In the early hours of, well yesterday morning now (GMT), a huge earthquake struck the North-East coast of Japan approximately 250 miles from the nation’s capital, Tokyo. The 8.9 magnitude quake left buildings shaking across the capital for several minutes. Official reports as of an hour ago, estimate the casualties at 350 with another 500 missing, but this is an early prediction, with the death tolls expected to sore over the next few days.
The 8.9 magnitude quake occurred on the convergent plate margin and was the largest in Japan’s history. The massive quake wasn’t the only problem from this seismic event. The trigger of a huge Tsunami has caused massive waves, reaching up to 6 metres high, sweeping away entire villages on the North-Eastern coast of the island.
Pressure in a nuclear plant has exceeded normal levels, meaning that a state of emergency has been declared. This is worrying as nuclear spill could be potentially catastrophic for the people and the environment. There have been thousands evacuated from the area around the plant, in fear of contamination risks.
With a huge number of people still missing, the clear-up operation will still be extremely important. It is just lucky that a catastrophe like this has happened to a country that is much more aware of the risks and has the technology to deal with it, had it been a lesser economically developed country… The death toll would have been much much more catastrophic.
You can follow the story completely on the BBC News website, with their live blog and other features…