March 11, 2011 . . . BREAKING NEWS
Tsunami watch issued for Guam, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia and Hawaii
NHK via AFP — Getty Images
Reuters and The Associated Press via MSNBC.com
March 11, 2011
TOKYO — Japan was struck by a magnitude 8.9 earthquake off its northeastern coast Friday, unleashing a 13-foot tsunami that washed away cars and tore away buildings along the coast near the epicenter. There were reports of injuries in Tokyo.
In various locations along Japan’s coast, TV footage showed massive damage from the tsunami, with dozens of cars, boats and even buildings being carried along by waters. A large ship swept away by the tsunami rammed directly into a breakwater in Kesennuma city in Miyagi prefecture, according to footage on public broadcaster NHK.
Black smoke was also pouring out of an industrial area in Yokohama’s Isogo area. TV footage showed boats, cars and trucks floating in water after a small tsunami hit the town of Kamaichi in northern Japan. An overpass appeared to have collapsed into the water. …
The quake that struck at 2:46 p.m. was followed by a series of powerful aftershocks, including a 7.4-magnitude one about 30 minutes later. The U.S. Geological Survey upgraded the strength of the first quake to a magnitude 8.9, while Japan’s meteorological agency measured it at 7.9. …
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii said a tsunami warning was in effect for Japan, Russia, Marcus Island and the Northern Marianas. A tsunami watch has been issued for Guam, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia and the U.S. state of Hawaii.
The quake struck at a depth of six miles, about 80 miles off the eastern coast, the agency said. The area is 240 miles northeast of Tokyo. …
Massive quake strikes Japan (MSNBC, March 11, 2011) – An 8.9 magnitude earthquake hit off the coast of Japan. NBC Tokyo Producer Arata Yamamoto describes the damage. (04:53)
3/11/11 (3:00 a.m. CT) Update
Hawaii under tsunami warning (MSNBC, March 11, 2011) – Oahu resident Geoffery Smigun describes how he and other Hawaii residents are preparing for the possible tsunami. (06:30)
The Associated Press via MSNBC.com
March 11, 2011
HONOLULU — The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii has widened its tsunami warning to include Hawaii and the rest of the Pacific Ocean, while a watch notice was issued for west coast of the U.S.
Sirens were sounded in Honolulu shortly after the warning was issued Thursday at 9:31 p.m. Haiwaii time.
The warning follows a massive earthquake that has struck off the northeastern coast of Japan.
It says the estimated earliest arrival in Hawaii of the first tsunami wave is 2:59 a.m. local time time Friday (7:59 a.m. ET).
“A tsunami has been generated that could cause damage along the coastlines of all islands in the state of Hawaii,” the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center’s bulletin said. “Urgent action should be taken to protect lives and property.”
A tsunami watch was also issued for the coasts of Oregon, Washington and California as well as parts of Alaska, The Oregonian newspaper reported. The paper said any wave which reached the coast could hit just before 7:30 a.m. local time Friday.
The warning also includes Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and Central and South America. The coast of North America is not included in the warning.
Tsunami warnings are issued due to the imminent threat of a tsunami.
Related report on this site
U.S. West Coast Braces for Tsunami (March 11, 2011)
Tsunami waves reach West Coast (NBC Nightly News, March 11, 2011) – In the aftermath of Japan’s tragic earthquake, tsunamis also hit the West Coast of the U.S. on Friday; minimal damage was reported. NBC’s Miguel Almaguer reports. (01:16)
Original reporting on this page — Feb. 27, 2010
Warning sirens blare after Chile temblor triggers potentially deadly wave
February 27, 2010
EWA BEACH, Hawaii – A tsunami triggered by the Chilean earthquake raced across the Pacific Ocean on Saturday, threatening Hawaii and the U.S. West Coast as well as hundreds of islands from the bottom of the planet to the top.
Sirens blared in Hawaii to alert residents to the potential waves. Nine small planes equipped with loudspeakers flew along the shoreline, warning beachgoers. On several South Pacific islands hit by a tsunami last fall, police evacuated tens of thousands of coastal residents.
The first waves in Hawaii were expected to hit shortly after 11 a.m. Saturday (3 p.m. CST; 2100 GMT) and measure roughly 8 feet at Hilo. Most Pacific Rim nations did not immediately order evacuations, but advised people in low-lying areas to be on the lookout. …
A tsunami warning — the highest alert level — was in effect for Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, Samoa and dozens of other Pacific islands. An advisory – the lowest level – includes California, Oregon, Washington state, parts of Alaska, and coastal British Colombia. …
President Barack Obama urged people to follow instructions about tsunami warnings. …
Wave may travel up to 600 mph
Waves were likely to hit Asian, Australian and New Zealand shores within 24 hours of Saturday’s quake. A tsunami wave can travel at up to 600 mph, said Jenifer Rhoades, tsunami program manager at the National Weather Service in Washington, DC. …
In Hilo, officials cordoned off the first three blocks next to the beach. A few people watched the still ocean as a whale swam off the coast, but streets were mostly empty as tsunami sirens blared. …
Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle … declared a state of emergency as the island chain prepares for possible tsunami damage. …
Hawaii largely unscathed by waves caused by massive Chilean temblor
Still images captured from video over a two-hour period show the changing water color and wave action in Hilo Bay during the time the first tsunami waves were expected following the Chilean earthquake. (Photo credit: MSNBC)
February 27, 2010
TOKYO – With a rapt world watching the drama unfold on live television, a tsunami raced across a quarter of the globe on Saturday and set off fears of a repeat of the carnage that caught the world off guard in Asia in 2004. …
Hawaii had originally prepared to bear the brunt of the damage, but the tsunami was smaller than anticipated.
“We dodged a bullet,” said Gerard Fryer, a geophysicist for the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii. …
The tsunami caused a series of surges in Hawaii that were about 20 minutes apart, and the waves arrived later and smaller than originally predicted. The highest wave at Hilo measured 5.5 feet high, while Maui saw some as high as 6.5 feet. …
FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — February 27, 2009
Afghan men shout anti-U.S. slogans during a demonstration against coalition forces in Ghazni, southwest of Kabul, on Friday, Feb. 27, 2009. (Photo credit: Rahmat Nikzad / AP)
One-year retrospective: One year ago today, I reported that President Barack Obama won crucial backing for his Iraq military withdrawal plan from leading Congressional Republicans, including Senator John McCain and Ohio Rep. John A. Boehner, the House minority leader.
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