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Earth Japan News

8.8 Earthquake Near Japanese Coast 431

radioweather writes "USGS is reporting a 8.8 (was estimated first at 7.9) magnitude earthquake off of the east coast of Honshu, Japan. Details from USGS. Tsunami warning issued. Japan's Meteorological agency is saying 20-foot or higher waves are possible from a Tsunami near Miyagi prefecture."
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8.8 Earthquake Near Japanese Coast

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  • by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Friday March 11, 2011 @04:29AM (#35450740) Homepage Journal

    Look on the bright side - if the tsunami washes over Australia at least it'll put the bushfires out.

    • I'm okay. I have a double story house. Maybe should keep my boat on the roof.

      • by gringer ( 252588 )

        I'm okay. I have a double story house

        Last time I checked, a 20-foot wave would roll over the top of most two storey houses.

        • I'm okay. I have a double story house

          Last time I checked, a 20-foot wave would roll over the top of most two storey houses.

          Hence the boat. But I am in Melbourne anyway. The wave would have to do a 270 degree turn around the eastern Victorian coast, traverse the heads of Port Philip bay, charge up the Yarra to Dights Falls, then surge up the Merri creek to East Brunswick, by which time I expect it to be about one micron high.

          Bit of a problem for Taiwan and the Philippines though,

    • Look on the bright side. After all the destruction they can rebuild it as Mega Tokyo!

    • Look on the bright side - if the tsunami washes over Australia at least it'll put the bushfires out.

      It was closer to the part of Australia that had the massive floods. The fires were on the far side of the country.

      • Look on the bright side - if the tsunami washes over Australia at least it'll put the bushfires out.

        It was closer to the part of Australia that had the massive floods. The fires were on the far side of the country.

        Just what Queensland needs.

        You know I wondered why there was so much salt in Lake Eyre...

      • It was closer to the part of Australia that had the massive floods. The fires were on the far side of the country.

        Bloody typical.

        Is there time to rig up a really really big pipe?

    • Strangely if you watch videos of the Tsnunami, there is actually burning wreckage being washed along on top of it.. so it actually has the potential to set fire to any trees that it doesn't mow down..

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bunratty ( 545641 )
      Earth has had magnitude 9 earthquakes for millions of years. Therefore, obviously, they are nothing to worry about. What's the big deal? Sorry, I can't resist a chance to rib that tired old argument that AGW is not a problem because earth has been warmer in the past.
  • by Kalidor ( 94097 ) on Friday March 11, 2011 @04:30AM (#35450742) Homepage

    Quake was upgraded to 8.9 some time ago. Also aftershocks continue.

    http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/Maps/region/Asia_eqs.php [usgs.gov]

  • by Pecisk ( 688001 ) on Friday March 11, 2011 @04:31AM (#35450748)

    Wave moves slowly and silently inland, and carries parts of houses in full flames (!!!). This is insane.

    http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2011/03/11/sot.tsunami.hit.japan.cnn?hpt=T1 [cnn.com]

    Mother Nature shows it's power. For better or worse.

    • Sounds like a cue for a Blue Oyster Cult song...

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6rDWqjnW7w [youtube.com]

    • Utterly insane footage. I just woke my wife up to show it to her. We had just spent the evening booking a trip to Japan to visit friends in Tokyo.

      Fortunately, they're okay.

      But, damn. That tidal wave footage left me speechless.

      • by osu-neko ( 2604 ) on Friday March 11, 2011 @04:56AM (#35450856)

        But, damn. That tidal wave footage left me speechless.

        Yeah, I was watching what looked like some water washing across a field carrying some garbage and debris in it, then they zoom in and you see the "garbage" is composed of large buildings, and the "little bits of debris" is a bunch of cars and buses. At which point, the whole sense of scale snaps in and you realize that that water that at first looked to be slowly flowing inland is in fact going far, far faster than you could possibly run if it was coming towards you...

        • by sznupi ( 719324 )
          We probably need to stop calling it "wave", it might be painting a wrong collective picture for what is more a sudden flood from the sea / lake.
          • A tsunami like this is technically a wave, but because of its extremely long wavelength, it neither looks nor acts like a normal oceanic wave. A "normal" wave, even a 15 meter monster (higher than this tsunami, but pretty routine in some parts of the world) will basically splash against the shore but not make it more than a few tens of meters inland at most.

            A tsunami might not be as high as one of these waves, but it contains a far larger mass of water, with far greater momentum. The effects of a significan

            • by sznupi ( 719324 )
              So is technically a seiche in the Baltic, giving floods around St. Petersburg (OK, now a dam mostly protects it), but with probably even much longer wavelength than any tsunami. And we even say "flood wave" when some river misbehaves...

              Thing is, "tsunami flood" would portray issues much better than "tsunami wave" (also because it's virtually unnoticeable in open water)
        • by Pecisk ( 688001 )

          And when you see some poor suckers trying to escape that wave with cars - and they fail...

          I'm trying to say myself that there is nothing I can or could do. But I wish I could...

    • by Blymie ( 231220 ) on Friday March 11, 2011 @05:44AM (#35451056)

      I can't believe no one has commented on the guy in the car, turning around on the road, and trying to get away! Hope he made it. :(

      • by Pecisk ( 688001 )

        What is more paradoxical that it is possible that he could survive only in his car, allowing water to carry it. If he steps outside, he dies for sure.

    • by Remloc ( 1165839 ) on Friday March 11, 2011 @07:39AM (#35451514)
      As someone who woke up 35 miles from Northridge that Martin Luther King Day, it is NOT silent. You can hear the rock grinding.
    • by davidbrit2 ( 775091 ) on Friday March 11, 2011 @10:09AM (#35452260) Homepage
      Wow, you know you've pissed somebody off when burning houses on surfboards are trying to kill you.
  • by rsmith-mac ( 639075 ) on Friday March 11, 2011 @04:32AM (#35450754)

    Since Slashdot summaries are always a bit dated, it's been bumped up to an 8.9 by the USGS [usgs.gov]. The good news is that it was off-shore and 15.2mi down, the bad news is that it was off-shore and generated a large tsunami that is still wrecking havoc in Japan and may be heading elsewhere.

    Best of luck to the Japanese; if anyone is prepared it's them, but I don't know how one prepares for something quite like this.

    Meanwhile for the US there are active tsunami warnings in Hawaii, and NOAA has just issued a watch for the US West Coast [noaa.gov].

  • Local News (Score:5, Informative)

    by ZirconCode ( 1477363 ) on Friday March 11, 2011 @04:48AM (#35450826)
    Sitting in Japan, translating from the news here~

    largest earthquake since 300 years
    nuclear power plants affected but nothing leaked
    some factory at the coast started burning, they're showing it over and over again
    8 people so far found dead
    tsunami along almost the entire coast, 3meter to 10meters

    It's very bad,

    They're also warning of another earthquake which is predicted to happen shortly
  • by muckracer ( 1204794 ) on Friday March 11, 2011 @04:50AM (#35450836)

    Japan already got smashed. Further warnings for:


  • Sitting here in a house near Seattle, near the water... Part of the NOAA site says there is no alert, part of the website says there *is* an alert - but the page with details is down. Waiting and watching...

  • Insane! (Score:5, Informative)

    by whoever57 ( 658626 ) on Friday March 11, 2011 @05:06AM (#35450898) Journal
    I am just outside Tokyo and the shaking here was insane. The building shook for about 2 minutes, then it died down, but very shortly later the after-quakes hit. Over three hours after the initial quake and the building is still shaking. Trains are shut down, so people can't get home.
    • Be safe and stay well, man.

    • Back when I lived there, I used to freak out over the constant small shaking. To everybody else, it was no big deal and a fact of life, but to a guy like me who comes from a geologically stable area the FREAKING EARTH MOVING was a big deal. The earth's job is pretty much to stay still...not much else to say about that one.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 11, 2011 @05:11AM (#35450922)


    It's a common misconception that the power of a mag 9 earthquake is 10x more than an 8, or 1,000x that of a 6. It's not. It's more like 31,000x stronger than a 6. If you've ever had the misfortune to experience a 6, you can appreciate that the energy released by these big ones are rather hard to contemplate.

    http://earthquake.usgs.gov/learn/topics/measure.php [usgs.gov]
            1 J = 1e7 erg
            1 PJ = 1e15 J
          Energy_petajoules = ( 10^(11.8 + 1.5*Ms) ) * 1e-07 * 1e-15

    here's a picture of what this looks like [osuosl.org], although ring size scaling has been reduced from the above formula to fit on the screen.

  • by DerekLyons ( 302214 ) <fairwater.gmail@com> on Friday March 11, 2011 @05:13AM (#35450934) Homepage

    You can see live data from the Tsunami warning bouys here [noaa.gov].

  • supermoon=syzygy at extreme perigee

  • The city closest to the epic center probably only had 30 minutes between feeling the quake and the tsunami making land fall. It's very eerie to watch cars speeding away from the on coming waves, some only making it a short distance before they were swallowed up . I feel so powerless to see the destruction, as it is happening, and not being able to do anything about it.
  • I hope they don't start slaughtering random foreigners like last time: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1923_Great_Kant%C5%8D_earthquake#Post-quake_massacre_against_ethnic_minorities [wikipedia.org]
  • by trybywrench ( 584843 ) on Friday March 11, 2011 @09:34AM (#35452028)
    CNN is saying the tsunami is coming ashore in Hawaii now, they said they've been evacuating all night so hopefull there will be no deaths. A buddy of mine in Japan said he felt the shaking for "6 or 7 hours" he's checking in regularly on facebook so i know he's safe. thoughts and prayers to all those affected.
  • by assertation ( 1255714 ) on Friday March 11, 2011 @10:37AM (#35452464)

    The Japanese government just declared an atomic state of emergency. They are denying that any radiation is being leaked, but admitted that one reactor lost its cooling capacity. People are being evacuated.

    In the event of an earthquake, nobody would need to worry about the wind getting lose.

  • by gearloos ( 816828 ) on Friday March 11, 2011 @11:22AM (#35452916)
    As Usual- I just saw a CBS Weather girl actually say "And it is so surprising that it is sunny on the west coast with all this going on" ! Are media people born with dog shit in their brains or does a small dog have to sit over them while sleeping and make nightly deposits to get it to the level they have in adult life?

The rich get rich, and the poor get poorer. The haves get more, the have-nots die.