Noon – Although the Tsunami Warning continues for Hawaii, the threat of inundation is decreasing rapidly. Sea rises are still occurring along the west coast of the lower 48. Also in Japan, the Fukushima Nuclear Power Facility is reportedly in a state of emergency as the cooling system has partially failed after the quake.
10:50am- Marinas all along the west coast are seeing damage as waves make their way to the coast. KCRA reports hundreds of boats damaged or capsized. Since water weighs around 1,700 pounds per square yard, it doesn’t take much to do a good deal of damage. Waves are forecast to continue to pound the coast for a few more hours to come as energy from the quake continues to spread through the Pacific ocean.
9:50am – A bit of encouraging news as I continue to monitor the several news sources. As of right now, surges of no more than 5 feet have been reported from small pacific islands and buoys as higher water approaches the west coast. In Japan, the scope of damage continues to be revealed:
TOKYO (AP) — Japanese police say 200 to 300 bodies have been found in a northeastern coastal area where a massive earthquake spawned a tsunami.
The bodies were found in Sendai city, the closest major city to the epicenter. The magnitude 8.9 quake and 23-foot (7-meter) tsunami were followed by more than 50 aftershocks for hours, many of them of more than magnitude 6.0.
9:15am – Many residents flee seaside neighborhoods in San Francisco as Tsunami Warnings continue. Further coverage continues at NBC Bay Area.
8:50am - surges continue in Hawaii with a period of relative calm for about 15 minutes before the next sea rise is observed. Tsunami Warnings will likely remain in place as these waves continue as they may feed off each other and grow in size. We are still waiting for sea rises on the west coast of the continental US.
8:20am -A 6 foot surge has been reported in Kahului Harbor, HI
8:05am - LIVE STREAMING VIDEO from KGW in Portland as we continue to follow Tsunami Warnings for the entire US west coast.
7:35am- Here are the latest forecast arrival times that include the US west coast
7:30am- LIVE Streaming video from KHON in Hawaii
7:25am - Reuters is now calling the earthquake the 5th strongest in the world within the past 100 years. Click here for a forecast energy map that shows where the resulting tsunami’s wave will head. Notice the increased energy toward the coastlines. As the wave propagates near land, any wave will quickly become bigger.
6:55am – Tsunami Warnings are in effect for Hawaii and the entire west coast of the continental US this morning. After the initial quake struck Japan, several waves continue to propagate through the Pacific ocean this morning. The threat does exist for a destructive surge of water to head for the coast at some point this morning.
6:00am- TOKYO (AP) – TOKYO (AP) – A powerful tsunami spawned by the largest earthquake in Japan’s recorded history slammed the eastern coast Friday, sweeping away boats, cars, homes and people as widespread fires burned out of control. Tsunami warnings blanketed the entire Pacific, as far away as South America, Canada, Alaska and the entire U.S. West Coast.
Authorities said at least 32 people were killed. The magnitude 8.9 offshore quake was followed by at least 19 aftershocks, most of them of more than magnitude 6.0. Dozens of cities and villages along a 1,300-mile (2,100-kilometer) stretch of coastline were shaken by violent tremors that reached as far away as Tokyo, hundreds of miles (kilometers) from the epicenter.
A utility company in northeastern Japan reported a fire in a turbine building of nuclear power plant.
“The earthquake has caused major damage in broad areas in northern Japan,” Prime Minister Naoto Kan said at a news conference.
Even for a country used to earthquakes, this one was of horrific proportions. It unleashed a 23-foot (7-meter) tsunami that swept boats, cars, buildings and tons of debris miles inland.
Large fishing boats and other sea vessels rode high waves into the cities, slamming against overpasses. Upturned and partially submerged vehicles were seen bobbing in the water.
Waves of muddy waters swept over farmland near the city of Sendai, carrying buildings, some on fire, inland as cars attempted to drive away. Sendai airport, north of Tokyo, was inundated with cars, trucks, buses and thick mud deposited over its runways. Fires spread through a section of the city, public broadcaster NHK reported.
The tsunami roared over embankments, washing anything in its path inland before reversing directions and carrying the cars, homes and other debris out to sea. Flames shot from some of the houses, probably because of burst gas pipes.
“Our initial assessment indicates that there has already been enormous damage,” Chief government spokesman Yukio Edano said. “We will make maximum relief effort based on that assessment.”
He said the Defense Ministry was sending troops to the quake-hit region. A utility aircraft and several helicopters were on the way.
A large fire erupted at the Cosmo oil refinery in Ichihara city in Chiba prefecture near Tokyo and was burning out of control with 100-foot (30 meter) -high flames whipping into the sky.
In northeastern Japan’s Miyagi prefecture, a fire broke out in a turbine building of a nuclear power plant. Smoke was observed coming out of the building, which is separate from the plant’s reactor, and the cause is under investigation, said Tohoku Electric Power Co. the company said.
There have been no reports of radioactive leaks or injuries, the company said. Several nuclear plants elsewhere along the coast were also partially shut down, with no reports of leakage.
Also from Miyagi prefecture, NHK showed footage of a large ship being swept away and ramming directly into a breakwater in Kesennuma city.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the 2:46 p.m. quake was a magnitude 8.9, the biggest earthquake to hit Japan since officials began keeping records in the late 1800s.
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