Teme Japón miles de muertos; estima que hay más de 100 mil desaparecidos
El Comité de Emergencia ha manifestado que las cifras podrán incrementarse conforme se conozca la situación en cada zona afectada
CIUDAD DE MÉXICO, 11 de marzo.- El Comité de Emergencia, creado por el gobierno japonés, ha manifestado a la agencia de noticias Kyodo, que se ha reportado 100 mil desaparecidos, luego de que un terremoto de 8.9 grados en la escala de Richter azotó al país nipón, víctima de un tsunami producido luego del movimiento sísimico.
Además, se indicó que hasta ahora hay 310 personas fallecidas y se han reportado 544 heridos.
Entre 200 y 300 cadáveres han sido localizados en una playa próxima a Sendai, la localidad más cercana al epicentro del terremoto de 8,9 grados que se produjo este viernes en la costa nororiental de Japón, según informó la Policía de la prefectura de Miyagi, citada por la agencia estatal de noticias Kiodo.
Así mismo, un barco con 100 tripulantes fue arrasado por las olas y un tren lleno de pasajeros desapareció en el noreste del país de la compañía East Japan Railway Co. que se encontraba cerca de la estación de Nobiru recorriendo la línea que une a Sendai con Ishinomaki cuando se produjo el sismo.
Según el Centro de Observación Geológica de Estados Unidos (USGS), el terremoto tuvo una magnitud de 8.9 grados y se produjo a solo 24 kilómetros de profundidad. El epicentro se ha localizado a 130 kilómetros mar adentro de Sendai, en Miyagi, Honshu, la isla más importante del país.
Japan Nuclear Power Stations
5.04am There are still fears for the occupants of two trains and a ship with over 100 passengers that were swept away by the tsunami.
4.30am US President Barack Obama has offered Japan his “deepest condolences, especially to the victims and their families. I offered our Japanese friends whatever help is needed”. He said that the US already had an aircraft carrier stationed in Japan and that another was on its way. “We also have a ship en route to the Marianas Islands to assist as needed. The defence department is working to account for all our military personnel in Japan. US embassy personnel in Japan have moved to an off-site location, and the state department is working to account for and assist any and all American citizens who are in the country.”
4.18am Kyodo news agency now puts the estimate of number killed at more than 1000.
4.03am The tsunami is expected to hit Ocean Beach in San Francisco shortly, resident Mathew Honan has set up a webcam you can access here.
The waves have started to hit the US West Coast now. Mike Murphy, emergencies chief in Port Orford, Oregon said:
The tsunami has arrived now and the ocean is surging as though it were between high tide and low tide every 30 minutes instead of the usual six hours.
4.02am Japanese defence ministry officials have said 1800 homes in Fukushima prefecture have been destroyed, the BBC reported.
3.59am The Herald Sun has this account from Australian Luke Norris who was in his high-rise apartment in central Tokyo when the quake hit.
I crouched next to the bed. All the lights went out. The whole building started swaying. I’m pretty high up. It was a very scary experience.
3.50am Governments around the world have pledged their support and offered aid to Japan in the wake of the largest quake to ever hit the country.
A house sinks into the ground at Sukagawa city, Fukushima. Picture: AFP
Pedestrians clamber over a piece of collapsed road in Urayasu city, Chiba. Picture: AFP
3.40am Reports indicate the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is “under control”. The World Nuclear Association has said it understands that water is now being pumped into its cooling system. Reuters has also reported the US has transported emergency coolant to the plant. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said:
We just had our Air Force assets in Japan transport some really important coolant to one of the nuclear plants. You know Japan is very reliant on nuclear power and they have very high engineering standards, but one of their plants came under a lot of stress with the earthquake and didn’t have enough coolant.
3.18am Hawaii appears to have dodged the worst of the tsunami with the wave passing seemingly without major impact. White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley said:
I think the enormous fears that that were there hours ago, for some of us hours ago, has diminished greatly, which is quite a relief for all of us.
Houses continue to burn into the night at Natori, Miyagi. Picture: AP
3.08am Five Australians MPs have arrived safely in Tokyo after spending hours trapped on a bullet train that ground to a halt following the 8.9 magnitude earthquake in Japan. Labor MPs Stephen Jones said the atmosphere on the crowded train was surprisingly calm.
You have got to hand it to the Japanese people. They are really taking this in their stride.
3.06am Embassy officials in Japan are trying to contact at least 45 Australians known to be in the region hardest hit by the 8.9 magnitude earthquake and tsunami.
2.58am The Courier-Mail has amazing eye-witness reports from Aussies in the heart of the quake.
I could’ve sworn I didn’t set my alarm to earthquake last night – Joel Porter, based in Sendai, about 130km west of a quake epicentre.
Things were falling off the shelves . . . the microwave was centimetres away from toppling off. The TV stand, holding a 32-inch TV, wheeled itself a couple of metres across the floor – Maki Miyaguchi, an Australian copy editor with Kyodo News, Tokyo
Waves wash away a warehouse and vehicles in Kesennuma, Miyagi. Picture: AP
2.47am A large section of Kesennuma, a town of 70,000 people in Miyagi, is burning furiously with no apparent hope of the flames being extinguished, public broadcaster NHK said. A witness told the broadcaster that the fire began after the tsunami knocked over several cars, causing them to leak oil and gas. The fire started hours later and rescuers have yet to arrive.
2.45am The death toll hasrisen to at least 310 people. The National Police Agency said 110 people had been confirmed dead and 350 missing, with 544 others injured in the tremor.
The death toll has yet to include the 200-300 dead bodies which were (reportedly) found on the beach of Sendai.
2.42am A Japanese news agency has reported a dam has burst in north-eastern Japan, washing away homes.
2.25am Residents in coastal parts of northern California have evacuated their homes in anticipation of an expected tsunami. Authorities warned waves could reach as high as two metres.
2.23am Queen Elizabeth II has sent a message to the Emperor of Japan.
I was saddened to hear of the tragic loss of life caused by the earthquake which has struck north east Japan today. Prince Philip joins me in extending our heartfelt sympathy to your majesty and the people of Japan. Our prayers and thoughts are with everyone who has been affected by the dreadful disaster.
2.02am The official Kyodo news agency is reporting that about 88,000 people are missing. The pictures below show the awful scale of the earthquake’s impact.
A man walks past burning rubble in Iwaki city, Fukushima. Picture: AP
A worker inspects a caved-in section of the Joban Motorway near Mito, Ibaraki. Picture: AP / Nexco East Japan
1.46am UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has expressed his condolences to the Japanese people. He said the UN will do “all it can to mobilise humanitarian assistance”.
The world is shocked and saddened by the images which we saw this morning. On behalf of the United Nations, I want to express my deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences to the Japanese people and government, and most especially to those who have lost family or friends in the earthquake or subsequent tsunami.
1.41am The first waves to hit Hawaii have been thankfully small. Waves were measured at 48cm at Nawiliwili on the island of Kauai, according to officials at an emergency centre in Honolulu. “It’s not going to be a major damaging event,” said Gerard Fryer with the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre as the surge began to hit, although he added there might be scattered damage.
1.17am Millions of people in greater Tokyo are stranded after the earthquake shut down the capital’s massive subway system. Countless workers have found themselves stuck far from their families, and unable to speak to them because the overloaded mobile phone system could not carry most calls.
1.00am Japanese police have found 200 to 300 bodies on a beach at Sendai. NHK television said the victims appeared to have drowned. Police are now putting the death toll at 88 with 349 missing, not including the bodies found at Sendai.
This dramatic picture shows the tsunami as it hits Natori, Miyagi. Picture: AP / Kyodo News
12.53am The east coast of Japan continue to be rocked by aftershocks – The US Geological Survey reports seven more over the past half hour.
12.49am Prime Minister Julia Gillard has expressed her condolences to the people of Japan.
On behalf of the people of Australia I want to express our very sincere condolences to the people of Japan and the government of Japan on the death and devastation we are seeing following the earthquake and tsunami. Like people around the world I’ve been watching the images on our TV screens – they are truly shocking.
12.37am Japanese police have reported a major explosion at a petrochemical complex in Sendai.
12.36am The first tsunami waves have hit Hawaii. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre says Kauai was the first island hit. Officials predicted Hawaii would experience waves up to two metres.
12.31am Tokyo’s Narita airport has partially resumed flights. Officials from the airport said some departing flights were now taking off from the airport, but that it was not accepting arrivals. Around 10,000 people were stranded at Narita, and 1100 at Sendai airport, which saw its runways submerged by sweeping black floodwaters.
The picture below shows the tsumani sweeping its way into Sendai airport. Picture: AP / Kyodo News
Vehicles are crushed by a collapsed road at a carpark in Yabuki. Picture: AFP
Vehicles ready for shipping being carried by a tsunami tidal wave at Hitachinaka city in Ibaraki. Picture: AFP
12.15am The whereabouts of a ship carrying 100 people which was swept away by the tsunami are still unknown, the Kyodo news agency has reported.
12.03am The northern coast of Indonesia has been struck by a small tsunami. There are no reports of how much damage has been caused and people are still on alert for future waves. Small tsunami waves have also hit the Philippines, but there were no reports of local damage or casualties. Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology director Renato Solidum told a news conference the waves ranged from 30cm to one metre.
The graphic below shows the quake as a star and the estimated time the tsunami will take to hit surrounding Pacific regions. Full image available from NOAA.
Parts of houses already swallowed by the tsunami burn in Sendai. Picture: AP
11.42pm Latin America’s Pacific coast is on tsunami alert. Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa has declared a state of emergency and ordered people on the Galapagos Islands and the coast of the mainland to seek higher ground. Meanwhile, the tsunami is expected to reach Mexico’s coastline within three to four hours.
11.31pm Some 2,000 residents living near Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant have been urged to evacuate.
11.25pm Japanese police have stated the death toll has reached 60 with 56 people still missing.
11.22pm More detail from The Associated Press on the state of emergency issued at a nuclear plant after its cooling system failed:
Chief cabinet secretary Yukio Edano says the nuclear power plant in Fukushima developed a mechanical failure in the system needed to cool the reactor after it was shut down in Friday’s earthquake.
He said the measure was a precaution and there was no radiation leak at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant. He said the facility was not in immediate danger.
11.15pm Tsunami sirens have sounded on coastal areas in Hawaii, where the first waves are expected to hit about 1.00am (AEDT). Waves about half a metre high hit Wake Island in the Northern Pacific, meaning the biggest waves to hit Hawaii could reach near 2 metres, said Gerard Fryer, a geophysicist for the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre. Residents in coastal areas across the Pacific from Hawaii to Guam were ordered to evacuate to shelters and higher ground. In Hawaii’s tourist district of Waikiki, visitors were being moved to higher floors of their hotels.
We’re preparing for the worst and we’re praying for the best.
The graphic below shows the earthquake to hit Japan was one of the biggest since 1900.
The image below is a monitor for activity in the Pacific region.
Houses are in flame while the Natori river is flooded over the surrounding area in Natori city. Picture: AP
This picture shows the refinery plant at Ichihara in Chiba engulfed by flames. Picture: AFP
10.56pm Reports indicate New Zealand has downgraded the tsunami threat to a marine threat only.
10.50pm Hawaii has ordered the evacuation of all coastal areas as the threat of a tsunami nears. Main airports have been shut down as a precaution and the US Navy has ordered warships in Pearl Harbor to remain in port to support rescue missions.
10.36pm New Zealand has now issued its own tsunami warning and warns people to stay clear of beaches.
10.30pm US President Barack Obama has offered his condolences to the people of Japan and said his country stood ready to help them after the massive earthquake and tsunami.
(First Lady) Michelle (Obama) and I send our deepest condolences to the people of Japan, particularly those who have lost loved ones in the earthquake and tsunamis. The United States stands ready to help the Japanese people in this time of great trial.
The friendship and alliance between our two nations is unshakeable, and only strengthens our resolve to stand with the people of Japan as they overcome this tragedy.
Cars and other Debris swept away by tsunami tidal waves are seen in Kesennuma in Miyagi. Picture: AP
10.23pm Japan has declared a state of emergency because of the failure of the cooling system at one nuclear plant, according to the Associated Press. Officials say there has been no leak of radiation.
10.03pm BBC online has an account of the quake from Shola Fawehimni, who was at Hokkaido’s airport in northern Japan when it hit:
It was a bit surreal. The chairs and the floor started moving and swaying. I wasn’t really sure what was going on. Then the building started swaying and I realised it was an earthquake. Some ceiling panels fell down.
10.01pm UK Prime Minister David Cameron has offered Britain’s condolences to Japan.
We send our sympathies and condolences to the Japanese people. We’ve had a terrible reminder of the destructive power of nature and everyone should be thinking of that country and its people and I’ve asked immediately that our government should look at what we can do to help.
9.50pm Authorities have said the death toll from the quake has risen to at least 32 people. The magnitude 8.9 offshore quake was followed by at least 19 aftershocks, most of them of more than magnitude 6.0.
A truck remains stranded on a road damaged by a powerful earthquake in Iwaki city. Picture: AP
9.48pm AAP is reporting thatfive Australian MPs are trapped on a bullet train that ground to a halt following the quake.
Japan Nuclear Power Stations