Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
Tokyo Disneyland hit by 'liquefaction' after quake
Tokyo (AFP) March 11, 2011
The car park at Tokyo Disneyland was drenched with water-logged segments from the ground following the 8.9-magnitude earthquake that rocked Japan's Pacific coast Friday, police said.
It was earlier reported that a tsunami might have caused the inundation but police said the phenomenon was due to liquefaction of soil caused by the intense shaking of the tremor.
There were 69,000 people at the Disneyland and the adjacent Tokyo Disney Sea, built on a landfill in Tokyo Bay, when the quake occurred, a spokesman at the local Urawa police station said.
There were no injuries or property damage reported at the theme parks, he told AFP.
"The visitors have been evacuated to safe places but there are many puddles due to liquefaction around the theme parks," he said.
earlier related report
Many injuries were reported from Pacific coastal areas of the main Honshu island and the capital Tokyo, police said, while TV footage showed widespread flooding in the area. One person was confirmed dead.
A powerful 10-metre (33 feet) wall of water was reported in Sendai in northeastern Miyagi prefecture, media reported after a four-metre wave hit the coast earlier.
Helicopter footage showed massive inundation in northern coastal towns, where floods of black water sent shipping containers, cars and debris crashing through towns.
Mud waves were shown racing upstream along the Natori river in Sendai city, blanketing farm fields.
In the capital, where millions evacuated strongly swaying buildings, multiple injuries were reported when the roof of a hall collapsed during a graduation ceremony, police said.
Plumes of smoke rose from at least 10 locations in city, where four million homes suffered power outages. Port areas were flooded, including the carpark of Tokyo Disneyland.
The first quake struck just under 400 kilometres (250 miles) northeast of Tokyo, the US Geological Survey said. It was followed by several aftershocks, one as strong as 7.1.
"We were shaken so strongly for a while that we needed to hold on to something in order not to fall," said an official at the local government of the hardest-hit city of Kurihara in Miyagi prefecture.
"We couldn't escape the building immediately because the tremors continued... City officials are now outside, collecting information on damage," she told AFP by telephone.
Prime Minister Naoto Kan quickly assembled his cabinet after the quake hit, and the government quickly dispatched naval vessels from near Tokyo to the worst-hit northeastern area of Miyagi.
The quake, which hit at 14:46 pm (0546 GMT) and lasted about two minutes, strongly rattled buildings in greater Tokyo, the world's largest urban area and home to some 30 million people.
At least 10 fires were reported in Tokyo, where the subway system stopped, sirens wailed and people streamed out of buildings.
Japan sits on the "Pacific Ring of Fire", which is dotted with volcanoes, and Tokyo is situated in one of its most dangerous areas.
A tsunami warning was issued for Japan, Taiwan, Russia and the Mariana Islands, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said.
"An earthquake of this size has the potential to generate a destructive tsunami that can strike coastlines near the epicentre within minutes and more distant coastlines within hours," the centre said in a statement.
It also put the territories of Guam, the Philippines, the Marshall Islands, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Nauru, Micronesia and Hawaii under a lower tsunami watch. Indonesia issued its own tsunami warning.
The quake sent the Nikkei share index plunging at the close while the yen fell sharply against the US dollar.
The mega-city of Tokyo sits on the intersection of three continental plates -- the Eurasian, Pacific and Philippine Sea plates -- which are slowly grinding against each other, building up enormous seismic pressure.
The government's Earthquake Research Committee has warned of a 70 percent chance that a great, magnitude-eight quake will strike within the next 30 years in the Kanto plains, home to Tokyo's vast urban sprawl.
The last time a "Big One" hit Tokyo was in 1923, when the Great Kanto Earthquake claimed more than 140,000 lives, many of them in fires. In 1855, the Ansei Edo quake also devastated the city.
In 1995 Kobe earthquake killed more then 6,400 people.
More than 220,000 people were killed when a 9.1-magnitude quake hit off Indonesia in 2004, unleashing a massive tsunami that devastated coastlines in countries around the Indian Ocean as far away as Africa.
Small quakes are felt every day somewhere in Japan and people take part in regular drills at schools and workplaces to prepare for a calamity.
Nuclear power plants and bullet trains are designed to automatically shut down when the earth rumbles and many buildings have been quake-proofed with steel and ferro-concrete at great cost in recent decades.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
When the Earth Quakes
A world of storm and tempest
Beijing (AFP) March 11, 2011
At least 25 people were killed and 250 injured in an earthquake that struck a remote area of southwest China near the border with Myanmar on Thursday, state media reported. The tremor reduced hundreds of houses to rubble, left some desperate residents trapped under buildings and triggered power cuts in the surrounding area of China, though no casualties were reported in Myanmar. The epic ... read more
Japan's tsunami survivors voice nuclear fears|
Japan doubles troops for quake help, world offers aid
Japan to deploy 100,000 troops on quake aid
Japan launches gargantuan quake rescue effort
Made-for-Internet movie debuts on YouTube
Mideast unrest pushing up gem prices, say traders
Apple fans camp out for new iPad
Montreal newspaper to go digital
New EU-Iceland mackerel dispute talks fail: Norway
New UF Study Shows Some Sharks Follow Mental Map To Navigate Seas
Ocean fish found to be ingesting plastic
Pace of polar ice melt 'accelerating rapidly': study
Soot Packs A Punch On Tibetan Plateau's Climate
Some Antarctic Ice Is Forming From Bottom
Shrinking Tundra, Advancing Forests: How The Arctic Will Look By Century's End
Chinese farmers go online to sell produce
Arab world faces more food crises
Nairobi criminals dump old ways and go organic
Study Shows No-Till's Benefits For Pacific Northwest Wheat Growers
Island nations spared as tsunami charges across Pacific
Latin America avoids brunt of tsunami
Blast at Japan nuke plant; 10,000 missing after quake
Minor damage in Latin America by Japan's tsunami
Over 500 flee restive Casamance flee to Gambia: UN
First protests in Guinea since Conde takes power
China lends Angola $15 bn but creates few jobs
Mozambique police deny Swazi arms shipment report
Brain's short-term memory 'layers' studied
You Are What Your Mother Ate
Southern Africa may be home of modern man
'Overweight' Chinese show lowest death risk: study
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - 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|