Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe free to our newsletters via your

Strict Quake Standards Spare Japan Again, But Factory Lines Suspendend

Vehicles drive on a damaged road leading to the Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant (R-background) in Kariwa village, Kashiwazaki, 18 July 2007. Authorities in Japan on 17 July were investigating a second nuclear scare following a deadly earthquake, as relief workers struggled to feed and shelter thousands of shaken survivors. About 100 sealed barrels filled with contaminated clothes and gloves tipped over at the massive Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in the 16 July 6.8-magnitude quake, which killed nine people and injured more than 1,000 more. AFP Photo/Kazuhiro Nogi
by Staff Writers
Kashiwazaki (AFP) Jul 18, 2007
The massive earthquake that struck central Japan this week proved again that the country's strict quake-resistance standards and preparations can limit casualties. The 6.8-magnitude earthquake destroyed more than 340 houses, triggered landslides and cut off roads. But while such a disaster could kill thousands in many parts of the world, the death toll was limited to nine so far with one person missing.

Japan, which endures 20 percent of the world's strong earthquakes, enforces strict standards for building construction. It also has an intricate system of airing alerts for disasters, particularly tsunamis.

"Japan's quake-resistance levels for buildings and disaster prevention measures are outstanding for Asia and probably the highest in the world," said Takaaki Shiratori, senior researcher at Asian Disaster Center based in Kobe.

"The earthquake this time proved again that high levels of earthquake safety for buildings and swift and organised responses to a major disaster are key to limiting casualties."

Shiratori also said Japan had been spared the worst as the earthquake's epicentre was in relatively sparsely populated areas.

He warned, however, that traditional wooden houses built before the government introduced strict building standards in 1981 were vulnerable.

"In reality, it costs a lot of money to reinforce houses," Shiratori said.

"Socially weak people, namely elderly, are well aware of the importance but they can't afford to do so because of their financial situation. Therefore, poor people are more exposed to danger than rich people."

Authorities said the nine victims were all in their 70s or 80s, while many of 1,000 injuries were caused by damage to wooden houses.

Japan lies at the junction of four tectonic plates, meaning that Tokyo and other major cities are frequently jolted by earthquakes.

Despite the preparations to limit casualties, Japan suffered a scare in the latest earthquake as a fire broke out at a nuclear reactor, which leaked radioactive water.

earlier related report
Factory lines suspended after big Japanese quake
Kashiwazaki (AFP) Japan, July 17 - Factories across a swathe of quake-hit central Japan sat idle Tuesday as aftershocks and power and communication outages hampered efforts to assess the damage.

But large firms expressed hope that the damage wrought by Monday's tremor -- which measured 6.8 on the Richter scale -- would be less severe than that caused by a quake of a similar magnitude that rocked the same region in 2004.

Japanese share prices suffered modest losses, led lower by insurers as investors waited for a clearer indication of the financial costs.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange's benchmark Nikkei-225 index of leading shares ended the day down 21.68 points or 0.12 percent to 18,217.27. The market was closed on Monday for a public holiday.

Among companies affected by the quake northwest of Tokyo, auto parts maker Riken Corp. said it was unsure when it would resume operations because aftershocks were continuing to rattle the region.

It said one of its warehouses was partly damaged, machinery was bumped around and some equipment and stockpiles toppled over following the quake, which killed at least nine people and injured more than 1,000.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. Inc. (TEPCO) was forced to shut down its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant, the largest in the world, and reported that a small amount of radioactive water leaked into the sea following the quake.

TEPCO shares fell 40 yen or 1.06 percent to 3,750.

Japan Petroleum Exploration Co Ltd (JAPEX) said it had suspended production at one of its oil and natural gas fields in the area after the quake cut the water supply to the site.

However, it said the total production level would be maintained by increasing output of other fields in the region.

Among insurers, Sompo Japan fell 34 yen or 2.25 percent to 1,474 and Millea Holdings dropped 90 yen or 1.73 percent to 5,110.

Electronics maker Sanyo Electric Co., which suffered major damage at one of its semiconductor plants during the 2004 quake, said that this time the factory appeared to have escaped major damage.

"Employees were evacuated immediately although no one was injured. There is no damage to buildings," said Sanyo spokesman Akihiko Oiwa.

He said production remained suspended as aftershocks rattled the plant but the company expected to resume operations there later Tuesday. Sanyo Electric Co. shares closed down one yen at 191.

Fuji Xerox Co., which has a plant in the affected area, said it was still unsure how badly its facilities were affected because of disruption to power and telecommunications.

"We are unable to assess the extent of the damage or the situation. Until we reinstall communication, we can't give any more details," said company spokeswoman Hiroko Hattori.

Bourbon, a confectionery manufacturer headquartered in badly hit Kashiwazaki, said that its facilities had been only lightly damaged, while glass maker Okamoto Glass said it also appeared to have escaped serious damage.

Source: Agence France-Presse

Email This Article
Comment On This Article

Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
A world of storm and tempest
When the Earth Quakes

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Let Them Raise Catfish Says Indonesian Minister As Future For Mud Volcano Victims
Jakarta (AFP) Jul 05, 2007
Hundreds of hectares of land inundated by sludge spewed from a devastating "mud volcano" in Indonesia should be developed to raise catfish, a minister said Thursday. "We have tested this and it has been proven that catfish can be raised in ponds made of the mud," environment minister Rachmat Witoelar told AFP. Witoelar said the government's priority was now to try to reduce the mud outflow or halt it if possible, but that long term plans were being prepared to make use of the land currently submerged by the mud.

  • Strict Quake Standards Spare Japan Again, But Factory Lines Suspendend
  • Let Them Raise Catfish Says Indonesian Minister As Future For Mud Volcano Victims
  • Impact Of Climate Change Equal To Nuclear War
  • Floods And Heatwaves Offer Warning Of Impact Of Climate Change

  • New Study Suggests Climate Change Could Be The Root Of Armed Conflicts
  • Western US States Swelter Under Record Heatwave
  • Australian Drought Turns To Flood As California Dries Out
  • The Challenge Of Desertification

  • NASA Awards Contract For Land-Imaging Instrument
  • GOP House Science Committee To Evaluate NASA Earth Science Budget
  • Subcommittee Continues Look At Status of NASA Earth Science Programs
  • QuikSCAT Marks Eight Years On-Orbit Watching Planet Earth

  • New Particle Explains Odd Behavior In Cuprate Superconductors
  • Somali PM Says He Is Not Aware Of Oil Deal With China
  • Iran, Pakistan, India Agree Gas Price For Transnational Pipeline
  • The Coming Conflict In The Arctic

  • Non-hospital MRSA More Deadly
  • Tibotec HIV Drug Shows Promise
  • Another Potential Cure For HIV Discovered
  • Three Cases Of H5N1 Bird Flu Confirmed In Germany

  • Mushroom Secrets Could Combat Carbon, Enable Better Biofuels And Clean Soil
  • Bush administration accused of putting ideology above science
  • Trophy Hunting Buoyant Industry For Namibia
  • Patenting Mother Nature

  • Toxic Fumes Threaten Thousands In Ukraine After Rail Crash
  • Environment Protection Efforts In China Not Sufficient Warns OECD
  • Indian Luxury Hotel Boss Calls For Major City Clean-Up
  • Studying The Garbage Of The Modern Ocean

  • Energy Efficiency Reason For Evolution Of Upright Walking
  • Evidence Found For Novel Brain Cell Communication
  • Researchers Find Evidence Of Very Recent Human Adaptation
  • Neutral Evolution Has Helped Shape Our Genome

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement