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(LIVE VIDEO) Massive 8.9 Earthquake Strikes Japan: Oregon Coast Tsunami Watch Upgraded to Tsunami WarningTim King Salem-News.com
Experts say it is one of the most grand quakes in modern history; the worst Japan has ever seen, it is rated the 5th worst since 1900.
(JAPAN / HAWAII / WEST COAST) - Japan has reeled under a massive deadly 8.9 magnitude earthquake. A series of 13-18 foot tsunamis washed ashore causing billions of dollars in damage in a spectacle that has never been witnessed.
Thousands of automobiles, houses and ships and boats were swept along by a tidal sweep that moved without mercy across Japan at the speed of a jetliner in flight.
Human beings could be seen hanging onto automobiles that were being swept along like toys. As the wall of water moved across towns and farm fields it approached roads with moving traffic, where drivers in these areas several miles inland, were perhaps unaware that such an extreme natural event was taking place- or could be.
Just as the AP reported 60 confirmed deaths, 200-300 bodies in a NE coastal area of the country were reported around 5:40 a.m. Oregon time.
Hawaii saw a Tsunami Warning issued and expected waves to reach the Islands sometime around 2:00 a.m. There has been some activity but as of 5:45 a.m. west coast time, no damage has been reported.
There are up to 20 more countries facing similar warnings and watches.
This report is continually being upgraded; the Oregon coast as noted in the title is now facing a Tsunami Warning.
The event could strike Oregon as early as 7:15 a.m. and it could cause big problems along much of the west coast, with the Oregon coast having the most stringent warnings.
They are being issued as far away as Russia.
It is a developing situation and whether the west coast will feel the impact is yet to be seen. The quake struck off Japan's east coast near Honshu.
Live coverage which you can watch below, is showing the waves as they continue to strike Japan.
Scientists with the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Ewa Beach told HawaiiNewsNow.com that based on current available data, tsunami waves could reach Hawaii would be at 2:59 a.m. Friday.
Analysts are already talking about how the earthquake quickly impacted Japan's financial structure. The stock market in Japan took a nosedive almost immediately.
As incredible as it may sound, aftershocks from the 8.9 magnitude quake in Japan could last for two years according to weather experts.
One aftershock measured 7.4 on the Richter scale. People who have survived major earthquakes say the aftershocks can be more terrifying than the initial quake.
Our friend and writer Maidhc Ó Cathail who lives in Osaka, Japan, said he's a safe distance away but still felt the quake:
"I was asleep earlier and felt the sliding door shake a little. Thought it was a truck passing. I'm hundreds of miles away from the epicentre though."
I was glad to hear that, though I worry about other friends and associates who live near the ocean on the west coast and in the Hawaiian Islands. Maichc is the only person I communicate frequently in Japan.
The USGS estimates the epicenter at 130 kilometers (km) east of Sendai, Honshu; 178 km east of Yamagata, Honshu; 178 km east-northeast of Fukushima, Honshu; or 373 km northeast of Tokyo.
More information on what to do and how to be prepared: National Weather Service Tsunami Ready
There are at least eighteen recorded deaths in Japan at this time. Millions are without power and miles of coastal areas are underwater.
The death count will likely end up in the thousands, it seems impossible that it could not be the case, sadly.
This section of the Japanese coast also contains a number of nuclear power plants. Mainstream news reported at first that there were no radioactivity-related problems, but it now is announced that there is a problem at one of the nuke plants and more than 2,000 residents are being evacuated over that.
It had already been reported that at least one building at a nuclear power plant had smoke emitting from a building. It was reported that the problematic building is not a reactor room.
The NOAA Tsunami Warning for Hawaii is included below the videos contained in this informational report.
The wave or waves that may strike the Oregon/Washington border at the Columbia River are expected at 7:20 a.m.
Some homes along the Oregon coast are now being evacuated in Seaside, according to Mark Winstanley, the Seaside City Manager.
Winstanley told Portland's KGW News, "It is not storm watching weather and unfortunately some people think it is. They all have places they like to visit the Oregon coast and it is something we would like them to avoid."
He also said, "We'll send trucks out with loudspeaker systems at 5:00 a.m. We don't plan to set off the sirens until about an hour before the wave's arrival."
The Seaside City Manager added that the coastal city's emergency center is located at the police station in Seaside.
Seaside Schools will be closed, the Neah-Kah-Nie School District will also be closed. Warrenton-Hammond Schools and Lincoln County Schools will also be closed, as will Ocean Beach School District.
The southern Oregon coast will see the event arrive before other coastal areas. Experts simply are not sure how severe the event will be along the west coast.
According to referenced historical data, the Oregon coastline was struck by a major tsunami in the early 1700's that covered Oregon coastal forests.
Seaside will see the possible Tsunami at 7:31 a.m. Newport's ETA is 7:33 a.m. Southern California's expected arrival times are after 8:00 a.m.
Clatsop County, Oregon has activated their Emergency Operations Center. Tillamook County officials say they are not activating emergency procedures at this point but they likely will.
Watch Live video from CNN via Justin TV:
NWS PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER EWA BEACH HI
931 PM HST THU MAR 10 2011
TO - CIVIL DEFENSE IN THE STATE OF HAWAII
SUBJECT - TSUNAMI WARNING
A TSUNAMI WARNING IS ISSUED FOR THE STATE OF HAWAII EFFECTIVE AT
0931 PM HST.
AN EARTHQUAKE HAS OCCURRED WITH THESE PRELIMINARY PARAMETERS
ORIGIN TIME - 0746 PM HST 10 MAR 2011
COORDINATES - 38.2 NORTH 142.5 EAST
LOCATION - NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU JAPAN
MAGNITUDE - 8.8 MOMENT
LAT - LATITUDE (N-NORTH, S-SOUTH) LON - LONGITUDE (E-EAST, W-WEST) TIME - TIME OF THE MEASUREMENT (Z IS UTC IS GREENWICH TIME) AMPL - TSUNAMI AMPLITUDE MEASURED RELATIVE TO NORMAL SEA LEVEL.
EVALUATION A TSUNAMI HAS BEEN GENERATED THAT COULD CAUSE DAMAGE ALONG COASTLINES OF ALL ISLANDS IN THE STATE OF HAWAII. URGENT ACTION SHOULD BE TAKEN TO PROTECT LIVES AND PROPERTY.
A TSUNAMI IS A SERIES OF LONG OCEAN WAVES. EACH INDIVIDUAL WAVE CREST CAN LAST 5 TO 15 MINUTES OR MORE AND EXTENSIVELY FLOOD COASTAL AREAS. THE DANGER CAN CONTINUE FOR MANY HOURS AFTER THE INITIAL WAVE AS SUBSEQUENT WAVES ARRIVE. TSUNAMI WAVE HEIGHTS CANNOT BE PREDICTED AND THE FIRST WAVE MAY NOT BE THE LARGEST.
TSUNAMI WAVES EFFICIENTLY WRAP AROUND ISLANDS. ALL SHORES ARE AT RISK NO MATTER WHICH DIRECTION THEY FACE. THE TROUGH OF A TSUNAMI WAVE MAY TEMPORARILY EXPOSE THE SEAFLOOR BUT THE AREA WILL QUICKLY FLOOD AGAIN. EXTREMELY STRONG AND UNUSUAL NEARSHORE CURRENTS CAN ACCOMPANY A TSUNAMI. DEBRIS PICKED UP AND CARRIED BY A TSUNAMI AMPLIFIES ITS DESTRUCTIVE POWER. SIMULTANEOUS HIGH TIDES OR HIGH SURF CAN SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASE THE TSUNAMI HAZARD. THE ESTIMATED ARRIVAL TIME IN HAWAII OF THE FIRST TSUNAMI WAVE IS 0259 AM HST FRI 11 MAR 2011
MESSAGES WILL BE ISSUED HOURLY OR SOONER AS CONDITIONS WARRANT.
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