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Japan quake and tsunami - Day two as it happened

Published: 8:32PM Friday March 11, 2011 Source: ONE News

Are you a Kiwi in Japan? Email your experiences and pictures to news@tvnz.co.nz
And read about the experiences of other Kiwis in Japan here.

Anyone who has concerns about family in Japan can call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade on 0800 432 111. If calling from overseas call +64 439 8000.

11.25pm recap:

There has been an explosion at the Tokyo Electric Power Co's (TEPCO) Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant, and there's radiation leaking from the reactor.

Four people taken to the hospital after explosion but they don't have life-threatening injuries.

The death toll from the earthquake and tsunami is expected to exceed 1300, with most people appeared to have drowned.

413 people are confirmed dead, 784 missing, and 1128 people injured so far.

Separately, police in Sendai  say 200 to 300 bodies have been found on the shore.

Authorities said more than 3,000 homes were destroyed or swept away.

More than 215,000 people were in emergency shelters.

More than 8 million homes have lost power. Mobile and landline phone systems are down.

Gas was been cut to 300,000 homes.

Northeastern city of Kesennuma, with population of 74,000, has been hit by widespread fires, with one-third of the city submerged, media say.

11.18pm: Radiation leaked from the unstable reactor north after the explosion blew the roof off the facility.

11.16pm: Japanese government "are looking into the cause and the situation" at the nuclear plant.

11.02pm: Police roadblocks reported in the Fukushima area to prevent people getting closer to the plant.  

10.49pm:
Japan has asked Britain for help in the aftermath of the quake and tsunami.

10.41pm: The evacuation area around the Fukushima Daini nuclear plant has also been expanded.

10.35pm:
Yukio Edano says the evacuation area at the No. 2 plant has been extended to 10 km.    

10:31pm: Four people have been taken to hospital after the explosion, but they do not have life-threatening injuries - Jiji

10.25 pm: Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano confirms there was an explosion and radiation leak at Tokyo Electric Power Co's (TEPCO) Fukushima nuclear power plant.

10.16pm: The walls and roof of the building that houses the reactor appears to have blown off - media reports. This could mean that the containment building had already been breached.

10:01pm: People going outside are also told to aviod exposing their skin and to cover their faces with masks and wet towels.

9.58pm: Local TV channels are warning nearby residents to stay indoors, turn off air-conditioners and not to drink tap water.

9.30pm: Radioactivity outside the nuclear plant has risen 20-fold - reports

9.20pm: Broadcaster NHK says several people at the plant appear to be injured.

9.10pm: Japan earlier today had warned of a meltdown at the nuclear reactor after the quake, but said the risk of radiation contamination was small.

9.01pm: An explosion was heard at 3:30pm local time, and smoke was seen at Tokyo Electric Power Co's (TEPCO)  Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant.

8.13pm: Up to 50,000 defence force soldiers are on their way to the quake zones.

8.11pm: There are five million homes without power in Japan.

7.44pm: Nuclear experts have said any threat of widespread radiation leaks at the nuclear power plant Fukushima-Daiichi would be contained as long as the reactor's outer container is intact.

7.24pm: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has pledged full US support for Japan.

7.20pm recap:

The death toll is expected to exceed 1300

Thousands of people are in emergency shelters

About four million homes in Japan are without power

Nuclear material cesium has been detected near the number one power plant at the nuclear power plant Fukushima-Daiichi. The evacuation area around the plant has been increased.

7.11pm: More than 200,000 people are in emergency shelters in Japan. Government ministries and agencies in central Tokyo have been opened as shelters.

6.50pm: Tokyo Electric Power Company is reported as saying that the nuclear power plant Fukushima-Daiichi is not melting down or cracking.

6.25pm:Japan is scaling back its tsunami warning for much of the country, Reuters reports.

6.10pm: The tsunami warning in New Zealand has been cancelled by Civil Defence.

6.02pm: The confirmed death toll stands at 430, broadcaster NHK reports.

5.48pm: Around four million homes in Japan are believed to be without power.

5.40pm: Civil Defence have just called off the national tsunami warning, but advice people to still proceed with caution on beaches and in marine environments as minor fluctuations in sea level could continue for the next 48 hours.

5.10pm: A fire in Sendai, the main city of Miyagi Prefecture, is forcing about 600 people to evacuate on the rooftop of an elementary school building.

4.49pm: More than 200 fires in 12 prefectures have been reported, broadcaster NHK says.

4.42pm: Japanese media are reporting the death toll is expected to exceed 1300.

4.20pm: Tokyo Electric is warning that demand for electricity will outstrip supply by the early evening in Tokyo, the BBC reports.

4.16pm: A marine threat remains in place for the Bay of Plenty. Caution is still advised until further notice. The marine threat will be reassessed at 5pm, Civil Defence in Tauranga/Western Bay says.

4.12pm: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade says in its latest update that there are no reports of New Zealand casualties as a result of the earthquake or tsunami.

4.01pm:  A 48-strong Urban Search and Rescue team will have left New Zealand for Japan by 6am tomorrow, Prime Minister John Key said.

3.45pm: Auckland Civil Defence advises that the marine threat for Auckland is continuing. Larger than normal swells and fast-running currents are still being experienced in the region.

3.35pm: A spokeswoman from the search-and-rescue charity Rapid-UK tells the BBC that in some earthquakes, a trapped person, in the right conditions, can survive for 10 days if they have some water and food.

3.30pm: More than 45 countries have offered to help Japan deal with Friday's devastating earthquake and tsunami, the United Nations said.

3.20pm: A 6.8 magnitude aftershock has struck off the Japan coast.

3.10pm: There are 20 New Zealanders unaccounted for in quake-hit areas of Japan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade says.

2.58pm: The city of Kesennuma, a city in the same region as Sendai, is reported to to be under water.

2.50pm: Up to 300 bodies have been recovered from the port city of Sendai, in Miyagi prefecture.

2.46pm: Tokyo Electric Power is reportedly releasing more radioactive vapour from a second sticken nuclear reactor.

2.25pm: Members of the Japanese community in New Zealand are already considering ways to help their homeland. There are around 12,000 Japanese nationals in New Zealand, with a large Japanese Festival taking place in Auckland tomorrow.

2.13pm: The marine threat remains in place for the Bay of Plenty. Caution is still advised until further notice. The marine threat will be reassessed at 3.30pm.

2:00pm: 81 people have been rescued from a ship which was swept out to sea by the tsunami which followed the 8.9 earthquake. Japanese media are reporting the Japanese navy and coastguard managed to find the vessel and airlifted them all to safety. 

1:18pm: Pressure is building in a second nuclear reactor at a facility north of Tokyo. Since the earthquake technicians have lost the ability to control the pressure in the plants at Fukushima. They're considering releasing some of the pressure but this poses a radiation risk. Residents within 3km of the plants have been evacuated. Pressure at one of the reactors is thought to have risen to more than double it's intended capacity.

1:05pm: Japanese media are reporting survivors can be heard calling out from under the rubble in one of the worst-hit residential areas.

12:29pm: Prime Minister John Key says there have been no reports of Kiwis killed by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. But, speaking at a press conference in Auckland, Key said he couldn't rule out the possibility of casualties being revealed in the next few days. New Zealanders are "notorious" for not registering with the embassy in Japan he said, and more than 6000 are thought to be in the country at the moment.

New Zealand search and rescue experts are heading to Japan this evening to help with the response to the earthquake. Key said an advance team of six will fly out tonight, and a whole contingent will probably follow soon after. He said two teams will stay in Christchurch, and the re-deployment won't affect operations there.

12:22pm: One News pacific correspondent, Barbara Dreaver, says tsunami alerts in Kiribati and other islands have now been cancelled.

12:12pm: The effects of the tsunami waves will be strongest in New Zealand in the next 45 minutes, Civil Defence says. The force of the waves is expected to die down this afternoon and the tsunami warning will be downgraded when appropriate. The advice for people in the North Island and Chatham Islands remains to stay away from beaches.

12:04pm: Rescue services in California have been looking for a 25-year old man who was swept out to sea while standing on a sandbar at the mouth of the Klamath River near Crescent City.

11:38am: The Japanese search and rescue team which has been helping in Christchurch left New Zealand this morning to return home. Civil Defence national controller, Steve Brazier, said they'd "made an invaluable contribution" and "worked tirelessly over the past two and a half weeks." 66 USAR members arrived from Japan within two days of the Christchurch quake.

11:33am: Only a small number of New Zealanders are thought to be in the area of north-east Japan worst affected by the earthquake, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade says. About 3500 are registered with Japanese authorities as living in the country, while there could be a further 3000 kiwis visiting.

11:28am: Waves of up to three metres are expected to hit Chile's Easter Island, while residents in low lying parts of the Chilean mainland will have been evacuated by 1.30pm this afternoon, New Zealand time. The country suffered an 8.8 magnitude earthquake and tsunamis a year ago.

11:19am: The earthquake is threatening to delay exports of Japanese vehicles and parts after all of the country's major ports were closed following the 8.9 quake and 10 metre high tsunami. Industry experts say this will put a strain on at a time when the car trade is still recovering from recession. Shares in Toyota fell 2.1% in the US as the company closed two of it's assembly plants and another two parts factories. 

10:45am: Commodity prices on the World's financial markets took a dive on initial news of the earthquake in Japan, but some stocks were given a boost as investors considered the rebuilding effort that will follow. Caterpillar and other heavy equipment makers saw their value rise in the aftermath of the quake.

10:32am: Chile has just issued a warning to evacuate residents living in low-lying coastal areas of the mainland as the tsunami waves head south along the shore of the Americas.

10:18am: The north-eastern Japanese city of Kesennuma has been hit with widespread fires and a third of the city is submerged under water, Reuters reports.

10:08am: Several vessels of the US Navy are poised and ready to provide help to Japan should they be called upon. Japan's asked for just a limited number of international search and rescue personnel to help so far. 

10:04am: An early warning system apparently alerted a million people to the coming earthquake and tsunami. The sophisticated network of sensors detected the primary waves of the quake and alarms were broadcast about a minute before the more destructive secondary waves struck.

9:48am: A tsunami warning remains in place in American Samoa, as waves continue to approach the islands. The waves appear to be reducing in power according to Samoan media.

9:30am: No substantial damage reported from Tonga, but the low-lying Ha'apai islands experienced some coastal flooding and sea water came through sea front homes.

9:23am: Waves of around 30cm - 40cm have now been recorded in New Zealand. The height of the waves is expected to continue to grow this morning, with Civil Defence warning they could get as high as 1m in the Far North.

8:56am: Pressure building in a nuclear power plant north of Tokyo is building and will need to be released soon, fuelling concern about a possible radiation leak . The Fukushima plant's cooling system was knocked out by the 8.9 earthquake. 3000 people who live within 3km of the reactor have been evacuated and those within 10km are being told to stay indoors. Officials say if radioactive material does leak out, the amount will be small.

8:51am: The Surf Life Saving National Championships are on hold for the time being. The event started at Mount Maunganui yesterday, but with a tsunami warning in place for the Bay of Plenty the 1500 athletes have been told not to go to the beach and wait for further advice. The competition was originally planned to have been staged at New Brighton beach, but the venue was changed following the Christchurch earthquake. 

8:33am: Mexico's president, Felipe Calderon, said the worst appeared to be over for the country's Pacific coast. Officials say waves reached 70cm which was lower than expected. Ports were closed and a cruise ship was stranded 3km offshore. Honduras, Guatemala and Costa Rica are on alert and have issued warnings to small boat owners.

8:27am: About 35 boats and harbour docks have been damaged in Crescent City in California 560km north of San Fransisco. Two surges have hit the area so far with officials being quoted as saying "we're just getting started". Further south, Santa Cruz harbour sustained around $2 million of damage.

8:23am: Japan has requested only "a handful" of foreign search and rescue teams to help with the aftermath of the devastating 8.9 earthquake, according to the United Nations. So far, 45 countries have come forward with offers of help. New Zealand prime minister, John Key, has said the country is ready to help.

8:19am: A strong earthquake has now struck north-western Japan, reports say. The magnitude 6.6 quake follows the 8.9 from yesterday which struck the north-east of the country.

8:18am: Washington officials say the tsunami risk to the United States will hopefully be over in the next two to five hours.

8am recap
An 8.9 magnitude earthquake has struck northeast Japan, triggering a tsunami of up to 10 metres.
Japanese media reports the death toll could exceed 1000, although the official figure is 110 at the present time.
350 people are reported missing.
756 New Zealanders are registered as being in Japan.
Tsunami waves have reached Hawaii, the west coast of America and New Zealand, although no significant damage has been reported.
Concern remains about a possible radiation leak at a nuclear power plant north of Tokyo, damaged in the quake. 

8:00am: Northland Civil Defence is expecting to see the first tsunami waves around now, with the largest expected to reach New Zealand at around 11am. The first waves recorded at North Cape were around 15cm, but could get up to a metre high later this morning. 

7:44am: ONE News has just been speaking with Japanese news anchor, Catherine Kobayashi, in Tokyo. "There's 13 million people here and train lines are down" she said. "There aren't enough cabs... many are forced to sleep in their offices".

7:32am: The first tsunami waves have reached New Zealand , says David Coetzee from Civil Defence. But they are "insignificant" and amount to "disturbed seas". The waves are expected to get stronger over the course of the morning, but previous predictions suggest they'll be no more than a metre high. Speaking on a ONE News special, David Coetzee advised people to avoid the beaches today, until an 'all clear' announcement has been made.

7:23am: Ecuador's declared a state of emergency and has urged residents to move inland as the tsunami heads to South America. The Galapagos Islands are thought to be most at risk. Residents on Chile's Easter Island are being moved to high ground, while Peruvian officials are waiting to see how things develop before deciding on their response.

7:17am: No injuries or reports of damage in Honolulu, Hawaii, after a series of four tsunami waves struck. An Obama administration official said the island chain seemed to be out of danger.

7:09am: Tsunami waves of around 2 metres were recorded in the northern California city of Crescent City and experts there say the effects could last for 10 to 12 hours. Thousands of residents along the California coast have been evacuated.

6:56am: Problems at the Fukushima nuclear plant are "not at a critical level" officials are being quoted as saying. The cooling system was knocked out by the earthquake and pressure within the reactor has reportedly risen to 1.5 times the designed capacity. A radiation leak is feared if water levels in the core fall, and the temperature of the fuel rods rises. However, there are safety measures in place to prevent radiation escaping. Kyodo news agency says 3000 residents have been evacuated

6:44am: Northland Civil Defence is now expecting the waves from the tsunami to reach New Zealand at around 8am. The waves are likely to last for several hours, with the largest expected between 11am and 1pm. Campers at 90 Mile Beach have been evacuated and the area cordoned off. Waves from 20cm - 50cm, and up to a metre are predicted.

6:39am: A Reuters survey has found 11 of Japan's nuclear reactors have shut down automatically, leaving the country with around 50% power generation capacity.

6:35am: At least 1000 people are now thought to have been killed by the tsunami along the northeastern coast of Japan.

6:26am: The first wave from the tsunami is expected to reach New Zealand around now. However, Civil Defence says it could arrive an hour later than originally predicted. Waves of around 1 metre are anticipated on the coast of Northland. A marine threat (i.e. threat to the coastal marine area and small boats) remains in place for the northern North Island from Kaipara to Ahipara and south of the Karikari Peninsula to Gisborne. Unusual tidal surges may be observed in other parts of the country.

See the Civil Defence Tsuanmi Threat Level map for New Zealand

6:11am: More than 45 countries have come forward to offer Japan aid. 68 search and rescue teams are on standby from around the World, but are waiting for the green light from Japan for they go in. Offers have been received from the UN, South Korea, Russia, China, Thailand, Singapore, Poland, Switzerland, France and Britain.

5:51am First tsunami wave expected in NZ 6:23am at North Cape. Civil Defence says 20 centimetre wave recorded in Nauru.

5:38am Palau did not feel any tsunami impact said Feremin Meriang, press secretary to Palau's president. China's warning lifted.

5:26am Quake toll rises to at least 337 reports AFP. A dam in Japan's northeast Fukushima prefecture broke generating a monster wall of water local reports said.

5:17am US air force has delivered coolant to the Fukushima nuclear plant.

4:53am Japan's National Police Agency said 110 people had been confirmed dead and 350 missing, with 544 others injured in the tremor. That toll does not include the 200-300 dead bodies reportedly found on the beach of Sendai.

4:50am Civil Defence NZ says waves of 20 centimetres recorded in Nauru.

4:29am Financial impact starting to appear after quake. Oil prices slid more than $3 a barrel, with US crude falling below $100, while MSCI's all-country world index of global stocks fell to a five-week low.
The Nikkei index in Japan slid 1.7%.

4am Recap of 8.9 magnitude mega-quake.
Biggest quake ever recorded in Japan triggers 10 metre tsunami across north east and subsequent 7 metre waves.
Several powerful aftershocks recorded.
Confirmed death toll 90; police report 200-300 bodies found on beach in Sendai coastal area with 1200 homes destroyed.
100 believed to be on a ship swept away by tsunami; one train derailed and a passenger train in Kyodo unaccounted for.
Emergency response formed by Japanese PM, thousands of police, military, search and rescue personnel despatched.
Large fires in Kesennuma city (near Sendai) of 74,000 residents.
Emergency declared at Fukushima nuclear plant after reactor fails to cool. No radiation leak.
Tsunami waves reach Hawaii (2 metres), Indonesia (half metre). Tsunami warnings lifted in Taiwan, Indonesia, Philippines, Australia, Guam.
Evacuations in Hawaii and California.
Marine and minor land tsunami threat in New Zealand for upper North Island coasts, first wave expected to reach North Cape at 6:23am.

3:54am BBC experts say Japan quake 8,000 times more powerful than Christchurch quake.

3:51am Fire engulfs large waterfront area in Kesennuma city, Miyagi prefecture (near Sendai). Houses and other buildings ablaze in the city of 74,000.

3:40am Japan declares emergency at Fukushima nuclear plant when cooling failed on one reactor. 3,000 nearby residents being evacuated but no "imminent threat" of a radiation leak.

3:33am UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says the global organisation will do "anything and everything" to help Japan. He offered condolences and talked about how often Japan has helped other countries after disasters.

3:21am Japanese police confirm up to 300 bodies found on a beach in Sendai; 1200 houses in that city's coastal area estimated to be destroyed; and a train near the coast is unaccounted for.

3:11am Waves in Hawaii recorded at two metres say officials. Minor damage reported. Evacuation policy confirmed on Californian coast.

2:56am NZ tsunami threat increased from marine only to marine and minor land threat in Northland, Bay of Island and Chathams. Local advice here.

2:53am Reports of a major explosion at a petrochemical complex in Sendai.

2:44am Japanese agency Jiji quotes police spokesperson saying 200-300 bodies found in northern area near Sendai. Sendai, the capital of Miyagi, has a population of around 1 million people.

2:31am Japan's state broadcaster NHK lifts death toll to 90. California considering evacuation, says northern area, near Crescent City, would be worst hit with a wave estimated at between 10 centimetres and two metres.

2:23am Tsunami waves have reached Hawaii says PTWC. Warning lifted in Indonesia after small waves hit northern regions. Warning also lifted in Guam.

2:21am Concern growing over nuclear power plants. Government confirms cooling system failed at plant in Fukushima. Residents within 3km advised to leave, those within 3-10kms advised to stay inside.
PM Kan says to say this is a precaution only, no radiation leaks detected.

2:14am Emergency response team formed in Japan, headed by PM. 900 rescuers despatched and military troops assessing damage. 
Quake has caused several fires including huge blaze at refinery in Ichihara city, Chiba.

2:10am Tsunami wave predicted to hit Samoa at 3:53am (NZT).

1:56am Japanese police say death toll has risen over 60.

1:46am Philippines orders evacuation of coastal areas. First wave reported, expecting two more says its geological service.

1:44am Japan tells UN nuclear wathchdog a heightened state of alert has been declared at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. International Atomic Energy Agency says it has been told that the plant had been shut down and that no release of radiation had been detected.

1:24am Prime Minister John Key says he has watched with horror at the scenes of devastation in Japan.
"Our hearts go out to the Japanese government and its people. Japan responded to New Zealand's own tragic earthquake with enormous support, and we are ready to help our friends in Japan at this time of need in whatever way we can," he said.

1:13am Tsunami detected in northeast of Indonesia. Estimated at half a metre high and there are no reports of damage. Marshall Island alert has been downgraded. Warning issued for South America and parts of the US.

12:45am Death toll in Japan over 40.

12:36am Reuters reporting a ship carrying 100 people has been swept away during the tsunami. The information has come from Japan's Kyodo news agency but has not been officially confirmed.

12:29am Tsunami warning lifted in Taiwan , all clear given.
British Geological Survey says quake is several times larger than the Chistchurch quake and roughly the same size at Chile's February 2010 quake. It is described as the biggest quake to ever hit Japan.

12:20am Australia and New Zealand , have been removed from the US Pacific tsunami warning list. The Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre has confirmed there is no tsunami threat to Australia but New Zealand's Civil Defence has still issued an advisory/tsunami marine warning.

12:17am US President Barack Obama sends his condolences and offers the support of America as needed.  The death toll from the "super-quake" is now at 32 with scores missing.

12:05am Foreign Minister Murray McCully has expressed New Zealand's deep concern and sympathy to the people of Japan. "Japan has stood by our side in our time of need in the weeks following our tragedy in Christchurch. Our hearts go out to our friends in Japan,"  McCully said.
The New Zealand Embassy in Tokyo is checking the whereabouts and safety of New Zealanders thought to be in the four most affected prefectures of northeast Japan.
New Zealanders with concerns about family in Japan should try to contact them directly in the first instance. If they cannot make contact and they are known to be in the northeast of Japan they should contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade on 0800 432 111. If calling from overseas call +64 439 8000.

For the day one live updates, click here

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