 300 dead. Over 500 missing. (via NHK)
01.50 People being advised not to turn their gas back on yet.
01.48 Report from Tokyo blogger Hikosaemon:
01.46 More updates from: http://jpeq311.posterous.com/info
“Place to stay tonight for FREE in Tokyo: Meiji Univ., Rikkyo Univ. Shinagawa Prince Hotel those who cannot going back home tonight in Tokyo.” via @ask9 If you plan to walk home and it will take a long time, consider it again – it can be better to stay at an evacuation center/a friend’s place for the night. Here’s a Google map of shelter (in Japanese). via @tcsuliv If you are around Shinjuku, Bunka Fashion College (文化服装学院) is offering food and shelter for the night. Map here. If you are in Tokyo and in need of recharger for your mobile phone, you can use a recharger for free at Bic Camera. If you are around Omiya Station in Saitama and can’t go home, Saitama Super Arena is now offered as an evacuation center. Map here. NHK Radio 2 broadcasts in English for the emergency info: Tokyo 693, Akita 774, Sendai 1089, Morioka 1386 (kHz AM)
01.25 Multi-lingual radio list:
01.23 USGS showing 119 quakes across Japan:
01.15 Narita airport expecting to re-open tomorrow morning (12th) for departures and arrivals.
01.12 KDDI undersea cable has been severed. Landlines and mobile phones networked to KDDI in Tohoku and the west of Kanto are without reception.
01.10 ATTN: foreign citizens – Go to NHK Radio 963 to check the latest updates. Available: ENG, CHI, KO, SP, POR, GER, FR (via @shioyama)
01.09 Another live streaming NHK channel added:
01.04 Official death toll now at 300 – conservative figures, and sure to rise. Kyodo reporting 88,000 people missing (via @AkikoFujita)
01.02 NHK collecting information from local broadcasting agencies:
00.58 Incredible video of Tokyo towers swaying:
00.55 13,000 stuck at Narita airport (via @tokyotwilighter)
00.52 Aftershocks still continuing (level 2, Chiba):
00.47 Dam breaks in Fukushima Pref., washes away homes (Kyodo) (via @japantimes)
00.44 Quake said to be 178 times bigger than the Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995. (via Nikkei)
00.43 Twitter has killed my main account @gakuranman for too many tweets. Please follow @gakuu for updates.
00.33 93 dead, 351 missing according to police
00.28 Photos from the quake, Daily Mail:
00.17 Current Twitter trends:
00.15 Estimated people only had 10-15 minutes between the time the quake hit and the first tsunamis as the epicentre was so close (via Twitter)
00.13 8000 members to be dispatched from the Japan Self Defense Force to deal with the crisis:
00.11 China’s CCTV reports Japan quake swayed buildings in Shanghai (via @martyn_williams)
00.10 Fukushima reactor cooling system to come back on @ 1.30am. No leak: RT @asahi_fukushima 福島第１原発２号機の冷却系は午前１時半に復旧する見通し！ 福島県対策本部の情報です。今のところ放射能漏れはない (via @shioyama)
00.07 30 people dead, over 300 missing in Fukushima prefecture.
00.02 Aftershocks continue. Magnitude 4 in Ibaraki prefecture.
March 12th, 2011
23.58 Aftershocks still occurring in Tokyo. Water outages in many locations, Electricity gradually being restored.
23.57 New Scientist article on how the earthquakes will create more tsunamis to come.
23.53 Two videos from Fukushima (via @howtojapanese)
23.49 Dial 050-5814-7230 for 24-hour free interpreting service for quake affected people (En, Zh, Kr to Jp). Spanish, Portuguese from 0800 to 2100 (via @durf)
23.48 Photos of the earthquake in Japan
23.44 USGS has measured 67 aftershocks scale 5 or greater since the main quake:
23.39 Reports the Fukushima nuclear power plant has cooled (via @howtojapanese)
23.38 Reports a tsunami is covering Hokkaido, Northern Japan (via @shioyama)
23.33 Video showing the moment of the quake in Sendai
23.28 The fires in Kesennuma covering 2.5×4.5km (via @durf):
23.24 Footage of Kesennuma – a town on fire:
23.19 East Japan Railways has reported that they’ve completely lost contact with one of their 4-carriage trains.
23.14 Fukushima nuclear reactor update: Battery cooling the reactor has stopped. Backup not arrived yet. Risk of breaking down and radiation leaks. (via Japanese tv)
23.11 Footage of burning oil refinery
23.10 Nagoya International Women’s Marathon may be cancelled. Make no mistake, this earthquake is going to affect the whole country.
23.02 More quakes being reported from Tokyo by my friends.
22.52 Aftershocks still continuing (level 4s – original quake was 7 on the Japanese scale):
22.46 Tokyo Sky Tree fine. Tip of Tokyo Tower bent. It broadcasts NHK and other signals, so no reception in some areas.
22.43 All bicycles are sold out in some bike shop. no wonder. (via @satoshi213)
22.35Video from Ofunato. 48 people swept away there, including 23 middle-school students.
22.34 Police reporting 200-300 bodies discovered in the Arahama area of Wakabayashi Ward, Sendai (TBS News) (via @gen)
22.32Kyodo just said 200-300 bodies were found on the beach of Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture … (via @jt_nakata)
22.2７ Tsunami footage from Sendai airport.
22.23 All Tohoku lines and Eastern JR lines closed until safety can be assessed.
22.21 All public high schools in Tokyo now open for people who can’t get home (via @tamegoeswild)
22.20 Risk of radiation exposure in Fukushima. Nothing confirmed, but people still being advised to evacuate.
22.19 Another aftershock in Tokyo.
22.16 People in Chili, Easter Island and Equator being advised to evacuate amid tsunami warnings.
22.05 Expressways in northern Japan (Tohoku) closed due to damage.
22.05 Waves of up to 2m are being predicted for many places all over *southern* Japan. People near the coast being advised to get to high ground.
21.55 NHK t.v reporting on the nuclear sit in Fukushima – no leakage yet. They are asking people with 3km to evacuate. People 3km-10km should be on alert for instructions.
21.54 Quake of 4 in Nagoya. Tsunami warning issued, evacuation advised.
21.45 NHK *finally* starts a live stream on Ustream. About time.
21.42 Another big tsunami warning along the coast of Japan, Hokkaido, Aomori, Chiba (etc.)
21.41 Narita re-opens airport for departures.
21.39 Supermarket getting hit by the quake: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9QNzGY0qxw&feature=youtu.be
21.37 Tokyo electric struggling to meet demand – thus request for people to try to cut down on use – heaters off! (via@tokyotwilight)
21.27 Residents to be evacuated within 2km of the nuclear reactor amount to about 1864 people.
21.27 “Residents within 2km of Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant are requested to evacuate, due to low cooling water level NHK Radio” (via @good_people)
21.23 Nuclear emergency has already been declared. The battery cooling the system will run out by about 10pm, then there is a risk of the reactor breaking down and radioactive material leading. Okuma town and Futaba town residents to be evacuated.
21.20 NHK Radio 2 broadcasts in English for the emergency info: Tokyo 693, Akita 774, Sendai 1089, Morioka 1386 (kHz AM) (via @kenji_rikitake)
21.20 Fukushima losing the battle to cool the nuclear reactor. If they can’t cool it, there is risk of radioactive leakage.
21.18 Fukushima nuclear power plant struggling to cool reactor. Local evacuation ordered – Nikkei (via @dicklp)
21.10 Ship carrying 100 washed away by tsunami: Miyagi police (Kyodo) (via @japantimes)
21.03 NHK radio AM963 apparently broadcasting earthquake related info in English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean (via @fukumimi)
21.02 Reading that Ginza and Hanzomon lines in Tokyo are up and running now. Marunouchi & Nanboku too. Only those 4 metros yet (via @tokyoreporter)
20.55 Tokyo Metro Ginza Line running between Shibuya and Asakusa (via NHK News). Hanazomon line also running. (via @shioyama)
20.51 61 Dead. 244 Missing.
20.39 46 Dead. 51 Missing. 90 Injured.
20.38 Another big shake in Iwate city.
20.35 Water outage confirmed in Saitama (via @hillpoems).
20.30 UK Prime Minister announces the British government is making efforts to get help out to Japan.
20.28 Another small quake recorded in Sendai. Gradually getting weaker
20.28 Shelter list
With public transport entirely disrupted across the city (JR has announced there will be no more services this evening), the following public spaces have been made available to stranded Tokyoites:
Aoyama Oath, Shibuya; Dommune club (50 people max); Eiji Press (Ebisu) is offering toilet, telephone, internet; Yotsuya Sophia University; Hiroo University of the Sacred Heart; Roppongi Butagumi Shabu Ann (the owner is handing out curry and onigiri for free); Sasazuka Bowl; Seikei University (Kichijoji & Mitaka area); Waseda University (Building 8, Waseda Campus, Takadanobaba) Shinjuku Bunka Fukuso Gakuin; Ueno Tokyo Bunka Kaikan; Takashimaya Times Square Shinjuku; Tsukiji Honganji; Shinbashi Daiichi Hotel lobby; Ikebukuro Rikkyo University; Shinagawa Prince Hotel lobby; Shibuya & Omotesando Aoyama Gakuin University gymnasium
In Yokohama: Fifth floor of Landmark Plaza building
In Saitama: Saitama Super Arena
20.26 Ongoing fire at an industrial complex:
20.09 No radiation leakage has been confirmed (via Japanese tv). Though coolant reactor may have been damaged (via @pinktentacle).
20.06 People trapped on the Shinkansen in a tunnel in Fukushima prefecture. Currently unable to be led out safely.
19.59 41 deaths and 90 injuries confirmed as of now. Many people missing.
19.50 JAL and ANA cancel all flights from Narita airport (voa @japantimes)
19.49 Photos of the evacuations in Tokyo from Shibuya246:
19.45 Industrial complex in Chiba still blazing.
19.43 Convenience stores running out of food as people prepare to spend night in Tokyo.
19.38 Another quake recorded in Fukushima, scale 4.
19.30 Trains in Ibaraki are free. Expected to expand to the larger Kanto area.
19.27 Working to resolve the situation in Fukushima. Still possibility of radiation leakage, but as of yet nothing has been confirmed.
19.22 Google Tsunami update:
19.18 Bic camera apparently letting people recharge phones (via @jcayzac)
19.16 Aftershocks still continuing. Currently around 50 recorded: http://typhoon.yahoo.co.jp/weather/jp/earthquake/
19.12 Update on free drinks for Suntory vending machines
Suntory vending machines have emergency levers beneath a sticker on the upper-right corners. Pull the sticker off, pull the lever firmly and you’ll get free drinks.
Elsewhere, Bic Camera is offering a free phone charging service at all their stores.
19.10 Tsunami whirlpool in Ibaraki:
19.07 Safety advice collected via Twitter:
With the 1995 Kobe earthquake, the biggest after shock occurred 3 hours after the initial quake. Prepare for those after shocks even if it appears safe now. Get some water ready and handy. Stock up some water in your bath tub or some other containers. Get some emergency food ready. Plug off unncessary outlets. Shut down gas and electricity, especially when you leave your house to evacuate or when the power is out. A fire is most likely to occur when electricity comes back. Tokyo Electricity Power Company is asking to save electricity. Keep windows open. If you live near the ocean or a river, be aware of tsunami. Here’s info on tsunami. Don’t make phone calls unless absolutely necessary in order to ensure that those in need of making emergency calls can use the lines.
Using Skype, Twitter, Facebook, and e-mail is fine.
“Dial 171, leave a message with your home number. Anyone who knows ur home number can check your safety.” (via @beerintokyo) Google Person Finder for this earthquake is available here. Get warm clothes. Be ready for potential poweroutage if it hasn’t happened to your area yet. Check where the closest evacuation center from where you are. Parks, schools, and other public places are often used as an evacuation center. If you live in Tokyo, here’s a list of evacuation centers. It’s in Japanese, though. If you are a woman, be careful for potential rapists who take advantage of this emergency situation and be with some other people. Don’t be alone.
18.58 Power outages continuing in Tohoku and most of kanto (Tokyo area). NOTE: People are advised to turn off appliances and power to their houses before evacuating – when the power returns it could cause a fire.
18.52 Govt declares state of emergency regarding possible radiation leak at Fukushima nuclear power plant (via @pinktentacle)
18.47 500m+ bus lines forming in central Tokyo
18.47 JR East have decided to halt all trains until tomorrow (via @akikohayashi)
18.46 Quake reported to be 160 more powerful than the one to hit Christchurch last month (via @tamegoeswild)
18.38 All Suntory vending machines reportedly free after the earthquake – just hit the button (via @dannychoo)
18.31 Following areas have been opened to the public for those who cannot get home tonight:
While there have been no major casualties in Tokyo, thousands are stranded tonight as taxis and hotels find themselves oversubscribed. The following public spaces have been opened to people unable to get home.
Tukiji Honganji, Shinbashi Daiichi Hotel lobby, Ikebukuro Rikkyo University, Shinagawa Prince Hotel lobby, Shibuya & Omotesando Aoyama Gakuin University gymnasium.
18.17 Tsunami updates and report from Mutantfrog.
Regions with LARGE tsunami risk (red) are as follows:
Iwate, Miyagi, Fukuoka, Hokkaido Pacific coast central area, Aomori Pacific coast, Ibaraki, Chiba Kujukuri outskirts, Izu islands, Hokkaido Pacific East Coast, Hokkaido Pacific West Coast, Aomori Sea of Japan coast, Chiba interior, Ogasawara Islands, Sagami Bay and Miura Peninsula, Shizuoka, Wakayama, Tokushima
Regions with REGULAR tsunami risk (orange) are as follows:
Aichi outer sea, Mie southern area, Kochi, Miyazaki, Tanegashima/Yakushima region, Amami/Tokara islands, Hokkaido Sea of Japan southern coast, Mutsu Bay, Tokyo Bay inner bay, Ise, Mika Bay, Awaji southern region, Ehime Uwakai coast, Oita Seto Inland Sea coast, Oita Bungo Channel, Kagoshima East and West regions, Okinawa main island, Daito Islands, Miyakojima, Yaeyama Islands.
Regions with LOW level alert (yellow) are as follows:
Sea of Okhostsk, Osaka, Hyogo Seto Inland Sea coast, Okayama, Kagawa, Ehime Seto Inland Sea coast, Ariake/Yatsushiro Sea, Nagasaki western region, Kumamoto Amakusanada coast, Akita, Yamagata, Niigata Kaminaka and Kaetsuchi, Sado region, Toyama, Ishikawa Noto region, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi Seto Inland Sea coast.
Other regions do NOT have a tsunami warning or watch at this time.
[Update at 5:20]
I just heard that the Philippines raised their tsunami alert level to the highest in many years, NE coast, which faces Japan, will be hit in around 2 hours.
18.02 Many people stranded in Tokyo as trains are brought to a standstill (Ikebukuro)
18.01 Certain ATM machines in affected areas reporting not working.
18.00 Devastating footage of the tsunami from CNN: http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/03/11/japan.quake/index.html?hpt=T1
17.56 Huge damage to 福島学院大学
17.51 More tsunami warnings issued in Fukushima.
Payphones have become free for people in northern areas.
Currently there is no power in many of the northern cities including Akita, Iwate and Sendai. People in Kanagawa prefecture have also reported loss of power.
Chiba Steelworks has exploded:
The roof of a school building in Tochigi has collapsed at a school graduation ceremony.
Shinakansen heading towards Tohoku have been stopped.
Tip of Tokyo Tower bent:
Split in the earth:
Fire in Odaiba Telecoms building:
Landslides occurring in various places, including one involving a truck and car in Shibata-machi. Death recorded.
March 11th, 2011