Massive 8.9 aftershock / earthquake along the Japanese coast

This is part 1 of our ongoing story on the March 9, M 7.3 earthquake who initiated the massive M 8.9 earthquake / tsunami which struck Japan on March 11 2011.
Click here for part 2
Click here for part 3

UPDATE 10:58 UTC : In this earthquake, the devastating tsunami affected coastal districts of Iwate Prefecture and Miyagi Prefecture, and a lot of people are missing, the whole picture of the damage is unknown. As of 10:59 UTC today, but so far only been confirmed, 33 people died in Kanto and Tohoku, and he has a large number of missing and injured.

UPDATE 10:56 UTC : First reports from Taiwan are that the tsunami has only had minor effects along the coastline. Let us hope for similar scenarios in other Pacific nations.

UPDATE 10:52 UTC : Official death toll has risen to 32. However many more are missing.

UPDATE 10:46 UTC : Russian authorities evacuated 11,000+ residents from coastal areas on Pacific islands before they were hit by the tsunami waves. The regional emergency officials said that the waves reached several towns and villages on the Kurils.

UPDATE 10:32 UTC : FDMA has released the following damage data. In addition there are at least 300 rescue workers around the place at different locations from FDMA as of 1906 Japanese Time.

There are 29 dead, and at least 200 missing. Much damage is shown below - however there is much more expected.

The damage caused - please refer to parts 1-5.
(1) Deaths and injuries:
Iwate: One dead in Kuji
Two dead in Yamada
1 person killed in the tsunami swept the car (unknown location)
Miyagi: 2 people dead in the global community baseball field in the tube Sennan
An unknown number dead in the town Shitigahama (unknown number)
Six injured in the city of Kurihara
4 people buried alive in the city of Sendai
Fukushima: One dead in a local regional Sukagawa
Buried alive in mudslides caused five homes Shirakawa
Ibaraki: One dead and buried under a building in the city Hitatioota
1 person killed by collapsing buildings in the city of Hitachi, one cardiac arrest
Two people injured in the city Inashiki (heart conditions)
Fire Emergency Disaster Relief Team at Saitama nuclear power plant in Tokai village chimney
Three rescued (minor injury)
In addition to currently being reviewed

(2) Property Damage
Miyagi: 3 buildings collapsed buildings in the city of Kurihara
Fukushima: Iwaki City, the building has collapsed in many other areas also building collapses in Fukushima
Building total collapse in a special nursing home district Soma
Precipitation of three floating roof oil tank outside the complex Onahama Iwaki Area Iwaki City with Deaths
Chiba: collapsed buildings in the city of Narita

(3) Fires
Iwate Prefecture: Morioka 3, Kitakami 2, 3 Oshu Kanegasaki civil service union, and one regional Kuzi
A large fire occurred in two regions of the Miyako district, a massive fire at Osawa area
Miyagi: 23 including 2 high-rise building fire in Sendai City, Kakuda City, 2, 1 Sennan wide area, Natori
1 Iwanuma, Kurihara City, 1, 2 Ishinomaki
The fire brigade in the building on fire → Electric Power turbine power plant in Ishinomaki City Onagawa
During fire fighting
Akita: Akita City in fire
Fukushima: 3, Iwaki City, Region 1 Regional Shirakawa, five provincial regional Koriyama, Fukushima 5
Ibaraki Prefecture: 5, Mito, Hitachi City, 2, 4 Hitachinaka City, Tsuchiura City, 3, 3 wide筑西, rice
Region 1 Regional blanket, and one regional district Joso, Ibaraki Seinan 2, 1 Kitaibaraki City, Taishi-cho
Reviews, Kashima District 2, 3 Tokai-mura, Tsukuba, 2, 1 Ami town
Tochigi: Utsunomiya
Chiba: Oil in Ichihara (Co) in flames after a gas leak - this is the one most of you are seeing on the TV.
Haiparesukyu request from the Tokyo Fire Department and the Fire Department fireboat Ichihara → One of the seriously injured three people injured
Chiba City, JFE Steel (Ltd.), a fire in the East (Total in Chiba City Fire Department)
Tokyo: Odaiba Area
Oume, Koto-ku (unspecified)
Kanagawa Prefecture: JFE Steel Corporation Kawasaki (Co) → extinguish a fire in the eastern cable
1 High - rise building fire in Kawasaki

(4) Tsunami effects
Iwate: Miyako District in the tsunami flooded some homes
City 4 submerged town Rikuzentakata City (unspecified)
300 buildings or out over the collapse of Ofunato
Miyagi: 10 residential buildings in the city of Ishinomaki
20 residents in Sendai Kounan breakwater, which left two police officers stranded
Fukushima: the number of people being left behind by the tsunami on the coast in the Soma district
Ibaraki Prefecture: Tsunamis in the town center Ooarai

(5) Other damage
Iwate Prefecture: Regional landslide occurrence in the area, Iwate Prefecture, two units (or other information is buried under review)
Four outdoor tank damaged the global oil reserve base Kuzi (no fire)
A river dam collapsed in Hanamaki Ge (waiting confirmation details)
Miyagi: Landslides Kesennuma
Ibaraki Prefecture: Bridge collapses deer line between city and city whereabouts Hokota
Niigata Prefecture: Tohoku Electric Power (Co) 1 hazardous materials leak at the Higashi-Niigata Thermal Power Station

UPDATE 10:18 UTC : Japanese news has reported the following:- Due to the immense amount of data around, we will do our best to provide a summary:-
There are 29 dead, and at least 200 missing.

In Iwate Prefecture, the police indicate that, in addition to 12 people were confirmed dead, and there are a large number of missing people in the tsunami.

In Miyagi Prefecture, the town supermarket Rihu "Jusco" has a fallen ceiling killing a six-year-old and the mother also is a serious condition. People have been killed by falling debris in the city of Ishinomaki.
Because of the tsunami, cities such as Ishinomaki and Kesennuma, have many missing persons.
In addition, there is information that is out of Shitigahama that people have been killed, and there are more reports.
25 people wounded in the city of Kurihara.

In Fukushima Prefecture, the collapse of the homes in the city of Minami Souma, and a dozen people trapped under the building, with five people confirmed dead.
Sukagawa people were killed in the city, - nine people. Also, the city of Shirakawa, mudslides buried houses - information that there were nine people involved.

Ibaraki Prefecture, for example, many buildings collapsed, killing two people, in addition to two people with cardio-respiratory arrests (heart attack deaths), and a lot of injured. 2 people in the town of Hokota were also swept away by the tsunami.

In Chiba Prefecture, the roof fell on 67-year-old man, died from hitting his head. Narashino City has 96 year-old man died at home.

In Tokyo, the other two were killed, in addition to the unconscious and in critical condition people and up to at least 45 people injured.

In Tochigi prefecture, also people have been killed.

UPDATE 10:14 UTC : The following list of aftershocks has been recorded including M7.4 and M7 aftershocks

19:02 JST 11 Mar 2011 18:57 JST 11 Mar 2011 Ibaraki-ken Oki M4.7 3
19:00 JST 11 Mar 2011 18:55 JST 11 Mar 2011 Ibaraki-ken Oki M5.3 3
18:56 JST 11 Mar 2011 18:52 JST 11 Mar 2011 Fukushima-ken Oki M4.8 3
18:47 JST 11 Mar 2011 18:42 JST 11 Mar 2011 Sanriku Oki M5.6 3
18:41 JST 11 Mar 2011 18:37 JST 11 Mar 2011 Ibaraki-ken Oki M5.4 --
18:38 JST 11 Mar 2011 18:34 JST 11 Mar 2011 Fukushima-ken Oki M4.8 3
18:32 JST 11 Mar 2011 18:27 JST 11 Mar 2011 Miyagi-ken Oki M5.3 3
18:25 JST 11 Mar 2011 18:19 JST 11 Mar 2011 Ibaraki-ken Oki M5.1 3
18:21 JST 11 Mar 2011 18:15 JST 11 Mar 2011 Fukushima-ken Oki M4.8 3
18:07 JST 11 Mar 2011 18:04 JST 11 Mar 2011 Ibaraki-ken Oki M5.1 3
18:03 JST 11 Mar 2011 17:58 JST 11 Mar 2011 Tochigi-ken Hokubu M4.1 3
18:01 JST 11 Mar 2011 17:54 JST 11 Mar 2011 Fukushima-ken Oki M4.8 3
17:52 JST 11 Mar 2011 17:47 JST 11 Mar 2011 Fukushima-ken Oki M6.0 3
17:45 JST 11 Mar 2011 17:41 JST 11 Mar 2011 Fukushima-ken Oki M5.8 5+
17:38 JST 11 Mar 2011 17:35 JST 11 Mar 2011 Ibaraki-ken Oki M5.5 3
17:34 JST 11 Mar 2011 17:31 JST 11 Mar 2011 Fukushima-ken Oki M5.8 4
17:23 JST 11 Mar 2011 17:19 JST 11 Mar 2011 Ibaraki-ken Oki M6.7 4
17:15 JST 11 Mar 2011 17:12 JST 11 Mar 2011 Ibaraki-ken Oki M6.4 4
17:09 JST 11 Mar 2011 17:05 JST 11 Mar 2011 Fukushima-ken Oki M5.8 3
17:00 JST 11 Mar 2011 16:54 JST 11 Mar 2011 Fukushima-ken Oki M5.5 3
16:44 JST 11 Mar 2011 16:38 JST 11 Mar 2011 Iwate-ken Oki M5.9 4
16:34 JST 11 Mar 2011 16:29 JST 11 Mar 2011 Sanriku Oki M6.6 5+
16:20 JST 11 Mar 2011 16:15 JST 11 Mar 2011 Fukushima-ken Oki M6.8 4
16:13 JST 11 Mar 2011 16:04 JST 11 Mar 2011 Iwate-ken Oki M5.8 4
16:02 JST 11 Mar 2011 15:57 JST 11 Mar 2011 Ibaraki-ken Oki M6.1 4
15:59 JST 11 Mar 2011 15:49 JST 11 Mar 2011 Iwate-ken Oki M5.8 3
15:51 JST 11 Mar 2011 15:46 JST 11 Mar 2011 Miyagi-ken Oki M5.7 4
15:47 JST 11 Mar 2011 15:41 JST 11 Mar 2011 Iwate-ken Oki M5.7 4
15:45 JST 11 Mar 2011 15:41 JST 11 Mar 2011 Iwate-ken Oki M5.7 3
15:32 JST 11 Mar 2011 15:26 JST 11 Mar 2011 Sanriku Oki M7.2 4
15:24 JST 11 Mar 2011 15:15 JST 11 Mar 2011 Ibaraki-ken Oki M7.4 6-
15:17 JST 11 Mar 2011 15:06 JST 11 Mar 2011 Sanriku Oki M7.0 5-

UPDATE 10:11 UTC : Following data from a few Japanese newspapers.
In Iwate Prefecture 10 deaths confirmed by the tsunami. At least three people were killed in Miyagi Prefecture. Fire and Disaster Management Agency said today at 4:30 pm, a fire occurred in a number of six prefectures. According to the police and fire departments in various regions, there have been many landslides, and over 1000 people are trapped in various locations.

UPDATE 10:05 UTC : If you are in any coastal locations on the pacific. Please check the relevant tsunami warning pages, as you are most likely in severe danger. Tsunami warnings issued for countries including Russia, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, Honduras, Chile, Ecuador, Colombia and Peru.

UPDATE 10:04 UTC : The FDMA continues to put out the 44 major fires in six prefectures.

UPDATE 10:00 UTC : There is no more news of casualties, however we do know that there are many missing in locations around Sendai. The tsunami has killed at least 10 in Tohoku province, and many more expected.

UPDATE 09:10 UTC : Details from Japan:-

The death toll from the massive 8.9-magnitude earthquake is now 19.

The dead include a 67-year-old man crushed by a wall and an elderly woman killed by a fallen roof, both in the wider Tokyo area.

Three were crushed to death when their houses collapsed in Ibaraki prefecture, northeast of Tokyo.

At least five people have been reported dead in Fukushima province, and many are feared buried in rubble after a hotel collapses in northern city Sendai, reports Reuters. Again, it is unknown how much damage the wave did.

At least three people dead in Kanto province.

But the worst hit provinces should have many more.

Unfortunately, the timing came during the day - and this will have caused massive losses of people in underground carparks etc.  The coast has been rocked by earthquakes during the last week,  and thus people may not have obeyed all warnings thinking that it was just another shock.

The car park at Tokyo Disneyland was drenched with water-logged segments from the ground.

Just some historical background from CATDAT:-

1933 Sanriku earthquake was a Mag 8.4 and was around the same distance offshore as this one.

This killed 3064 people.

UPDATE 09:00 UTC : Death toll has risen to 5, with more expected. We are waiting on the 3rd update from FDMA. 3 killed in the Kanto region.

Waves of up to 10m were reported from Sendai. There are still damaging aftershocks occurring.

We know however that there are major losses in the most affected prefectures - and we have no loss values from the ground at this time.

UPDATE 08:50 UTC : Just repeating that this earthquake and tsunami is likely to exceed the highest ever recorded loss from an earthquake -CATDAT is reporting in excess of $100 billion damage with the upper bound being around $1 trillion USD.

Great Kanto 1923 - $214 billion USD (in 2011 dollars)

Sichuan 2008 - $151 billion USD (in 2011 dollars)

Kobe 1995 - $142 billion USD (in 2011 dollars)

It can be seen that historic earthquakes in Japan cause  a large amount of damage due to the high infrastructure costs.

UPDATE 08:40 UTC : Much damage has occurred along the eastern coast. At the moment the FDMA (Fire Disaster Management Agency) is overwhelmed, as usually they are the first to report. They have instances of fires, deaths, injuries etc.

We will also repeat the intensities for those in the area:-

Intensity 7 northern Miyagi (MMI 11 or 12)

Intensity 6 upper southern part of Miyagi Prefecture, Miyagi Prefecture, central, medium quality, Fukushima, Fukushima beach street, northern Ibaraki Prefecture,  (MMI 10)

Southern Ibaraki Prefecture, northern Tochigi Prefecture, southern Tochigi Prefecture

Intensity 6 lower south coast of Iwate Prefecture, Iwate Prefecture, northern inland, inland southern Iwate Prefecture, Aizu, Fukushima, Gunma (MMI 9)

Southern Province, southern Saitama Prefecture, Chiba Prefecture, northwest

The JMA has this earthquake as a dual 7.9 earthquake - with a double shock occurring.

UPDATE 08:30 UTC : Back with you.

There have been at least 3 deaths. Of course, this will rise.  In addition, there have been many aftershocks.

Of course, if you are in any other Pacific country and live on the coast, please take appropriate precautions. Check here for up to the minute details.

UPDATE 08:09 UTC : We will be leaving you for a short interval (20 mins). I am just heading in to my office at CEDIM (Center for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany). There, I have updated models, and much more access to information than at home. Please continue to update as we will be back online soon.

Sendai (1 million population) has been very much destroyed.

UPDATE 08:06 UTC : Japan has called for international assistance. Unfortunately with the proximity of the Christchurch earthquake a few days ago - it is necessary for some Japanese quake experts to head back from NZ.

UPDATE 08:00 UTC :

We are having issues with servers, so please be patient. We will give you loss statistics as soon as they come to hand.

We can say that everywhere where there is orange and red on the graphic - there is substantial damage.

Sendai and other areas such as Miyagi Prefecture, Fukushima Prefecture, Ibaraki Prefecture, Tochige Prefecture and a little bit of Iwate has had major losses.

We have had only "I am Safe" messages from the QuakeSOS account.

Yokote should be ok - intensity IV-V and it is not likely that there is tsunami damage.

Please call Japan, only if completely necessary as there are communication problems.

Major fires in many places and major infrastructure damage.

Please go here for the PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING. All countries are affected.

There are many deaths and injuries - no numbers as yet. Economic losses are in the orders of $100-$1000 billion USD. This is most likely the highest economic loss ever from an earthquake.

UPDATE 07:30 UTC : We are continuing to cover. Unfortunately there are now reports of many deaths.

Go to to check if the town of your loved ones is above 5 lower. If so, then there is damage from the earthquake.

Of course, the tsunami has caused additional damage in coastal regions.

UPDATE 07:20 UTC : Changing the estimate in CATDAT again - continues to change depending on data....

Estimate:- $100-500 billion - the largest ever economic loss.

The following towns have been severely damaged:-

JMA 7: Completely Destroyed

JMA 6 upper: Very much destroyed

JMA 6 lower: Major damage.

Miyagi Prefecture, Fukushima Prefecture, Ibaraki Prefecture, Tochige Prefecture and a little bit of Iwate has had major losses!


7 Kurihara-shi Tsukidate*
6+ Wakuya-cho Shimmachi
Tome-shi Yoneyamacho*
Tome-shi Minamikatamachi*
Osaki-shi Furukawa-mikkamachi
Osaki-shi Furukawa-kitamachi *
Osaki-shi Kashimadai*
Natori-shi Masuda*
Zao-machi Enda*
Yamamoto-cho Asohara*
Sendai Miyagino-ku Nigatake*
Shiogama-shi Asahicho*
Higashi-matsushima-shi Yamoto*
Ohira-mura Ohira*
6- Kesennuma-shi Akaiwa
Kurihara-shi Kurikoma
Tome-shi Nakadacho
Tome-shi Towacho*
Tome-shi Toyosatocho*
Tome-shi Toyomamachi*
Tome-shi Hasamacho*
Minami-sanriku-cho Shizugawa
Minami-sanriku-cho Utatsu*
Osaki-shi Matsuyama*
Shiroishi-shi Watarimachi*
Kakuda-shi Kakuda*
Iwanuma-shi Sakura*
Ogawara-machi Shimminami*
Miyagi Kawasaki-machi Maekawa*
Watari-cho Shimokoji*
Sendai Aoba-ku Okura
Sendai Aoba-ku Sakunami*
Sendai Aoba-ku Ochiai*
Sendai Miyagino-ku Gorin
Sendai Wakabayashi-ku Tomizuka*
Sendai Izumi-ku Shogen*
Ishinomaki-shi Izumicho
Ishinomaki-shi Kadonowaki*
Ishinomaki-shi Kitakamicho *
Ishinomaki-shi Ayukawahama*
Higashi-matsushima-shi Ono*
Matsushima-machi Takagi
Rifu-cho Rifu*
Taiwa-cho Yoshioka*
Tomiya-machi Tomiya*


6+ Shirakawa-shi Shin-shirakawa*
Sukagawa-shi Iwase-shisho*
Sukagawa-shi Hachimammachi*
Nihommatsu-shi Harimichi*
Kagamiishi-machi Fujinuma*
Naraha-machi Kitada*
Tomioka-machi Moto-oka*
Okuma-machi Shimonogami*
Futaba-machi Shinzan*
Namie-machi Kiyohashi
Shinchi-machi Yachigoya*
6- Koriyama-shi Asahi
Koriyama-shi Kaisei*
Koriyama-shi Konammachi*
Shirakawa-shi Omotego*
Sukagawa-shi Hachiman-yama*
Sukagawa-shi Naganuma-shisho*
Nihommatsu-shi Kanairo*
Nihommatsu-shi Yui*
Kori-machi Higashi-osumi*
Kunimi-machi Fujita*
Kawamata-machi Gohyakuta*
Nishigo-mura Kumakura*
Nakajima-mura Nametsu*
Yabuki-machi Ippongi*
Tanagura-machi Tanagura-nakaino
Tamakawa-mura Otaka*
Asakawa-machi Asakawa*
Ono-machi Naka-dori*
Ono-machi Ono-niimachi*
Tamura-shi Ogoemachi*
Tamura-shi Tokiwamachi*
Tamura-shi Miyakojimachi*
Tamura-shi Takinemachi*
Fukushima Date-shi Maekawara*
Iwaki-shi Onahama
Iwaki-shi Miwamachi
Iwaki-shi Nishikimachi*
Iwaki-shi Taira-umemoto*
Soma-shi Nakamura*
Fukushima Hirono-machi Shimokitaba-oyachihara*
Kawauchi-mura Kamikawauchi-koyamadaira*
Kawauchi-mura Kamikawauchi-hayawata*
Okuma-machi Nogami*
Iitate-mura Itamizawa*
Minami-soma-shi Haramachiku-takamicho *
Minami-soma-shi Kashimaku*
Minami-soma-shi Odakaku*
Inawashiro-machi Chiyoda*


6+ Hitachi-shi Sukegawa-shogakko*
Chikusei-shi Funyu
Hokota-shi Toma*
6- Mito-shi Kanemachi
Mito-shi Sembacho*
Takahagi-shi Arakawa*
Hitachinaka-shi Minami-kamishikidai*
Tokai-mura Tokai*
Hitachi-omiya-shi Nakatomicho
Omitama-shi Katakura*
Tsuchiura-shi Hitana
Ishioka-shi Kakioka
Toride-shi Ino*
Tsukuba-shi Tennodai*
Ibaraki Kashima-shi Hachigata
Sakuragawa-shi Iwase*
Hokota-shi Hokota


6+ Otawara-shi Yuzukami*
Utsunomiya-shi Shirasawacho*
Mo-oka-shi Aramachi Ishijima*
Takanezawa-machi Ishizue*
6- Otawara-shi Honcho*
Nasu-machi Terako*
Nasu-shiobara-shi Nabekake*
Nasu-shiobara-shi Atagocho*
Mo-oka-shi Tamachi*
Mo-oka-shi Aramachi*
Haga-machi Ubagai*
Nasu-karasuyama-shi Chuo
Nasu-karasuyama-shi Ogane*
Tochigi Nakagawa-machi Bato*

UPDATE 07:11 UTC : In my experience, this will cause the largest ever economic loss from an earthquake - probably exceeding the $214 billion (2010 dollars) of the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923.

For those searching for people - check the intensity of the earthquake at the following link:-

UPDATE 07:11 UTC : Again this is the largest earthquake ever recorded in or near Japan according to CATDAT.

UPDATE 07:09 UTC : Additional damage as the tsunami continues to flood the Sendai region. The wave is continuing to grow.

All train services have been taken out.

The tsunami will continue.

UPDATE 07:07 UTC : Red tsunami alert for Philippines, Marshall Islands, Guam etc.

Chile and Hawaii should also prepare as well as other parts of the Pacific!

UPDATE 07:05 UTC : Countless deaths and injured as well as economic losses.

UPDATE 07:03 UTC : Historic earthquakes from CATDAT in Japan

We have never had a magnitude this large in Japan recorded

Year, Magnitude, Deaths

684 8.3 555

869 8.3 1000

887 8.3 555

1096 8.3 400

1099 8.2 0

1361 8.4 500

1498 8.3 31000

1611 8.1 5000

1677 8 540

1703 8.1 10000

1707 8.6 32000

1793 8.2 39

1843 8 46

1854 8.4 2000

1891 8 7273

1896 8.2 22000

1897 8.3 0

1911 8.1 12

1923 7.9 143000

1933 8.4 3064

1944 8.1 1223

1946 8.1 1464

1952 8.1 31

1958 8.3 0

1968 8.3 52

2003 8.3 2

UPDATE 06:47 UTC : People along the pacific coastlines : Please be ready to evacuate  if you are called to do so

UPDATE 06:45 UTC : The destruction on the coast will be massive

UPDATE 06:45 UTC : Waves of more than 6 meters are expected along the coast

UPDATE 06:44 UTC : Bridges are currently swept away and even houses are floating like boats inland

UPDATE 06:42 UTC : The first tsunami waves are reaching the coast and boats are swept inland

UPDATE 06:38 UTC : Although Japan is very well earthquake prepared, earthquakes from this magnitude are only happening a few times in a century

UPDATE 06:37 UTC : Huge aftershocks (the latest at 6.9 are hitting the area)

UPDATE 06:35 UTC : NOAA and GDACS have reports still based on the initial 7.9 magnitude. The current magnitude is far more higher at M 8.8

UPDATE 06:33 UTC : THIS IS A MAJOR earthquake !

UPDATE 06:32 UTC : Smoke is rising in the air in Tokyo. Also in Tokyo far away from the epicenter, damage may be expected.

UPDATE 06:30 UTC : A new theoretical estimate gives fatalaties based on the new magnitude.

UPDATE 06:27 UTC : USGS has revised his magnitude to M 8.87 from the initial 7.9 magnitude

UPDATE 06:25 UTC : The epicenter area i about 100 km out of the Sendai coast

UPDATE 06:24 UTC : aftershocks of 6+ start to rattle the same area

UTC 11/03 - 06:18 : Massive earthquake M 7.9 at the Honshu coast

The location of the epicenter is in the same area than the mainshock from the day before yesterday.

The prefecture of MYAGI has a 6+ JMA seismic scale.

The scales maximum is

The earthquake from the day bedore yesterday had a maximum of 5-

A MAJOR TSUNAMI WARNING is in place for the IWATI, MIYAGI and FUKUSHIMA prefectures along the Japanese coast. For these places JMA predicts waves of 3 meters or more.


Other destinations along the Pacific Japan coast will receive waves up to 0.5 meter

UPDATE 10/03 - 15:19 UTC :

The Honshu coast continues to be hit by multiple aftershocks ranging the M 5 to M 6 magnitude.

List of moderate to strong aftershocks which occurred on March 10 UTC

M 5.1  2011/03/10 11:21  Depth 17.6 km  OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

M 5.2 2011/03/10 09:02  Depth 21.9 km   OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

M 4.8  2011/03/10 08:59  Depth 19.8 km   OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

M 5.7  2011/03/10 08:08  Depth 17.2 km   OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

M 4.8  2011/03/10 07:33  Depth 20.0 km   NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

M 4.6  2011/03/10 04:14  Depth 31.0 km   OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

M 5.0  2011/03/10 01:20  Depth 25.1 km   OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

Aftershocks image of the Magnitude 7.3 09-03-2011 Japan, Honshu earthquake

UPDATE 10/03 - 07:49 UTC : The strong aftershocks have decreased a lot the last 8 hours. More strong to moderate aftershocks can be expected the next week, Japanese seismologist predict.

UPDATE 19:18 UTC : USGS is reporting a magnitude of 6.3 at a depth of 2 km for the second very strong aftershock.

UPDATE 19:13 UTC : GDACS published a GREEN earthquake alert for both aftershocks = very limited chance on damage and/or injuries

UPDATE 19:04 UTC : A new aftershock measuring M 6.1 at a depth of 10 km occurred 28 minutes after the M 6.2 aftershock ! It will be a sleepless night for a lot of Japanese people.

UPDATE 18:55 UTC : A lot of people will be waken up by this very strong aftershock. Although NO damage is expected it is always a scary event while occurring in the middle of the night. People never know where the the epicenter is located (unless they consult media). In this particular case people do know that the quake will be probably an aftershock from the M 7.3 mainshock from this morning.

UPDATE 18:47 UTC : Theoretical casualties and damage models are confirming that this aftershock will result in NO damage and NO casualties/injuries.

UPDATE 18:45 UTC : USGS reports a 6.0 magnitude at a depth of 15 km.

UPDATE 18:41 UTC : JMA (Japan) is reporting a 6.2 magnitude at a depth of 10 km. Earthquake-Report predicts JMA Felt values 3 to 4 in the nearest coastal areas.

UPDATE 18:39 UTC : EMSC has changed its value to 6.4 at a depth of 15 km. No damage or tsunami expected.

UPDATE 18:35 UTC : The strongest aftershock so far. A 6.2 magnitude (EMSC 5.9) in the same area than the mainshock = safe distance from the coast. NO tsunami alerts have been called. It occurred at 03:16 AM local time.

UPDATE 17:29 UTC : This update to give our readers an idea about the number and the strength of the aftershocks after a 7.3 magnitude earthquake (7.3 is the JMA magnitude value)

Aftershocks until 17:25 UTC

M 4.8  2011/03/09 14:24  Depth 10.0 km   OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

M 5.3  2011/03/09 13:57  Depth 23.2 km   NICOBAR ISLANDS, INDIA REGION

M 4.7  2011/03/09 12:03  Depth 10.4 km   OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

M 5.1  2011/03/09 11:27  Depth 12.0 km   OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

M 4.7  2011/03/09 10:13  Depth 10.1 km   OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

M 4.8  2011/03/09 08:55  Depth 15.6 km   OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

M 5.3  2011/03/09 08:02  Depth 15.4 km   OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

M 5.1  2011/03/09 07:56  Depth 10.7 km   NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

M 5.0  2011/03/09 07:13  Depth 9.9 km   OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

M 5.1  2011/03/09 06:25  Depth 10.8 km   OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

M 4.9  2011/03/09 06:12  Depth 10.0 km   OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

M 4.7  2011/03/09 05:27  Depth 10.0 km   OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

M 5.3  2011/03/09 04:45  Depth 27.0 km   NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

M 5.7  2011/03/09 04:37  Depth 25.5 km   NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

M 5.2  2011/03/09 04:32  Depth 32.1 km   OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

M 4.8  2011/03/09 04:15  Depth 12.6 km   NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

M 5.2  2011/03/09 04:05  Depth 10.9 km   NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

M 5.0  2011/03/09 03:19  Depth 19.9 km   NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

M 5.2  2011/03/09 03:08  Depth 24.4 km   OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

M 5.6  2011/03/09 02:57  Depth 17.5 km   NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

UPDATE 16:10 UTC : A couple of people were slightly injured by the quake. Some very light damage was reported out of a few coastal towns.

Landscape at the coast nearest to the earthquake epicenter - Panoramio picture bu Oono -

UPDATE 15:45 UTC : 40 out of the 42 lifts in the Tokyo government buildings (240 meters high !)  stopped as a result of the swaying and went automatically to the next available floor. Everybody could evacuate the lifts safely. Tall building sway a lot and lifts are equipped with automatic safety gear. And ... it worked well.

UPDATE 15:45 UTC : Some Oyster rafts (Aquaculture) in one of the Kesennuma Bay dropped to the sea floor.

UPDATE 15:30 UTC : Teachers have reported that children in all type of the schools dropped immediately on the floor and did hide under their desk until the shaking was over. Japan is an example in integrating earthquake drills in education.

UPDATE 15:10 UTC : The quake lasted rather long (see live seismograph)

UPDATE 14:16 UTC : Testimony of the 31st floor in Akasaka - the building moved for about 10 minutes... (creaking wall panels and funky drunk-like feeling 🙂

UPDATE 8:42 UTC : Japanese seismologists are predicting moderate aftershocks for at least 1 week. Since the mainshock,  14 aftershocks ranging in between 4.7 and 5.7 have hit the same area.

UPDATE 8:35 UTC : Some very light damage was recorded in the elementary school of Gozyoume  and in the city of Yazawa. Yazama is located inland in a mountainous area.

UPDATE 8:31 UTC : In Ofunato, Hudai and Hiroshi Matino, 2,339 faimlies were evacuated to higher grounds.  In Rikuzentakata 117 people did evacuate to higher grounds voluntarily.

UPDATE 8:08 UTC : Underground water pipes broke in Akita as  a result of the earthquake. There is however NO damage related to this incident.

UPDATE 7:30 UTC : A video from Japanese ANN station reporting on the Tsunami - You cant see a lot, but keep in mind that although tsunami waves can be predicted, the tension remains high until the tsunami alarm is canceled. Tsunami alarm is a main media item in Japan and elsewhere in the world.

Japan JMA tsunami equipment is among the best in the world. The JMA predicted waves were very accurate. You will not be able to see the 30 to 50 cm wave on the video, but due to the continuous force of the wave, even small tsunamis can make some damage.

UPDATE 7:13 UTC : At 14:50 local time (the earthquake occurred at 11:45 local time) ALL JMA tsunami warnings and advisories were canceled in Japan.

UPDATE 7:03 UTC : Based on all recordings so far max. tsunami waves were 0.6 m in Ofunato and 0.5 m in Kuji-ko and Ayukawa.  This are all JMA observation station measurements. At some parts of the coasts, tsunamis may be higher than those observed at the observation sites.

UPDATE 6:58 UTC : JMA only published limited tsunami waves of up to 0.5 meter (in accordance with reality).

UPDATE 6:57 UTC : JMA Tsunami information as published 4 minutes after the earthquake. Click here to view the detailed map

UPDATE 6:41 UTC : The Japanese JMA seismic scale (JMA stands for Japan Meteorological Agency) is has a scale with max. 7 (compared to XII for the MMI scale).  4 or -5 JMA is a considerable shaking.

UPDATE 6:38 UTC : Japanese Police has reported that NO damage or injuries have been recorded by their different stations.

UPDATE 6:37 UTC : Japanese "bullet trains" on the route from Shiraishi-Zao to Shin-Aomori were stopped as a precautionary measure, but could resume their normal service shortly after inspection.

UPDATE 6:33 UTC : Most strong aftershocks are located in the area than the mainshock at a safe distance out of the coast.

UPDATE 6:26 UTC :According to According to JapanToday,  the Tohoku Electric Power Co. reprted that  there were no quake-induced abnormalities detected at its Onagwawa nuclear power plant in Miyagi Prefecture. Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd. said no damages were reported at its Aomori nuclear fuel facilities.

UPDATE 6:23 UTC : A 60cm-high tsunami wave was reported at Ofunato port in Iwate Prefecture, local authorities said, which is still in line with JMA expectations.

UPDATE 6:22 UTC : JMA did calculate that the maximum height of the tsunami waves would reach 0.5 meter.

UPDATE 6:20 UTC : Although a widespread Pacific Tsunami was not expected by NOAA, the Japenese seismological services did publish a TSUNAMI ALERT for the Japanese Pacific Coast.

UPDATE 6:11 UTC : Contrary to the theoretically calculated Felt V MMI values of USG, the local people have experienced this earthquake a lot more severe. A strong JMA 4 shaking (comparable to MMI VI) has been experienced by people in the Myiagi, Iwati and Aomori prefectures.

UPDATE 6:11 UTC : The Japanese people are among the BEST earthquake prepared people in the world.

UPDATE 6:10 UTC : A -5 JMA felt value has been recorded for the following stations : Kurihara-shi Kannari, Tome-shi Yoneyamacho, Tome-shi Hasamacho, Miyagi Misato-machi Kimatsuka. This value can be compared to MMI as a VI to VII value.

UPDATE 6:07 UTC : A lot of moderate magnitude aftershocks (+5)  are continuing to strike the epicenter area.

UPDATE 5:54 UTC : A similar earthquake (magnitude and depth)  below the coastal towns would have been devastating.

UPDATE 5:52 UTC : All theoretical damage and casualty systems have been conclusive  with the same result : NO casualties and NO injured

UPDATE 5:48 UTC : Following the GDACS index table, the earthquake was felt by 3,418,561 people within a 200 km radius from the epicenter. There were however NO people living within a 100 km radius.

UPDATE 5:41 UTC : Based on the Felt reports from the Japanese seismological Service, the massive earthquake was felt over 2/3 of Honshu and also on Hokkaido, the island to the north of Honshu

UPDATE 5:37 UTC : A V MMI shaking will not provoke important damage on the coast.

UPDATE 5:35 UTC : The max. calculated MMI value for the coastal areas is a moderate V = moderate shaking. Following USGS, this will have been felt by approx. 5,900,000 people !

UPDATE 5:27 UTC : 8 powerful aftershocks have been recorded since the mainshock 2:40 ago. The strongest aftershock was a M 5.7

A massive earthquake struck around noon (local time)  at a safe distance out of the Honshu coast.

GDACS soon issued a GREEN tsunami alert, making clear that a huge tsunami was not expected.

Due to the shallow depth of the hypocenter the main shaking impact will be limited on the coastal towns.

The epicenter of the earthquake was on top of the subduction slope.

The subduction faulting zone along the Honshu coast generates regular very strong earthquakes. Most of the earthquakes are however located in the sea at a safe distance out of the coast.

NOAA published a statement that a tsunami was NOT expected along the pacific coastal areas.

Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : 7.2
UTC time : Wednesday, March 09, 2011 at 02:45:18 UTC
Local time at epicenter : Wednesday, March 09, 2011 at 11:45:18 AM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 14.1 km satellite map + I Did Feel It form

Geo-location(s) :
100 km from Kesenuma, Honshu, Japan
168 km (104 miles) E of Sendai, Honshu, Japan
193 km (119 miles) SE of Morioka, Honshu, Japan
413 km (256 miles) NE of TOKYO, Japan

Links to important maps
USGS Did You Feel It Map

Google satellite map of the area showing the kind of terrain the earthquake took place

USGS Shaking map

USGS historic earthquakes map

USGS impact on population map

USGS Seismic hazard map

LIVE SEISMOGRAM (MAJO Seismograph station)

GDACS Green Earthquake Alert (Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System)

GDACS Green Tsunami alert

NOAA Tsunami report

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  1. It was the strong in life. After what happened I feel bad. It lasted for nearly 6 minutes. Little damage to house.

  2. Hola, por favor quisera saber como esta la ciudad de yuzawa shi, pref akita...respecto a suministro de elctricidad, agua, comida, combustible, comunicaciones y si sus habitantes se encuentran bien 🙂 Mil gracias

  3. Kristy Schwenk says

    Hello- I once lived in Shibata city and Niigata prefecture - My host family was located there and im having a problem locating them- Can someone tell me how bad that area was hit? An the death totals if any? Such a horrible question i hope i will never have to ask one like this again.