Monster earthquake off of Japanese coast: 8.9, Tsunami strikes, massive damage, thousands of deaths likely

Tsunami warnings for US west coast, Hawaii, Alaska - click for official NOAA map

UPDATE:  00:00 PST 3/13/11 Japanese Met Agency has upgraded the magnitude of the quake to 9.0 — up from 8.8, their previous estimate.

UPDATE: 14:20 PST 3/11/11 Additional graphs and data added to end of post h/t Eco Tretas

UPDATE: 4:05 am PST Tsunami Warning continues for much of the US Pacific Coast and British Columbia.

UPDATE: Compared to quakes since 1900, this appears to be the sixth largest on record, see table added below from USGS data.

Tsunami Warning for the entire Pacific basin coastline including California, impact at 7:42 -8:15 AM local time e.g. San Francisco.

UPDATE:  One of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded.  Hawaii under Tsunami Warning. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center Updates / Warning Website Link.  Aftershocks continuing.  Tsunami Watch issued for California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Canada…

UPDATE: Here’s a screencap from live streaming from Japan via news helicopter showing the Tsunami as it strike s the north coast:

UPDATE: NHK TV in Japan reports Tsunami hit. Massive damage, reports below.

8.9 quake at Friday, March 11, 2011 at 05:46:00 UTC.  Preliminary estimate was 7.9 and was upgraded to 8.8, now 8.9. Current details from USGS.  Tsunami warning issued.

We’ll have more on this as it develops.

If you know of webcams in the area in Japan, leave a comment.

(AP) – JAPAN’S METEOROLOGICAL AGENCY NOW WARNS THAT A TSUNAMI AS HIGH AS 20 FEET (6 METERS) COULD STRIKE THE COAST NEAR MIYAGI PREFECTURE, CLOSEST TO THE EPICENTER.

WEHW40 PHEB 110557

TSUHWX

HIZ001>003-005>009-012>014-016>021-023>026-110757-

/O.NEW.PHEB.TS.A.0001.110311T0557Z-000000T0000Z/

BULLETIN

TSUNAMI MESSAGE NUMBER   1

NWS PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER EWA BEACH HI

756 PM HST THU MAR 10 2011

TO - CIVIL DEFENSE IN THE STATE OF HAWAII

SUBJECT - TSUNAMI WATCH

A TSUNAMI WATCH IS ISSUED FOR THE STATE OF HAWAII EFFECTIVE AT

0756 PM HST.

AN EARTHQUAKE HAS OCCURRED WITH THESE PRELIMINARY PARAMETERS

   ORIGIN TIME - 0746 PM HST 10 MAR 2011

   COORDINATES - 38.0 NORTH  142.9 EAST

   LOCATION    - NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU  JAPAN

   MAGNITUDE   - 7.9  MOMENT

EVALUATION

 BASED ON ALL AVAILABLE DATA A TSUNAMI MAY HAVE BEEN GENERATED BY

 THIS EARTHQUAKE THAT COULD BE DESTRUCTIVE ON COASTAL AREAS EVEN

 FAR FROM THE EPICENTER. AN INVESTIGATION IS UNDERWAY TO DETERMINE

 IF THERE IS A TSUNAMI THREAT TO HAWAII.

 IF TSUNAMI WAVES IMPACT HAWAII THE ESTIMATED EARLIEST ARRIVAL OF

 THE FIRST TSUNAMI WAVE IS

                     0259 AM HST FRI 11 MAR 2011

MESSAGES WILL BE ISSUED HOURLY OR SOONER AS CONDITIONS WARRANT.

From Fox News :

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii said a tsunami warning was in effect for Japan, Russia, Marcus Island and the Northern Marianas. A tsunami watch has been issued for Guam, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia and U.S. state of Hawaii.

The quake struck at 2:46 p.m. at a depth of 10 kilometers, about 80 miles (125 kilometers) off the eastern coast, the meteorological agency said. The area is 240 miles (380 kilometers) northeast of Tokyo.

In downtown Tokyo, large buildings shook violently and workers poured into the street for safety. TV footage showed a large building on fire and bellowing smoke in the Odaiba district of Tokyo.

From CBS News:

Japanese television showed video of serious damage caused by a tsunami along the nation’s northern coast. Public broadcaster NHK showed cars, trucks, houses and buildings being swept away by the tsunami in Onahama city, Fukushima prefecture.

A tsunami warning was in effect for Japan, Russia, Marcus Island and the Northern Marianas. A tsunami watch has been issued for Guam, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia and U.S. state of Hawaii.

There were reports that evacuations were underway along the Russian coast.

===================================================================

Rank        Location Date Magnitude2
1. Chile May 22, 1960 9.5
2. Prince William Sound, Alaska March 28, 19643 9.2
3. Andreanof Islands, Aleutian Islands March 9, 1957 9.1
4. Kamchatka Nov. 4, 1952 9.0
5. Off western coast of Sumatra, Indonesia Dec. 26, 2004 9.0
6. Off the coast of Ecuador Jan. 31, 1906 8.8
7. Offshore Maule, Chile Feb. 27, 2010 8.8
8. Rat Islands, Aleutian Islands Feb. 4, 1965 8.7
9. Northern Sumatra, Indonesia March 28, 2005 8.7
10. India-China border Aug. 15, 1950 8.6
1. In terms of magnitude.
2. Moment magnitude.
3. March 28, 03:36:14 UT (March 27, 5:36 P.M. local time)
Source: National Earthquake Information Center, U.S. Geological Survey.
[Updated  Data Graphs added 14:20 PST 3/11/11]
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dp
March 10, 2011 10:21 pm

Best wishes to our friends in the Sendai bay region. As tsunamis go it is the perfect storm configuration.

james
March 10, 2011 10:27 pm

The usgs shows it as mag 8.8! Wow. What is local time?

Pete H
March 10, 2011 10:29 pm

Wait for the “Moon at its Perigee” disaster comments in the MSN!

Kath
March 10, 2011 10:36 pm

Tsunami advisory web site at the Japan Meteorological Agency:
http://www.jma.go.jp/en/tsunami/
Tsunami Warning/Advisory
Issued at 14:49 JST 11 Mar 2011
******************Headline******************
Major Tsunami and Tsunami have been issued.
PACIFIC COAST OF TOHOKU
CENTRAL PART OF PACIFIC COAST OF HOKKAIDO
IBARAKI PREF.
KUJUKURI AND SOTOBO AREA, CHIBA PREF.
IZU ISLANDS
Evacuate from the seashore immediately to the safe places near the above coasts.
Tsunami attentions are in effect at some of the other coasts now.

Grumpy Old Man
March 10, 2011 10:38 pm

Ryan. Can you tell us what time zone you are in?
Pacific — both Anthony and I live in california

wes george
March 10, 2011 10:39 pm

(note that the worse earthquake ever recorded was 9.6 in chile, 1960, and #2 was a 9.2 in Anchorage Alaska in 1964. # 3 Sumatra in 2004 was a 9.1.)
So 7.9 is significant and its epicenter is underwater.
Anyone you love in Hawaii tonight?
BULLETIN
TSUNAMI MESSAGE NUMBER 1
NWS PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER EWA BEACH HI
756 PM HST THU MAR 10 2011
TO – CIVIL DEFENSE IN THE STATE OF HAWAII
SUBJECT – TSUNAMI WATCH
A TSUNAMI WATCH IS ISSUED FOR THE STATE OF HAWAII EFFECTIVE AT
0756 PM HST.
AN EARTHQUAKE HAS OCCURRED WITH THESE PRELIMINARY PARAMETERS
ORIGIN TIME – 0746 PM HST 10 MAR 2011
COORDINATES – 38.0 NORTH 142.9 EAST
LOCATION – NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU JAPAN
MAGNITUDE – 7.9 MOMENT
EVALUATION
BASED ON ALL AVAILABLE DATA A TSUNAMI MAY HAVE BEEN GENERATED BY
THIS EARTHQUAKE THAT COULD BE DESTRUCTIVE ON COASTAL AREAS EVEN
FAR FROM THE EPICENTER. AN INVESTIGATION IS UNDERWAY TO DETERMINE
IF THERE IS A TSUNAMI THREAT TO HAWAII.
IF TSUNAMI WAVES IMPACT HAWAII THE ESTIMATED EARLIEST ARRIVAL OF
THE FIRST TSUNAMI WAVE IS
0259 AM HST FRI 11 MAR 2011
MESSAGES WILL BE ISSUED HOURLY OR SOONER AS CONDITIONS WARRANT.
http://www.weather.gov/ptwc/text.php…1.03.11.055747
http://www.weather.gov/ptwc/?region=…1.03.11.055747

Keith Minto
March 10, 2011 10:39 pm

Report from the SMH 6 minutes ago…….
Japan tsunami warning follows 7.9 earthquake
March 11, 2011 – 5:34PM
Japan has issued its top tsunami warning in response to a major offshore earthquake measuring 7.9, which strongly swayed buildings 400 kilometres away in Tokyo and sent people fleeing onto the streets.
The meteorological agency issued its top-level evacuation alerts for the entire Japanese coast, Russia and the Mariana Islands, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said.
It warned of a tsunami of up to six metres. Smaller tsunamis of up to 50cm reached some coastal communities, the agency said.
Advertisement: Story continues below
The quake struck about 382km northeast of Tokyo, offshore, the US Geological Survey reported.
Smoke could be seen rising from a building in Tokyo port.
Shinkansen bullet trains stopped when the quake struck.
Japan’s meteorological agency said the quake struck at 2.46pm (4.46pm AEDST) local time at a depth of 10km, 125km off the eastern coast.
Several quakes had hit the same region in recent days, including a 7.3 magnitude one on Wednesday.
The Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre said there was no tsunami threat to Australia.

Hawaii is on Tsunami alert.

a jones
March 10, 2011 10:41 pm

Oh dear God.
Massive and deadly.
We can but wait and see.
And we are told mankind can control the climate. Dream on.
Kindest Regards

March 10, 2011 10:41 pm

Why wait several people have been predicting it coming for months now. General increased tectonic and quake activity on the Pacific Rim, clear down to New Zealand.

March 10, 2011 10:42 pm

Tokyo cam with audio:
http://www.earthcam.com/japan/tokyo/

Keith Minto
March 10, 2011 10:42 pm

Link to the Hawaii alert.

Jimmy Haigh
March 10, 2011 10:47 pm

The first reports on the USGS site were of a 7.9 quake. That would have been bad enough. 8.8 is a monster. It reminds me of the Indian Ocean quake off Sumatra in 2004 – it kept getting revised upwards over first few hours. Local time of the quake was 14:45hrs.

Stephan
March 10, 2011 10:47 pm

There is no doubt in my mind now that the tectonic activity eruptions volcanoes in last 2-3 years due to solar minimum activity

Anything is possible
March 10, 2011 10:48 pm

Pete H says:
March 10, 2011 at 10:29 pm
Wait for the “Moon at its Perigee” disaster comments in the MSN!
_____________________________________________________________
Not to mention Jupiter……
Let’s all hope the tsunami doesn’t manifest, and everybody stays safe.

Michael
March 10, 2011 10:51 pm

Watching CNBC World with some pretty good coverage.
Wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes in diverse places, monetary system about to collapse. Sounds like a story I once read.

Steve Garcia
March 10, 2011 10:52 pm

Yes, I’d seen those quakes on the USGS emails I get and wondered about if they were foreshocks.
Notes:
The 2004 Sumatran 9.2 quake did NOT have foreshocks and was initially reported as an 8.5.
The 1923 Yokohama-Tokyo quake – the Great Kanto Quake -was a 7.9 and was the worst of the 20th century in terms of damage (IMHO).
Expect plenty of aftershocks in the 5+ range.
With a deep ocean trench only 60 miles east, some slippage could certainly have occurred, or be about to occur. This would be a serious tsunami risk for the entire northern Pacific, especially. Hopefully that doesn’t happen.

Ray
March 10, 2011 10:53 pm

I think it is the third one in as many days now.

March 10, 2011 10:56 pm

Here is a Link to the Japanese station NHK’s English language world broagcast via the internet:
http://wwitv.com/tv_channels/6810.htm

Les Francis
March 10, 2011 11:06 pm

On shore Mag 6.8 only 67ks away from Tokyo. Quake is under a built up area.
depth is 30km.
Expect some damage here.
Tsunamis can travel across the Pacific to the eastern coast of the U.S.

wes george
March 10, 2011 11:06 pm

Well, it’s official we have a tsunami.
I called friends in Auckland to let them know, even though they aren’t in the threat zone officialyl listed in tsunami alert 2. They hadn’t heard a thing about it.
Might not hurt to call love ones along pacific coast about now. You know, just to say hi.
http://www.weather.gov/ptwc/text.php?id=pacific.2011.03.11.064306

Sylvan
March 10, 2011 11:07 pm

Catastrophic tsunami ongoing in Sendai/Miyagi area. Streaming video at jibtv.com – awesome and horrific.

Pete H
March 10, 2011 11:11 pm

Wow, lots of waves coming in!

March 10, 2011 11:28 pm

I am so glad it was 380 km from Tokyo. A close earthquake of 8.8 power would crunch even state-of-the-art buildings.

Keith Minto
March 10, 2011 11:42 pm

I am on a slow connection as others may be, and cannot stream video, here is an up- date with static images 10 minutes old from the SMH, again.
http://www.smh.com.au/environment/tsunami-surges-across-japan-following-89-earthquake-20110311-1bqym.html

venu
March 10, 2011 11:46 pm

can any one tell me if chiba is affectd??

Patrick
March 10, 2011 11:50 pm

I live in the dead center of the island of Oahu, so while I’m safe from the waves here (about 700 feet above sea level), depending on the level of damage we could lose power, utilities and communications. Last time, we were lucky. I’ve got a bad feeling about this one though.

tokyoboy
March 10, 2011 11:51 pm

Even in Tokyo at 4:50 pm local time now, almost all the public transport lines are halted.
Damages including several fires appear to have happened.
Report of casualty is still limited to one person, but may be increasing.
How can I get home this evening?…….

Daniel H
March 10, 2011 11:53 pm

I was sitting in my apartment here in Tokyo when it happened. It started out small and became gradually larger to the point where I decided to drop everything and run outside. Lots of buildings were swaying and people were screaming. Very scary…. the 7-11 had broken booze bottles littering the floor and it smelled like a mixed cocktail from hell.
The aftershocks have been non-stop and keep coming. There is one happening as I type this. It feels like one of those old “magic fingers” bed.

March 10, 2011 11:54 pm

helicopter video of tsunami carrying debris, autos, inland

tokyoboy
March 10, 2011 11:56 pm
John Whitman
March 10, 2011 11:57 pm

I just tried for 10 minutes to phone our offices in Tokyo and Fukushima area on the coast. I cannot get through to them.
Will keep trying and let you know what I find.
I am neart the northern coast of Taiwan, so will look for news on Taiwan TV of potential Tsunami here.
Best of wishes to all my dear friends in Japan, especially those at the coastal area of Fukushima prefecture.
John

Warren
March 10, 2011 11:57 pm

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10711642
Earthquake hit Southern China an hour beforehand as well

March 10, 2011 11:57 pm

more tsunami video

Pete H
March 10, 2011 11:59 pm

Refinery fires. One airport shown totally under water with people safe on the roof. One sequence shows a wave coming in and with houses, cars trucks etc being swept inlane. More after shows being reported as I watch on BBC

Byz
March 10, 2011 11:59 pm

I hope all people around the pacific rim can get away from the coast.
There are reports of waves 10 metres high.
All the best to anyone reading this blog who will be effected in the next 24 hours, we’ll keep you in are prayers 🙁
As I’m typing sirens are going off in hawaii 🙁

March 11, 2011 12:00 am

tokyoboy
Be careful tokyoboy, i’m praying for you

Les Francis
March 11, 2011 12:03 am

Tsunami warnings issued for Chile, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand.
I wouldn’t be surprised if one is issued for US [West] coast shortly.
Damage is massive. Reports of Tsunamis up to 7.3 metres on land.

John Whitman
March 11, 2011 12:03 am

tokyoboy says:
March 10, 2011 at 11:51 pm
Even in Tokyo at 4:50 pm local time now, almost all the public transport lines are halted.
Damages including several fires appear to have happened.
Report of casualty is still limited to one person, but may be increasing.
How can I get home this evening?…….

– – – – – –
tokyoboy,
Hope all is well with you and your family and friends.
Are the local landline phones and cellphones working in Tokyo area? I have not been able to reach Fukushima Prefecture nor Tokyo from where I am in Taiwan.
Best Wishes,
John

Al Gored
March 11, 2011 12:04 am

Simply mind boggling helicopter shots of these waves, and how they pushed inshore. When carrying loads of debris it looked like lava, and sometimes there were burning buidlings being carried on top of it. Totally surreal. Horrendous destruction of obviously meticulously kept farms and greenhouses and lives. Real tragedy for the people there. And who knows what else has happened, or will happen.
Anyone know what time this buoy system will know if there are serious waves headed to Hawaii or the West Coast?

Les Francis
March 11, 2011 12:05 am

Supermoon?

March 11, 2011 12:05 am

low quality, but raw footage of tsunami, unbelievable

R John
March 11, 2011 12:07 am

Not sure if it is related, but my internet connection just flaked out for about 5 minutes.

March 11, 2011 12:10 am

GAUGE LOCATION LAT LON TIME AMPL PER
DART 21413 30.5N 152.1E 0659Z 0.76M / 2.5FT 32MIN
HANASAKI HOKKAIDO J 43.3N 145.6E 0657Z 2.79M / 9.2FT 76MIN
DART 21401 42.6N 152.6E 0643Z 0.67M / 2.2FT 40MIN
DART 21418 38.7N 148.7E 0619Z 1.08M / 3.5FT 06MIN
http://www.weather.gov/ptwc/text.php?id=hawaii.2011.03.11.073148

tokyoboy
March 11, 2011 12:11 am

John Whitman says: March 11, 2011 at 12:03 am
[……] Are the local landline phones and cellphones working in Tokyo area?[….]
Until about 30 minutes ago both landline and cell phones were not working and I was unable to call my wife;
It’s OK now at least in the Metropolitan area where I am.

March 11, 2011 12:14 am

R John says:
March 11, 2011 at 12:07 am
Not sure if it is related, but my internet connection just flaked out for about 5 minutes.
—————————————————————————————-
That’s funny, mine did too,

March 11, 2011 12:16 am

One of the most noticeable things from the helicopter videos, is the amount of sea water caught behind sea walls that were way to short, to stop the tsunami but did a real good job of preventing the sea water return to the Pacific, leaving a set depth of flooding equal to the height of the sea walls.

tokyoboy
March 11, 2011 12:17 am

Aftershocks, strong and weak, still attack the Tokyo area, and I feel ike seasickness at my desk.

Volt Aire
March 11, 2011 12:19 am

The tsunamis look even worse than the 2004 ones from those vids 🙁 This sucks beyond description, hope casualty rates will not go into tens or hundreds of thousands.
Sad sad day.

Jimmy Haigh
March 11, 2011 12:20 am

Amino Acids in Meteorites says:
March 11, 2011 at 12:14 am
R John says:
March 11, 2011 at 12:07 am
Not sure if it is related, but my internet connection just flaked out for about 5 minutes.
—————————————————————————————-
That’s funny, mine did too,
I’m on an oil rig offshore Indonesia. Our satellite internet connnection has been coming and going since the exact moment the quake hit.

March 11, 2011 12:20 am

live video feed from Breitbart tv,
click play button on video player at link, an advertisement will play first,
then is continuous feed starts
extensive damage, many missing
http://www.breitbart.tv/live-stream-8-9-earthquake-and-tsunami-hit-japan/

March 11, 2011 12:23 am

Byz says:
March 10, 2011 at 11:59 pm
I hope all people around the pacific rim can get away from the coast.
There are reports of waves 10 metres high.
——————————————————————
preliminary report is it was 33 feet high

March 11, 2011 12:31 am

Japan earthquake occurred at the end of the latest geomagnetic storm, the longest and strongest in the latest series, still going on 23 hours after it started.
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/gms.htm

March 11, 2011 12:32 am

video, so many cars caught in tsunami

Roy UK
March 11, 2011 12:44 am

I hope this is the last big quake.
My thoughts and prayers are with everyone in the effected areas.

March 11, 2011 12:45 am

I am unable to contact my friends in Asia via internet texting. I am wondering how tokyoboy still has connection

el gordo
March 11, 2011 12:50 am

Pete H says: Wait for the “Moon at its Perigee” disaster comments in the MSN!
This article came to fruition just minutes before the quake hit, which places them ahead of the news cycle.
http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/i-see-a-supermoon-rising-but-do-i-see-trouble-on-the-way-20110311-1bqrw.html

March 11, 2011 12:54 am

From a book I read some 40 years ago, it seems that earthquakes are clustered around solar minima, maybe some link between now increasing solar activity and geomagnetic events, which may influence tectonic plate movements?

Steve C
March 11, 2011 12:58 am

Terrible. It wasn’t even on the news when I got up this morning, then wham. I’m following the aftershocks with xearth, and note that quite a few of those have been over 6.0 – bad enough in their own right. Best of luck to eneryone there.
> Pete H says:
> March 10, 2011 at 10:29 pm
> Wait for the “Moon at its Perigee” disaster comments in the MSN!
Hold your horses, Pete – perigee is next weekend … wonder what’s lined up for then.

Lynn Clark
March 11, 2011 1:01 am

Les Francis:
Which coast?

Scottish Sceptic
March 11, 2011 1:09 am

Just been watching the videos, seeing the cars on the road with the wave just relentless approaching felt to me just like watching 911. You could see the massive devastation, but …

March 11, 2011 1:11 am

New Zealand, Alaska and Chili are now included in tsnmami danger

Hugo M
March 11, 2011 1:12 am

Jimmy Haigh said on March 11, 2011 at 12:20 am

I’m on an oil rig offshore Indonesia. Our satellite internet connnection has been coming and going since the exact moment the quake hit.

Do you have found an explanation for this? Is the satellite antenna signal itself fading? Or is it simply a traffic spike jamming the line somewhere else?

Daniel H
March 11, 2011 1:14 am

The trains are a real mess. Nothing is running. People are flooding into the streets because the sidewalks are full of commuters trying to walk home. Total chaos. I was supposed to go into the office for a meeting this evening but my manager emailed me to say not to come in and that he’s going to head home. He said he has a 3.5 hour walk ahead of him!
I noticed that during the quake many of the big, modern, ‘eco-friendly’ buildings were swaying the most violently. Maybe they dissipate seismic energy more efficiently.

P Wilson
March 11, 2011 1:20 am

I read somewhere in a posting on a UK based site someone predicted earthquakes this weekend because the moon was so close.
I’ll try and dig it out

jason
March 11, 2011 1:25 am

Terrible to watch, I hope that people manage to get awat, although it looks like it could end up with tens of thousands dead. A sad day.

Jimmy Haigh
March 11, 2011 1:27 am

Hugo M says:
March 11, 2011 at 1:12 am
Jimmy Haigh said on March 11, 2011 at 12:20 am
I’m on an oil rig offshore Indonesia. Our satellite internet connnection has been coming and going since the exact moment the quake hit.
Do you have found an explanation for this? Is the satellite antenna signal itself fading? Or is it simply a traffic spike jamming the line somewhere else?
_______________________________________________
I can’t think of one. I contacted the IT guy in town shortly after we started losing the signal. I’ll get in touch with him later and see what the cause was.
I’m pretty sure about the timing as a mate of mine is in Kuala Lumpur and he sent me a picture he had taken of him with his hands on the European Champions League trophy which is on exhibition there. He sent the e-mail at 14:52, , about 5 minutes after the quake. I remember the internet had been down for about 10 minutes when it came back on again at about 14:55. Interesting…
All out comms have been back on for about an hour now – local time here is now 18:26 – same as Japan.

Mike H.
March 11, 2011 1:36 am

Here’s my link on the quakes.

Scarlet Pumpernickel
March 11, 2011 1:39 am

I’m just waiting for them to say it’s because the ice melted and it tipped the plate again, they started that last time after Iceland erupted last year !

Les Francis
March 11, 2011 1:44 am

Lynn Clark says: March 11, 2011 at 1:01 am
Les Francis: Which coast?

At this stage Oregon and Alaska

Scarlet Pumpernickel
March 11, 2011 1:46 am
Otter
March 11, 2011 1:48 am

Damn, that’s not good. The Ring of Fire seems to be waking up, and with global cooling already setting in….
Best wishes to the people of Japan, and everywhere that the tsunamis hit.

Alan the Brit
March 11, 2011 1:58 am

Let’s pray that as little life is lost as possible, & that the Japanese authorities were on the ball with this one, which I expect they were! Awesome pictures.
Now, just how are we going to regulate nature’s temperatures again?

John Marshall
March 11, 2011 2:01 am

It is disasters such as this that scientists should be looking at to increase warning time of earthquakes and mitigation of damage and threat to life not some invented climate problem. This has put all climate alarmism where it should be, in the bin.
I wish everyone in Japan, and the Pacific rim and islands, the very best of luck.

John Whitman
March 11, 2011 2:04 am

The Tsunami on the northern tip of Taiwan appear to have been less that~1 meter, but communication on the TV networks suggest addition Tsunami may occur from the 6.0 aftershocks.
John

Patrick Davis
March 11, 2011 2:11 am

I was working for Honda in Swindon, England, when the Kobe quake struck in 1995. But this, this is just devastating!

richard verney
March 11, 2011 2:18 am

The uncontrollable power of nature. Ahuge amount of energy has been released and it sure can be devastating. My thoughts, prayers and best wishes go out to all those people in and around the area.

crosspatch
March 11, 2011 2:19 am

AlBoeNEWS: Japan Meteorological Agency: Town of Kurihara has been completely destroyed

John Silver
March 11, 2011 2:25 am
March 11, 2011 2:34 am

this is terrable i’m so sorry japan

John Tofflemire
March 11, 2011 2:39 am

From here in Tokyo I have seen nothing in the Japanese media today suggesting that Kurihara, a town clearly well inland, has been destroyed. I have been to Sendai a number of times and cannot imagine that a city clearly well above sea level and well to the west of Sendai would be destroyed by the tsunami. Such reports are nonsense.

Beesaman
March 11, 2011 2:43 am

Just watching the pictures and it’s like you are watching a disater movie. In reality your are except this one is real. Aftershocks must be a worry now in Japan, as for the rest of the Pacific it will be a few hours till the rising water levels hit many places.
It puts a few millimeters per decade of sea level rises into context, the Pacific is rimmed by active tectonic plates, this will happen again and again.
Oddly enough I wasn’t pondering on the moon being behind this but rather the quiet sun. I don’t know how or why but is the solar cycle related to changes in seismic activity?

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
March 11, 2011 2:49 am

Webcam.
http://219.118.247.53/view/view.shtml
Combined views, 4 cameras. Currently dark (nighttime). Looks like wave of water visible on Camera 3 (view from high above handrails onto big area with a line of barriers, grainy image). Water in other 3 views. Pictures not automatically updating, no noticeable changes over 5 minutes of page reloads, then views didn’t load for 5 min, just reloaded again with no noticeable changes.
Identification (Googled result using webcam URL):

Office of River and National Highway Ministry of Land, Infra
Location: Kurayoshi (San-In district, Honshu islan
Site: http://219.118.247.53/view/view.shtml

Source of Identification:
List of “Japan live webcams” (note duplicates)
http://www.watvon.com/webcams/countries/country/Japan
And here I was, complaining about the seasonal spring flooding here in central Pennsylvania and about needing to take a detour Friday…
Stay safe.

John Tofflemire
March 11, 2011 2:50 am

From here in Tokyo, this was the most frightening earthquake I have experienced in nearly two decades living here. While much of the damage has occurred in the Sendai area, major fires took place in a building in the Tokyo Telecomm Center here in Tokyo’s Koto Ward as well as in oil installations in Chiba prefecture just east of Tokyo. The entire rail system here is shut down here in the capital. My wife will not be able to return home this evening.

JakeW
March 11, 2011 2:52 am

http://wcatwc.arh.noaa.gov/2011/03/11/lhvpd9/06/messagelhvpd9-06.htm
The Tsunami Warning continues in effect for the coastal areas of California and Oregon from Point Concepcion, California to the Oregon-Washington border.
The Tsunami Warning continues in effect for the coastal areas of Alaska from Amchitka Pass, Alaska (125 miles W of Adak) to Attu, Alaska.
The Tsunami Advisory continues in effect for the coastal areas of California from the California-Mexico border to Point Concepcion, California.
The Tsunami Advisory continues in effect for the coastal areas of Washington, British Columbia and Alaska from the Oregon-Washington border to Amchitka Pass, Alaska (125 miles W of Adak).

roger
March 11, 2011 2:53 am

BBC just had an earthquake scientist from a UK university on, refusing to say that quakes were predictable or that the magnitude of aftershocks could be foretold.
He said that the science was not at a point where they could say that they understood enough to evaluate even the immediate aftermath shocks and that although they could and were modelling outcomes, there was very little confidence in the forecasts.
Humility in that branch of science yet none in climate change!

March 11, 2011 2:53 am

Posted here under the handle aerology;
http://www.climatepatrol.com/forum/53/4804/pg1/index.php
Subject: Extreme Super (Full) Moon to Cause Chaos?
posted on 3/10/2011 at 05:49 PM
All part of the 18.03 year Saros cycle of lunar phase, declinational, and perigee / apogee repeating patterns, due to the repeating of the inner planets coming into the same harmonic synchrony due to billions of years gravitational and tidal interacting till in phase.
The years1955,1974,1992 are the analog years I use in my weather forecast, because the influences of these combined effects cause a repeating of the basic global circulation patterns. I see no reason why they would not show an affect on the tectonic movement and resultant earthquakes produced by the magnetic jerks inducted into the system.
X class flare and CME back on the 9th, is a symptom or an effect?
activity already going above 200 take a look at the animation of the last 7 days.
http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsanim/world/

Jimmy Haigh
March 11, 2011 2:58 am

crosspatch says:
March 11, 2011 at 2:19 am
AlBoeNEWS: Japan Meteorological Agency: Town of Kurihara has been completely destroyed
According to Google Earth Kurihara is 45 miles inland so obviously must have been destroyed by the earthquake itself. There may be many more cities/towns which have also been destroyed.

March 11, 2011 3:02 am

NHK has reported that one of the Nuke plants in Fukushima Prefecture has lost it’s emergency power and no longer is able to cool down the scrammed reactor and an Nuke emergency has been declared.

Capn Jack Walker
March 11, 2011 3:05 am

Yer just got to love the precautionary principles of mass media, scared of Gas.
Piss ants dont even tread on ground.
Clear real and present danger . Nothing could have stopped it. But money where it counted may have helped predict it.
Gas, and not gravitation, not real energy.

Mike McMillan
March 11, 2011 3:07 am

Going to be a long night. My thoughts with all our friends in Japan.

Capn Jack Walker
March 11, 2011 3:08 am

They would not know a constant in the universe if they tripped over it while gas got blown out to space.
They like talking about stuff they know nothing about.

Capn Jack Walker
March 11, 2011 3:09 am

Fools are more deadly than evil people.

March 11, 2011 3:14 am

NZ > Japan > clockwise round the ring > San Francisco?

Scarlet Pumpernickel
March 11, 2011 3:19 am

Japan now faces “nuclear emergency” as attempts to cool reactor at northern plant “are not going as planned”
Prime Minister Naoto Kan will issue a nuclear emergency statement at 6:30 pm local time (0930 GMT)

William Gray
March 11, 2011 3:20 am

vukcevic says:
Japan earthquake occurred at the end of the latest geomagnetic storm, the longest and strongest in the latest series, still going on 23 hours after it started.
Comment; The graph looks the same as the New Zealand Quake
Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
March 11, 2011 at 12:54 am
From a book I read some 40 years ago, it seems that earthquakes are clustered around solar minima, maybe some link between now increasing solar activity and geomagnetic events, which may influence tectonic plate movements?
Comment: I,ve read many similar statements hear at WUWT.

Scarlet Pumpernickel
March 11, 2011 3:29 am

Bill Jamison
March 11, 2011 3:30 am

The video out of Japan is absolutely amazing. It shows the power of a tsunami even better than the home videos of the massive tsunami after the Indonesia quake a few years ago.
If the same magnitude quake hit California the damage would be incredible. Japan is MUCH more prepared than we are for both large quakes and tsunami waves.
7th largest quake ever recorded. Amazing.
I felt the 7.2 “Easter Sunday Quake” here in San Diego and it was by far the strongest and longest quake I’ve ever felt. I have no desire to experience a stronger quake than that!

johnb
March 11, 2011 3:31 am

Hawaii Surf Cams… Expected time to hit is about an hour and a half from now, roughly 8am eastern.
http://livesurfcamhawaii.com/

Scarlet Pumpernickel
March 11, 2011 3:39 am

Mike Jowsey
March 11, 2011 3:39 am

I have many Japanese friends. This is a horrible day. In Christchurch we are struggling after our quake, but this one in Japan is huge. Just horrible.

Robert of Ottawa
March 11, 2011 3:50 am

That didn’t take long. I claim first detection of the phrase “Global Warming” in the Tsunami story
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12709856
“Those Pacific Islands already threatened by GW”

March 11, 2011 3:52 am

They also projected waves of up to 1 meter high in the western coasts of the Philippines about 6 hrs after the earthquake. These areas are far from Manila as we’re near the South China Sea side. Seems the waves there were not high.

johanna
March 11, 2011 4:00 am

Terrifying vision.
Kinda puts all the manufactured panic about a few mm/year sea level rise or fractions of a degree of temperature in perspective.
My thoughts and sympathies to all those affected.

Viv Evans
March 11, 2011 4:32 am

These videos, especially of the tsunami in Sendai sweeping all before it, are totally stunning. I pray that there won’t be so many casualties because Japan has an excellent record in coping with such earthquakes. Still, the ferocity of earthquake and tsunami is stunning to watch.
Hopefully it might dawn on some people that efforts to ‘deal’ with climate change is pure hybris.

Eric (skeptic)
March 11, 2011 4:36 am

I google mapped kurihara, there’s no way that it is destroyed.

maz2
March 11, 2011 4:46 am

“Green investment bank ‘must operate commercially’
Green economy is at risk if the bank cannot attract private sector investors, a cross-party committee of MPs have warned”
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/mar/11/greeen-investment-bank
http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2010/1/13/1263383639173/Offshore-wind-farm-001.jpg

David A. Evans.
March 11, 2011 4:55 am

My thoughts are with all our friends in Japan and all other areas that may be hit by this.
David A. Evans.

DirkH
March 11, 2011 4:56 am

First numbers about victims
“12:59 Uhr: Erstmals werden offizielle Opferzahlen genannt: Danach sind bei dem Erdbeben mindestens 40 Menschen ums Leben gekommen. Weitere 39 Menschen würden vermisst, teilt die japanische Polizei in Tokio mit. ”
Translation: The quake killed a minimum of 40 people, a further 39 are missing.
These are very low numbers for such a huge quake. Victims from the Tsunami are not included, hope it won’t get too bad… At least for now it doesn’t look as devastating as the Kobe earthquake in 1995… My best wishes to all people in Japan!

DirkH
March 11, 2011 4:57 am

I should have mentioned the link for my comment (which seems to be lingering in the spam bin, hint, hint, mods and thank you in advance…)
http://www.welt.de/vermischtes/weltgeschehen/article12770727/Japanische-Polizei-nennt-erstmals-Opferzahlen.html

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
March 11, 2011 4:58 am

Strange. I had not thought large buildings could be completely ablaze while being carried by rushing water.

March 11, 2011 5:00 am

roger says:
March 11, 2011 at 2:53 am
Humility in that branch of science yet none in climate change!

That’s because their heads will be on a platter when they get it wrong, its a imminent danger, is now and not in a few decades or centuries into the future.
Having said that, everyone i now in Japan has been accounted for, execpt two, but i guess that they are safe because they live south of Tokyo.
And thanks to a family member who felt this quake in Osaka i knew of this earthquake before it started to hit the news or reached the Seismographs here in the Netherlands.

March 11, 2011 5:01 am

Les Francis says:
March 10, 2011 at 11:06 pm
On shore Mag 6.8 only 67ks away from Tokyo. Quake is under a built up area.
depth is 30km.
Expect some damage here.
Tsunamis can travel across the Pacific to the eastern coast of the U.S.

That I would like to see, well not really, because that must be one massive tsunami to pull off that.
West coast, west coast, west coast.

Scarlet Pumpernickel
March 11, 2011 5:11 am
Scarlet Pumpernickel
March 11, 2011 5:14 am


Should only use Thorium reactors, these are too dangerous!

The Hobbs End Martian
March 11, 2011 5:22 am

Mount Karangetang erupts
One of Indonesia’s most active volcanos has erupted, sending lava and searing gas clouds tumbling down its slopes.
Volcanology official Agus Budianto said today that authorities were still trying to evacuate residents living along the slopes of Mount Karangetang.
There were no immediate reports of injuries or serious damage.
The 1,784-metre mountain is located on Siau, part of the Sulawesi island chain. It last erupted in August, killing four people.
Indonesia, the world’s largest archipelago, is located on the so-called Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanos and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.
The eruption happened hours after a massive earthquake in Japan that triggered a Pacific-wide tsunami.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/indonesia-volcano-erupts-2239167.html

March 11, 2011 5:31 am

From a friend of mine who lives in Hiroshima, it appears that the Sendai region has been struck by 5 earthquakes with the 8.9 lasting for 3 minutes.

Scarlet Pumpernickel
March 11, 2011 5:37 am

Simon
March 11, 2011 5:37 am

How long before global warming is blamed?

wws
March 11, 2011 5:51 am

Damn that Global Warming! It finds new ways to torment us daily!!!
oh yes, and All The Models Predicted This!!!
/sarc

Dan [NO]
March 11, 2011 5:57 am

This is truly a sad day for Japan. My thoughts are with Japanese people and all other areas that may be hit by this.

Gary
March 11, 2011 6:01 am

While watching the BBC special coverage this morning I heard one of the announcers say that low lying islands in the Pacific were in danger from the tsunami “ever more so because of rising sea levels due to global warming.”
!!!ACK!!!

Stephen Brown
March 11, 2011 6:10 am

Japanese police have now confirmed that between 200 and 300 bodies have been found on the beach near Sendai, the closest city to the epicentre. NHK television said the victims appeared to have drowned.

John Tofflemire
March 11, 2011 6:22 am

I have been watching Japanese television and have seen nothing about any special damage in Kurihari, Miyagi Prefecture. All of the damage in Miyagi Prefecture appears to have occurred in coastal areas. This is also the case in Iwake Prefecture where towns along the coast have experienced devastating damage. Many of these towns along the coast there are personally familiar thorough my travels on the slow train through this lovely, lovely region within the past year. To see the destruction they have experienced is heartbreaking.

David A. Evans.
March 11, 2011 6:30 am

According to the SMH Richard Holle is an astrologist! However, they also misspelt his name! Can’t even laugh at that at the moment.
David A. Evans.

klem
March 11, 2011 6:31 am

I can’t wait for the hysterical ACC alarmist community to claim that Japan’s earthquake was caused by ACC. It’s coming, you know its coming. It will represent the final desperate scream as the green movement implodes, ending once and for all one of the most bizarre periods in human history. It will start within the next few days. I can’t wait. I just can’t wait!!!

Wiglaf
March 11, 2011 6:33 am

[snip off color humor – not needed here in the face of this terrible disaster – Anthony]

John-X
March 11, 2011 6:36 am

Google has launched a People-Finder app
http://japan.person-finder.appspot.com/?lang=en

sHx
March 11, 2011 6:48 am

I was gobsmacked watching the disaster footage a few hours ago. Commiserations to the Japanese. If there is one nation that’s well-prepared for an earthquake, it is Japan.
And congrats to WUWT for giving this natural disaster the due and timely coverage.

March 11, 2011 6:48 am

I am now getting images on my video-stream that show cities by night. Do you remember those old WWII movies of cities being bombed during the night with large part of the cities on fire. Well this is just like it. And again as in Kobe, fire will be a major killer.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
March 11, 2011 6:49 am

US President Obama is scheduled to address the nation at 11:15AM EST.
He will give thanks as the damage in Hawaii could have much worse, while noting the tragic loss of his original birth certificate.

John Tofflemire
March 11, 2011 6:54 am

Am continuing to watch Japanese television here in Japan. The number of missing in Fukushima prefecture was just listed as more than 330. The toll here is going to be terribly high.

Wondering Aloud
March 11, 2011 6:55 am

3 minutes from quake to wide spread warning in Japan? Good as that is I doubt that left enough time. Any reports on casualties?

Chris R.
March 11, 2011 6:57 am

Looks like this is the worst to strike Japan since the 1923 earthquake.

John Tofflemire
March 11, 2011 6:57 am

We are having another aftershock here in Tokyo.

ShrNfr
March 11, 2011 6:58 am

Referring to your earlier story, this is why hams have field day and use the 440 band.

Jeremy
March 11, 2011 6:58 am

Hrm, that map shows a pink area covering West Los Angeles County, but AFAIK, there is no tsunami warning for this area, only an advisory.

MtheMann
March 11, 2011 7:09 am

This earthquake is clearly due to increasing levels of CO2 /sarc

Beesaman
March 11, 2011 7:13 am

With all that energy being released, I wonder how much of it will be converted into heat in the ocean?
Also will the tsunami have any effects upon Pacific Ocean currents?

John Tofflemire
March 11, 2011 7:14 am

Huge fires are being reported by Japanese TV in the Sendai region of Kasenuma. (we are having another aftershock here, very good one).

tallbloke
March 11, 2011 7:15 am

Pete H says:
March 10, 2011 at 10:29 pm
Wait for the “Moon at its Perigee” disaster comments in the MSN!

Coincidentally, I posted a new thread yesterday about ‘MoonMan’ Ken Ring’s forecast for another quake in Christchurch on the 19th of this month, based on the fact that the Lunar perigee then will be exactly coincident with the full moon, and the closest perigee for 18 years. Jupiter’s solar perigee occurs at the same time.

Stefan of Perth
March 11, 2011 7:16 am

Has George W. Bush been blamed yet? Or was the earthquake merely caused by global warming / climate change?

John Tofflemire
March 11, 2011 7:22 am

and another big aftershock again right now

Roger Longstaff
March 11, 2011 7:33 am

Emergency efforts underway in the the UK to send emergency survival supplies to replace those being sent from Phillipines and Australia. Search and rescue teams on standby to fly as soon as Japanese government can direct them.
We must all help!!!

Jeremy
March 11, 2011 7:33 am

Beesaman says:
March 11, 2011 at 7:13 am
With all that energy being released, I wonder how much of it will be converted into heat in the ocean?
Also will the tsunami have any effects upon Pacific Ocean currents?

1) Not much.
2) doubtful.
A tsunami is a wave in the medium of water. Ask yourself if anyone ever tries to heat up the air with sound waves, and you’re starting to get the idea. Air molecules transfer sound well enough that there isn’t much energy left over in the medium from the passing of the compression waves. Water actually does a better job at this. Likewise, ask if anyone ever tries to stop the winds with large amounts of sound? Wind is the transfer of air molecules from one point to another because of pressure differences, sound is a wave of energy where the molecules transfer energy from one to another and the energy moves along, but not the air molecules themselves.
Likewise, ocean currents are the wholesale movement of water molecules from one location to another due to pressure gradients, you can’t affect a pressure gradient with an energy wave very much.

hunter
March 11, 2011 7:33 am

Has the quake been blamed on Global warming yet?

wayne
March 11, 2011 7:33 am

tokyoboy:
March 11, 2011 at 12:17 am
I sure hope you and family are OK. Sounds like you got caught at the office.
If you can, get us some updates. Prayers out for everyone there.

mkelly
March 11, 2011 7:42 am

I hope the problem reported with the nuc plant in Japan does not turn into a reason for them not to be used here. Also the LNG plant fire.

MalcolmR
March 11, 2011 7:49 am

Absolutely appalling pictures and reports coming out of Japan. I have a friend who lives in Shiga – well inland. This is what he said:
“When it started this afternoon. It was a gentle swaying that did not stop ! A few pictures fell over but then it just continued swaying gently and just would not stop ! It was getting scarey so Junko and I went into the garden and it was a feeling of being drunk and becoming dizzy ! It gradually lessened but as I say not for a 10 minutes or so. Then it would stop and come again, many small gentle swayings. That went on for well over an hour ! Just unbelievable, I was keeping it together , but I was shaking slightly with excitement and fear probably. I think the adrenaline was flowing ~!”
Going on for over an hour!
My thoughts are with you, Japan.

Annei
March 11, 2011 7:50 am

Gary says:
March 11, 2011 at 6:01 am
While watching the BBC special coverage this morning I heard one of the announcers say that low lying islands in the Pacific were in danger from the tsunami “ever more so because of rising sea levels due to global warming.”
!!!ACK!!!
I saw that too. How utterly tasteless of the BBC in the wake of this tragedy. No acknowledgement that the islands might just possibly be sinking, rather than the sea rising.
I feel so very sorry for the Japanese people affected by this tragedy..you are in my thoughts and prayers.

TimM
March 11, 2011 7:54 am

Best wishes to the folks in Japan. Wow, what a cluster of big ones in the late 50’s.
Anthony don’t go to the beach today 🙂

crosspatch
March 11, 2011 7:57 am

“I hope the problem reported with the nuc plant in Japan does not turn into a reason for them not to be used here.”
Report is the situation is now under control.
They should have bought one of these:
http://www.ap1000.westinghousenuclear.com/ap1000_safety_psrs.html
Passive cooling systems don’t need external power or pumps.

Jeremy
March 11, 2011 8:12 am

The CNN footage I saw of the wave coming ashore showed moving vehicles on a road trying to turn onto a street to avoid the incoming water. A few of them didn’t make it and were hit by the water. The CNN anchors made no mention of this, which I found extremely cold. Yes, report facts dispassionately, but don’t ignore what is happening right in front of your face. To those CNN blind people: those were moving vehicles you were looking at, and I know Japan is the best at robotics, but I don’t think they train their robots to run from disasters.

Jeremy
March 11, 2011 8:20 am

These modeled energy plots are always somewhat fascinating to me:
http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/03/11/article-1365225-0D91D4F9000005DC-437_634x757.jpg
This explains to me why the west coast of Washington through most of western Canada isn’t under a warning, the Aleutian ridge shielded them from much of the energy.

DB UK
March 11, 2011 8:39 am

Would you believe it, BBC commentator on one of their video’s managed to metion global warming as an obvious cause!!!
DB

reason
March 11, 2011 8:42 am

Gary says:
March 11, 2011 at 6:01 am
While watching the BBC special coverage this morning I heard one of the announcers say that low lying islands in the Pacific were in danger from the tsunami “ever more so because of rising sea levels due to global warming.”
Well, it’s not like they’ve got Bush to blame anymore…

AndyW
March 11, 2011 8:45 am

“Japanese authorities ordered the precautionary evacuation of the area around a nuclear plant affected by the earthquake, saying that while there was no immediate danger, crews were having trouble cooling the reactor”
You wouldn’t need to do that with wind turbines of course.
Having trouble cooling the reactor is not the worlds most assuring statement if you live next door.
Andy

jtom
March 11, 2011 8:50 am

“Hundreds dead in Japanese quake-tsunami disaster
Sydney Morning Herald – Miwa Suzuki – ‎47 minutes ago‎
“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.” http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-world/hundreds-dead-in-japanese-quaketsunami-disaster-20110312-1brof.html
So early reports (keeping in mind that they are often wrong) suggest that Kurihara was indeed hit hard by the earthquake. Hopes and prayers go out to them and anyone else caught up in this maelstrom.
Some musings: I click on the link on NOAA’s homepage for their tsunami warning and got a “page not found” for several minutes. If you can’t depend on them during a potential emergency, then their value is substantially diminished (IMHO).
Also, I was reading an article concerning CFLs last night. Japan if often the trend setter in technology, including CFLs. I wonder how much mercury has been released into the air and ocean from tens of thousands of CFLs breaking at the same time? It would be interesting to know if it poses any more of a threat than the other toxic stuff now being washed around the islands of Japan. Reports are that a nuclear plant and petrochemical complex are ablaze. Those may or may not create a massive problems, but you know those CFLs are history.

March 11, 2011 8:50 am

NASA may need to correct the orbital calculations, Earth-moon distance laser monitoring etc, since the Italian national institute for geophysics and vulcanology is reporting that the Earth axis has moved by 10 cm.
http://www.corriere.it/esteri/11_marzo_11/sisma-spostamento-asse-terrestre_5ff04ca0-4bea-11e0-b2c2-62530996aa7c.shtml
L’impatto del terremoto che ha colpito il Giappone stamattina avrebbe spostato l’asse di rotazione terrestre di quasi 10 centimetri. È il risultato preliminare di studi effettuati dall’Ingv, l’istituto nazionale di geofisica e vulcanologia.

Sam the First
March 11, 2011 9:01 am

I’ve read several comments here dissing astrometeorology, which really are ill-informed. Mundane astrologers – who are of course also astronomers – have been predicting this magnitude of natural calamity at just this moment (as Uranus passes over the Aries point – 00.0˚ Aries in conjunction with a perigree moon) for a long time.
Only yesterday the most talented of them (imo) Theo White wrote a long entry on his blog http://globalastrologyblog.blogspot.com/ which included this, and remember it was posted approx 24 hrs before yesterday’s earthquake struck:
” During the entire month of March 2011 we can expect to hear of powerful earthquakes along the ‘Ring of Fire.’
In March, look first to Asia for seismic action in the northern hemisphere – China and Japan, then to the Philippines, along to the Aleutian Islands, Alaska, to British Columbia, Canada, then to California in the United States, stretching down to Mexico and into South America.
With the global transits at hand, there are sure to be powerful, large magnitude earthquakes in the months of March and April.
My astrological calculations show a 88.9% rating for significant seismic activity between 6.6 to 7.9+ in magnitude.
There are additional planetary configuration signals I’ve interpreted that show even stronger quakes by scale – 8.9 to 9.2 in magnitude. Some people will not believe me, but transits are well within astrological red-zone warning range. ”
Remember, this was written and posted before the earthquake struck. He also wrote a long defence of astrometeorology which all of you would be well advised to read; it explains that this branch (like others) when PROPERLY studied and practiced, is a science.
Theo White has a link to WUWT on his website. He has written there often in refutation of AGW, and has detailed climate predictions for the future based on geophysical reactions to planetary movements.
Anthony would be doing the world and science a favour if he would invite Theo to write a guest post on this science. His record is impeccable in predicting weather events which both the ‘climate scientists’ and conventional meteorologists have missed entirely.
Please don’t scoff until you have done the research: Theo has, and his accuracy is awesome. Do yourselves the favour of reading him: you might learn something.

John from CA
March 11, 2011 9:05 am

This is horrible — I hope International assistance is already in route or being delivered.
Given recent quakes in New Zealand and China, does anyone know if someone predicted the probability of a large quake in Japan?
Pacific Plate hot spots appear to be well documented and Japan intersects 2 fault lines; see the link below. It seems logical with plate movement in New Zealand countered by movement along the China fault (assuming that was the cause of the recent China quake) and the magnitude of the recent quakes that the intersection of the 2 fault lines in Japan would next.
Maybe I’m being too simplistic but I’m in Southern California and hope to never see an 8.9 quake.
The Euler pole for the Pacific Plate is just to the right and down a bit from New Zealand (South east).
http://nzphoto.tripod.com/volcano/PlateMotion.htm

crosspatch
March 11, 2011 9:07 am

“You wouldn’t need to do that with wind turbines of course. ”
You wouldn’t need to do it with a modern reactor having passive emergency cooling either.
http://www.ap1000.westinghousenuclear.com/ap1000_safety_psrs.html

John-X
March 11, 2011 9:13 am

“1708UTC: Nuclear physicist Dr Walt Patterson tells the BBC it sounds like there is a “serious problem” at the Fukushima-Daiichi plant. “It’s the sort of thing that nuclear engineers have nightmares about,” he says. “If it is not resolved in the next few hours it will get serious. If the core is uncovered, then those rods at the top may get hot enough to melt themselves.”
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12307698

pwl
March 11, 2011 9:28 am

Horrifying tsunami surge wave destroying town.

G. Karst
March 11, 2011 9:28 am

And so the nonsense begins:
“(Grist) — So far, today’s tsunami has mainly affected Japan — there are reports of up to 300 dead in the coastal city of Sendai — but future tsunamis could strike the U.S. and virtually any other coastal area of the world with equal or greater force, say scientists. In a little-heeded warning issued at a 2009 conference on the subject, experts outlined a range of mechanisms by which climate change could already be causing more earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic activity. . . .
Scientists have known for some time that climate change affects not just the atmosphere and the oceans but the earth’s crust, but these effects are not widely understood by the public.”
http://www.climatechangedispatch.com/Latest-News/climate-change-fanatics-blame-japan-earthquakes-tsunamis-on-global-warming.html
To make matters worse, we are going to have to listen to many “experts” with no data, making statements, on nuclear power plants. Without clear information, nothing can really can be said about Japan’s nuclear situation. GK

Anything is possible
March 11, 2011 9:30 am

100 aftershocks of Magnitude 5.0 or greater, and counting……..
http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/Quakes/quakes_big.php
Holy Toledo!

Ray
March 11, 2011 9:45 am

Didn’t take too long for the BBC to link that to Global Warming…

Frank K.
March 11, 2011 9:52 am

G. Karst says:
March 11, 2011 at 9:28 am
And so the nonsense begins:
[idiots linking GW to earthquakes]
Please, let them make these inane comments. Someone should then compile these comments and their sources together to show the public how the heartless and demented CAGW crowd seeks to profit politically from the death and destruction in Japan.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
March 11, 2011 10:00 am

Now on ABC News (US), 12:30PM EST:
Esteemed Theoretical Physicist Michio Kaku warned of true “China Syndrome” in Japan.
Presidential news conference started (I swear Good Morning America had said 11:15. Rescheduled until after the waves hit?).
The earthquake and tsunami rated two minutes of Presidential sympathy and indicators of US Presidential Leadership In The Face Of Crisis.
Then Obama went off about gasoline prices, finishing with Green Energy (like electric cars) and all the Green Jobs created.
About 12:43, Q&A started. First Libya, on the budget right now.
Global tragedy, emergency Presidential news conference, brief mention of tragedy, followed by the stuff that people have stopped watching when it’s a scheduled conference at night.
Never let a serious crisis go to waste.
Rahm Emanuel
As to the rest of the news conference, I shall follow the fine example of this fine President, and tune out.

Wucash
March 11, 2011 10:05 am

Huge devestation from this earthquake, most from tsunami, but heard reports a dam burst, and a nuclear reactor is in danger as well.
I also saw that report on the pacific islands too. Couldn’t believe the poor taste the BBC showed just to hammer their agenda forward. It’s such disasters that define people by how they act. I am not surprised by anything the BBC say anymore, but that still caught me off guard.

Tenuc
March 11, 2011 10:30 am

More news from the BBC that the situation at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant is very serious, with the core starting to heat.
Fingers crossed that the can contain the problem and this reactor doesn’t become a long-term problem.

feet2thefire
March 11, 2011 10:31 am

It is total speculation on my part, but I am wondering if there is a link between quakes Down Under and ones further north in SE Asia.
The Boxer Day 9.2 quake in 2004 was preceded by about a week by an 8.3 quake off the coast of Macquarie Island south of Tasmania. This one was preceded by the Christchurch quake.
It is probably a coincidence, but it makes one wonder. . .

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
March 11, 2011 10:36 am

Quoted by G. Karst on March 11, 2011 at 9:28 am:

Scientists have known for some time that climate change affects not just the atmosphere and the oceans but the earth’s crust, but these effects are not widely understood by the public.

This is true.
It is well known in science that climate change affects the Earth’s crust. Namely in geology, as in the climate changes of this planet’s glaciation cycles, when the weight of those many tons of miles-thick ice built up on land can cause whole continents to sink and tilt. Even now, this long into the current interglacial, various land masses are still moving around since the weight of the ice was removed.
That in this report they neglected to mention that any “climate change” from right before the Industrial Revolution until now, when evil mankind was pumping out unprecedented levels of the evil atmospheric pollutant CO2, has done virtually absolutely nothing to affect the Earth’s crust, obviously must have been a mere oversight. As we’ve come to expect.

Dan [NO]
March 11, 2011 10:42 am
Sam the First
March 11, 2011 10:43 am

@ Ray: It really is silly to dismiss information or skills you clearly don’t understand in such a cavalier manner. See my post at 09.01 am above.
Astrometeorology is an established science which has an enviable record in the prediction of weather events and earthquakes, unlike mainstream ‘climate science’.
See http://globalastrologyblog.blogspot.com/ where the earthquake was predicted in detail many hours before it happened.
Just because something appears in the DM doesn’t mean it can automatically be dismissed. On the contrary they have have a good record of publishing stuff which the broadsheets prefer to ignore (eg research on the murder of Dr David Kelly).

Jeremy
March 11, 2011 10:47 am

Sam the First says:
March 11, 2011 at 9:01 am
I’ve read several comments here dissing astrometeorology, which really are ill-informed. Mundane astrologers – who are of course also astronomers –

I stopped reading there.
You are wrong.

Beesaman
March 11, 2011 10:52 am

Jeremey I was not primarily thinking about the conversion from motion to heat in the water. Rather upon the actual driver of the earth quake and subsequent tsunami. That is the movement of the subducted plate. That must have created a lot of friction and in turn heat. It has got to go somewhere.
Of course some of it will be transferred to the rock but I wonder how much is picked up by the water?
As for energy waves effecting pressure gradients, well I guess we see some evidence of that with our daily weather when it is windy or in the movement of jet streams.

Pete H
March 11, 2011 10:55 am

9 hours of warnings and people in Santa Cruz lose boats!!! Insane!
Oh well, those stupid people have not lost relatives! After watching the horrific scenes this a.m. here in Cyprus I asked my son up at Tahoe doing his snowboarding to call his friends to alert his mates down in San Fran at 10:29 pm. WUWT time!
The sad thing to see tonight is the loss of life going up and up and this is a country that practices month in, month out in preparation! To be fair, no amount of building codes or civil defence can prepare anyone for the speed or height of those waves or the huge size of the quake. The sight those waves was truly astonishing to me and made the ones from Indonesia look small!
The Richter scale is a mind boggling thing! A guy on BBC just said at 8.9 this was 1000 times bigger than the Kiwi one a few weeks ago! Can anyone do the math for me and confirm it?

Curiousgeorge
March 11, 2011 10:57 am

The anti-nuke and anti-oil crowd is going to go ballistic as a result of this, because of the very slight damage to one or 2 nuke plants with one having a potential small radiation leak and possible damage to the core cooling system, and the refinery fire.

reason
March 11, 2011 11:00 am

KD Knoebel: OBEY THE TELEPROMPTER.

Jeremy
March 11, 2011 11:07 am

Beesaman says:
March 11, 2011 at 10:52 am
Jeremey I was not primarily thinking about the conversion from motion to heat in the water. Rather upon the actual driver of the earth quake and subsequent tsunami. That is the movement of the subducted plate. That must have created a lot of friction and in turn heat. It has got to go somewhere.

Ah I see. That is different and yes that would be real heating. Though it would be fairly localized I should think.

pwl
March 11, 2011 11:11 am

I’ve put together a collection of links and news items over at Paths To Knowledge dot net:
http://pathstoknowledge.wordpress.com/2011/03/11/devastating-earthquake-and-tsunami-surge-waves-in-japan

Rich
March 11, 2011 11:11 am

Some of the latest news regarding the reactor-
US delivers coolant to reactor
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110311/pl_nm/us_japan_quake_nuclear_clinton
Emergency declared at reactor.
“The plant is designed to shut down safely after an earthquake, but its emergency diesel generators, needed to run water pumps, were not working. ”
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/12/world/asia/12nuclear.html?_r=1
Some venting to take place.
http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2011/03/11/nuke_plant_trouble_after_japan_quake_3k_evacuated/

Sam the First
March 11, 2011 11:14 am

@ Jeremy: how very foolish. It’s precisely because people are so stuck in their own little groove and refuse to think outside the box, or to respect the mathematical etc skills of others working in parallel disciplines, that ‘science’ is in such a dire state.
I woudl like to think that those who read WUWT are open to other opinions and disciplines, in the expectation they might learn something. This especially, when the discipline is thousands of years old.
When someone can predict weather events over many years with a startling degree of accuracy, why not examine how he does it? Why pronounce I am ‘wrong’ when you refuse to examine the evidence? You sound like the AGW gang.

Mats Bengtsson
March 11, 2011 11:20 am

I wonder about the strength of the quake. It is now listed as sixth strongest since 1900. But from the beginning it was measured as weaker. Are the measurements comparable? This one is probably 8.9 as it is measured with modern tools, and measurements have been updated from earlier estimates in the high 7.
But the older ones, is there a risk that those where left with values more similar to the earlier estimates of this one, since there was not enough good tools available to improve on the original figures to comparable values as for the later estimates of this one?
— Mats —

pwl
March 11, 2011 11:21 am

“Crescent City, Santa Cruz hit hard by tsunami from Japan quake.
Crescent City, site of a deadly tsunami four decades ago, appears to be particularly hard hit”
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-me-crescent-city-california-20110311,0,3043382.story

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
March 11, 2011 11:33 am

“reason” said on March 11, 2011 at 11:00 am:

KD Knoebel: OBEY THE TELEPROMPTER.

TelePrompter, obey the baseball bat.

March 11, 2011 11:37 am

Unlike all the other aftershocks which have been centered around the main quake on the east coast, Japan just recently got a 6.2 quake on the west coast of the Island of Honshu:
Magnitude
6.2
Date-Time
Friday, March 11, 2011 at 18:59:15 UTC
Saturday, March 12, 2011 at 03:59:15 AM at epicenter
Location
37.037°N, 138.355°E
Depth
1 km (~0.6 mile)
Region
NEAR THE WEST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
Distances
46 km (28 miles) NNE of Nagano, Honshu, Japan
96 km (59 miles) NNE of Matsumoto, Honshu, Japan
96 km (59 miles) NW of Maebashi, Honshu, Japan
195 km (121 miles) NW of TOKYO, Japan
Location Uncertainty
horizontal +/- 12.9 km (8.0 miles); depth +/- 0.2 km (0.1 miles)
Parameters
NST=409, Nph=415, Dmin=55.7 km, Rmss=1.16 sec, Gp= 29°,
M-type=teleseismic moment magnitude (Mw), Version=9
Source
USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
Event ID
usc0001z2a

Jeremy
March 11, 2011 11:43 am

Sam the First says:
March 11, 2011 at 11:14 am
@ Jeremy: how very foolish. It’s precisely because people are so stuck in their own little groove and refuse to think outside the box, or to respect the mathematical etc skills of others working in parallel disciplines, that ‘science’ is in such a dire state.

Not really no. In order for me to accept your definition of astrologers and astronomers as being equivalent, please demonstrate for me a few things.
1) Please show me an astrologer who has discovered an extrasolar planet.
2) Please show me an astrologer who has helped discover the life cycle of stars.
3) Please show me an astrologer who has discovered new galaxies.
4) Please show me an astrologer who has found the locations of invisible mass due to the motions of what is visible.
These are the things Astronomers do. I do not see astrologers doing these things, in fact what they really do is tell me to watch my horoscope and sell me books.
You want to say that Astrologers are Astronomers. You are flatly wrong. This is not about thinking outside the box, this is not about people cubby-holing themselves into one way of thinking about anything. This has nothing to do with human creativity or lack thereof. Your definition is flatly wrong. Astronomers investigate the universe. Astrologers try to predict the universe. There’s a huge difference. You will not see me budging on this issue in my lifetime.
You may have some point to make, but you’re not making it. In fact what you are stating is plain falsehood.

pwl
March 11, 2011 11:44 am

“The tsunami capital of the continental United States is Crescent City, Calif. (population 7,542), an economically depressed logging and fishing town just south of the Oregon border. Crescent City is predicted to be the California location hit hardest by the Japanese tsunami; one forecast predicts 7-foot waves, though so far the observed effect has been minimal. [Update, 2:28 p.m. ET: The Los Angeles Times reports 6.5-foot waves in Crescent City causing “significant damage” to boats in the harbor and “most of the docks” and flooding an inland creek. No reports yet of injuries or deaths. Larger surges may follow.]
They’ve seen it before. Since 1933, 31 tsunamis have been observed in Crescent City. Four of those caused damage, and one of them, in March 1964, remains the “largest and most destructive recorded tsunami to ever strike the United States Pacific Coast,” according to the University of Southern California’s Tsunami Research Center. The 1964 tsunami killed 17 people on the West Coast, 11 of them in Crescent City. ”
http://www.slate.com/id/2288020

mkelly
March 11, 2011 11:45 am

Pete H says:
March 11, 2011 at 10:55 am
The Richter scale is a mind boggling thing! A guy on BBC just said at 8.9 this was 1000 times bigger than the Kiwi one a few weeks ago! Can anyone do the math for me and confirm it?
“energy release of an earthquake, which closely correlates to its destructive power, scales with the 3⁄2 power of the shaking amplitude. Thus, a difference in magnitude of 1.0 is equivalent to a factor of 31.6 ( = (101.0)(3 / 2)) in the energy released; a difference in magnitude of 2.0 is equivalent to a factor of 1000 ( = (102.0)(3 / 2) ) in the energy released.[2]” wiki

Stephen Brown
March 11, 2011 11:52 am

An “energy map” provided by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows the intensity of the tsunami caused by the earthquake which struck Japan.
http://wcatwc.arh.noaa.gov/2011/03/11/lhvpd9/energylhvpd9-05.jpg

Stephen Brown
March 11, 2011 11:56 am

The 8.9-magnitude earthquake which struck Japan on Friday was the strongest in the area in nearly 1,200 years, David Applegate, a senior science adviser at the US Geological Survey, tells the Associated Press. He says the quake ruptured a patch of the earth’s crust 240km (150 miles) long and 80km (50 miles) across.
Copied from BBC live-feed at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/

March 11, 2011 11:57 am

This is getting a bit wierd. A short geomagnetic disturbance again followed within minutes by two 6+ magnitude quakes;
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/J2.gif
http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/Quakes/quakes_all.php

Sun Spot
March 11, 2011 12:05 pm

New Zealand ==> China ==> Japan is there a pattern here that is predictive of where the next quake will happen ?

DirkH
March 11, 2011 12:07 pm

Very detailed and up to date description of the current problems with the nuclear reactor cooling.
http://allthingsnuclear.org/post/3788886037/nuclear-crisis-at-fukushima

Steve Hill
March 11, 2011 12:08 pm

Interesting, been watching http://neic.usgs.gov/neis/qed/ for months and it seemed to me that things were increasing in activity. Does the sun waking up have any factor on this? (it may be a stupid question)
thanks,
Steve

Aldous Tenpenny
March 11, 2011 12:08 pm

And the award for the most crass example of disaster exploitation goes to:
*opens envelope*
Grist! For this shameful abomination:
http://www.grist.org/article/2011-03-11-todays-tsunami-this-is-what-climate-change-looks-like

Ray
March 11, 2011 12:10 pm

Amazing video of the first waves as seen from a helicopter… and the devastation that follows.

DirkH
March 11, 2011 12:16 pm

DirkH says:
March 11, 2011 at 12:07 pm
“Very detailed and up to date description of the current problems with the nuclear reactor cooling.”
Ugh. Only now do i notice it’s from the “Union of concerned scientists”. Anyhow. This particular article looks rather sober and technical.

Editor
March 11, 2011 12:23 pm

Mats Bengtsson says:
March 11, 2011 at 11:20 am

I wonder about the strength of the quake. It is now listed as sixth strongest since 1900. But from the beginning it was measured as weaker. Are the measurements comparable? This one is probably 8.9 as it is measured with modern tools, and measurements have been updated from earlier estimates in the high 7.

The modern magnitudes you hear (Moment Magnitude, IIRC) are measurements of the total energy released by a quake. It takes time to refine the result, I think they have to look at multiple recorders and factor in propagation quality and various other stuff to come up with a good final answer.

But the older ones, is there a risk that those were left with values more similar to the earlier estimates of this one, since there were not enough good tools available to improve on the original figures to comparable values as for the later estimates of this one?

The Richter Scale was based on the excursion of the pen of a particular brand of seismometer, distance, and probably a few other things. It didn’t handle long ruptures which take 10s of seconds to propagate so it saturated around magnitude 7-8. The figures you see in the list are likely estimates made years after the events from seismometer readings, damage reports, and measurements of slippage.

crosspatch
March 11, 2011 12:26 pm

Folks should keep in mind that this is just about exactly the sort of EQ that is in store for the Pacific Northwest from Seattle to Portland. The last M9 range quake there was in January 1700 (dated from tsunami in Japan that it caused). This is almost exactly the same size and type of quake that is likely to happen there in the Cascade Subduction Zone.

Stephen Brown
March 11, 2011 12:31 pm

UPDATE 7: 7.00pm GMT
Nuclear reactors shut down during today’s massive earthquake in Japan. Official sources have reported no detected radioactive release but are still monitoring the situation, meanwhile work to establish adequate cooling at Fukushima Daiichi continues.
Pressure inside the containment of Unit 1 at Fukushima Daichi had been steadily increasing over the time that emergency core cooling systems have not been active. Tepco reported at 2am that pressure had increased beyond reference levels but was within engineered limits.
http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/RS_Massive_earthquake_hits_Japan_1103111.html?je

Wiglaf
March 11, 2011 12:35 pm

On a brief skim of the reporting, my first take was, “the Japanese know what they’re doing…this won’t be near the issue it was in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.” Seeing the more recent news reports, I’m not sure any level of preparation would have helped except not building by the coast. Anyone know how long it took for the tsunami to hit shore after the 9.0 earthquake? Particularly, how long after the warning system was engaged? I saw one video where this guy is watching boats and cars floating underneath the road/bridge he is on. I was thinking, man, I wouldn’t be hanging around on a bridge like that when a boat or other large object (and the water) could knock the supports right out from under me.

March 11, 2011 12:39 pm

The Japanese sent a team to NZ to help in Christchurch, for which I am grateful. Now they endure the same, magnified terribly by the tsunami. I wish them strength.
HT to GK for his warning about nonsense, when he quotes: “Scientists have known for some time that climate change affects not just the atmosphere and the oceans but the earth’s crust, but these effects are not widely understood by the public.”
Yeah right. Also not widely understood by scientists, if they think it significant. Climate change has about as much influence over the drifting of tectonic plates as anthropogenic methane has on climate change.
To John from CA, seismologists have no evidence that the earthquakes on different parts of the Pacific rim are connected causally. And unlike climatologists, seismologists do not seem to confuse correlation with causation.

Wondering Aloud
March 11, 2011 12:56 pm

typical of nuclear disasters, no one killed, no one injured, no one diseased. Just a rellystupid media report. I think it may already be fixed.

Common Sense
March 11, 2011 12:57 pm

From the AP:
HONOLULU – The deadly tsunami that ravaged Japan is taking a toll along the West Coast as authorities looked for at least one person missing at sea.
The Coast Guard is searching for a man who was swept out to sea while taking photos of waves with two friends near the mouth of the Klamath River in Del Norte County, Calif. His friends made it back to shore, and helicopters are searching for the missing man.
Sheriff’s officials in southern Oregon say one death was reported aboard a commercial vessel in the harbor at Brookings, Ore., but it appears to be from natural causes. Four people were swept off a beach north of Brookings, but were rescued.
The Curry County sheriff’s department says two were able to get out of the water on their own, and two were rescued by law enforcement and fire officials.
There’s a tsunami warning honey, let’s go to the beach and take pictures.” Can you say Darwin Award?

March 11, 2011 12:58 pm

Short geomagnetic disturbance again followed within minutes by two 6+ magnitude quakes;
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/J2.gif
http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/Quakes/quakes_all.php

indio4
March 11, 2011 1:09 pm

It seems that the earthquake list is not the last one published online by USGS. Here is the last updated list of largest earthquakes :
http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/world/10_largest_world.php
The rencent Honshu magnitude Mw 8.9-9 would thus rank as the 5th largest known worldwide event.
But more interestingly, it should be noted that this event is not the “big one” that was expected. The one that was and is still expected may occur south-west of Tokyo along the Nankai trench. There, the historical record shows repetitions of large M 8-8.5 events and the next one is probably overdue. With probably more consequences on the population of Tokyo and other southern cities of Honshu.
To the north of Tokyo, such event has never been recorded, neither instrumentally, nor historically. Even the geology does not seem to provide evidence of such large event (it is possible now that future investigation will find out more about such large past events). Despite the 9cm/yr convergence along the trench, scientists were explaining the absence of large event by the occurrence of slow-slipping events together with events of lower magnitude (still magnitude 8s). If indeed such large event has not occurred there since 800 to 1000 years, this event is rather puzzling. We will know soon in the next days from seismological analysis how much slip was indeed involved in this event.

pwl
March 11, 2011 1:11 pm

Peter Wilson
March 11, 2011 1:16 pm

Sam the First says:
March 11, 2011 at 11:14 Sam
Please take your pseudo scientific BS somewhere else, this is a science blog, and this is a serious disaster, not an opportunity for astrologers to peddle their snake oil

reason
March 11, 2011 1:22 pm

“TelePrompter, obey the baseball bat.”
As the kids these days say: Oh, snap!

Stephen Rasey
March 11, 2011 1:25 pm

@jtom \\I click on the link on NOAA’s homepage for their tsunami warning and got a “page not found” for several minutes //
I clicked on the NOAA Tsunami Warning page about 9:15 am CST from Mexico.
It showed GREEN, No Warnings at this Time. !! That was just about the time of the predicted arrival in Oregon. I got it on my iPhone camera for posterity sake with the computer clock showing.
A few minutes later the page switched to Red, Tsunami Warning.
Now, it could be a page caching issue. It could be something else. But clearly someone relying on a NOAA webpage would have been put into a false sense of security.

John Wolf
March 11, 2011 1:26 pm

Daniel H, TokyoBoy, all my friends in Japan, stay safe. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

MS
March 11, 2011 1:41 pm

Ray says:
March 11, 2011 at 9:53 am
Astrologers predicted this… LMAO
The moon causes tides in the ocean. Does it create anything comparable, though of smaller amplitude, within the lava below earth’s crust ?

Skeptic
March 11, 2011 1:41 pm

It was predictable; some brain dead lemming in London couldn’t wait to blame this disaster on global warming. He claims all the melting ice took the weight off the crust allowing the plates to shift. Always some a$$hole taking glee and comfort from disaster.

Stephen Brown
March 11, 2011 1:46 pm

#
2139 GMT: Radiation levels at the damaged Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant are continuing to rise. The Jiji Press news agency says the levels are eight times above normal. Its report also cites a ministry official as saying there is a “possibility of a radioactive leak”.
From the BBC at http://news.bbc.co.uk

Scarlet Pumpernickel
March 11, 2011 1:47 pm

http://www.infowars.com/global-warming-did-not-cause-the-japanese-earthquake/
GLOBAL WARMING HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH EARTHQUAKE BBC!!!!!

Stephen Brown
March 11, 2011 1:58 pm

2149 GMT: The Kyodo news agency is now citing a safety panel as saying that the radiation level inside one of the reactors at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant is 1,000 times higher than normal.

tom s
March 11, 2011 2:07 pm

Nuke plants have to be built somewhere, but Japan has limited space so they make do with what they have. Quasi risky but still doable with relative safety. Here in the USA we have plenty of space to build in more non-risky places. The benefit of the power source greatly outweighs any costs, including what’s happening today.

Curiousgeorge
March 11, 2011 2:10 pm

Update on Fukushima. Rads reported at 1000x normal, and efforts to restore cooling have not been effective – Drudge. Evac radius extended to 10K. They better get a handle on this real quick.

Schnydz
March 11, 2011 2:13 pm

Interesting. The following article suggests evidence of a foreshock.
“The earthquake occurred near the site of another tremor that shook Miyagi Prefecture on Wednesday, so the earlier quake may have been a foreshock, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.”
“There aren’t many instances in which such a large earthquake occurs right after a magnitude 7-class quake,” said an official at the agency. “This is a highly unusual case.”
more:
http://e.nikkei.com/e/fr/tnks/Nni20110311D11JFA11.htm

Tim Clark
March 11, 2011 2:16 pm

It took about 1 hour for the Tsunami to hit the coast following the earthquake. Read the link above abut the nuclear plant. The data is in that link.

MikeH
March 11, 2011 2:17 pm

Here is a web page for the NOAA modeling of the Tsunami.
http://nctr.pmel.noaa.gov/honshu20110311/

Roger Longstaff
March 11, 2011 2:22 pm

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

DirkH
March 11, 2011 2:30 pm

Wiglaf says:
March 11, 2011 at 12:35 pm
“I saw one video where this guy is watching boats and cars floating underneath the road/bridge he is on. I was thinking, man, I wouldn’t be hanging around on a bridge like that when a boat or other large object (and the water) could knock the supports right out from under me.”
Probably it was the highest spot he could easily reach in the time he had, so it made no more sense to run further.

Sean Peake
March 11, 2011 2:31 pm

@ Scarlett
Relax. Danny Glover is writing the BBC’s copy.

Rich
March 11, 2011 2:32 pm

Higher radiation levels reported.
Not sure of the credibility of USA Today but here is their report
on radiation levels. .
http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2011/03/radiation-1000-times-normal-detected-around-crippled-japanese-plant/1

ldd
March 11, 2011 2:38 pm

Wow, if the water doesn’t leave does that mean that the land itself has sunk somewhat on the quake side?
From the pictures this morning ,whole towns and villages have been swept to sea and all you see are foundations and roads under water, vast areas are swamped and people are stranded on top of big buildings.
Nuke plants leaking and overheating -esh, not good on many levels.
Was glad there was nothing much from the 7.2 on March 9th and then this.
Have noticed that there’s been a stranger look to the world wide earthquake map of late. Seeing these multiple mini-hits over and over, like a vibration, especially around the ‘ring of fire’. Just an odder pattern of late than the usual I’ve noticed, since watching these EQ sites for about 7-8 years.
My thoughts for Japan in her moment of crisis.
There seems to be a huge amount of damage over wide areas.

BFL
March 11, 2011 2:39 pm

I have no idea why anyone should be worried about the reactors:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/16/going-bananas-over-radiation/

Les Francis
March 11, 2011 2:43 pm

Wiglaf says: March 11, 2011 at 12:35 pm
On a brief skim of the reporting, my first take was, “the Japanese know what they’re doing…this won’t be near the issue it was in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.”

Here’s the scary thing. A few years ago some Californian quake disaster specialists went to Japan to get some information on Japanese methods. They were shocked with the lack of organisation skills and lack of communication abilities. The phrase “All hat and no cattle” came to mind.

Rich
March 11, 2011 2:47 pm

Perhaps this will provide some perspective on the radiation leak stories.
“(Reuters) – Radiation detected at a central control unit at Tokyo Electric Power Co’s No.1 reactor at Fukushima Daiichi plant is NOT at a level that would require workers at the plant to evacuate, a trade ministry official said on Saturday.
The radiation at the control unit has risen to about 1,000 times the normal level, the official said.” (emphasis on ‘NOT’is mine)
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/11/us-japan-quake-tepco-radiation-idUSTRE72A81C20110311

DirkH
March 11, 2011 2:52 pm

Sigh.
“23.03 Uhr – Im Kontrollraum des japanischen Atomkraftwerks Fukushima-Daiichi ist die Radioaktivität auf das Tausendfache des normalen Werts gestiegen.”
http://www.ftd.de/politik/international/:erdbeben-in-japan-lage-am-kernkraftwerk-bleibt-angespannt/60024178.html#gmap-0-Tokio
lit.: “In the control room of the reactor Fukushima-Daiichi, radioactivity has risen to 1000 times above normal.”
German Journalists; what are they thinking – that a control room is supposed to be radioactive? Mistranslations like this are one cause for the frequent fits of Malthusian panic amongst my fellow Germans. Inept idiots. I spare you Der Spiegel who has contributed its own specific Dreck on par with Grist…

TerryS
March 11, 2011 2:58 pm

The anti nuclear brigade will be making a great deal of noise about any controlled leak from the Fukushima nuclear plant.
What they will fail to mention is the “leak” will be nearly all water vapour with a small trace amount of N16 (the radioactive part). The N16 has a half life of approximately 7.1 seconds so will rapidly decay to oxygen.
Some anti-nuclear group (according to sky news) is claiming the radiation levels around the Fukushima are 1000 times higher than normal. They should wait 10 minutes and measure again because by then the amount of N16 left wont be enough to register above the normal background radiation level.

Schnydz
March 11, 2011 3:11 pm

(Sorry if this has already been posted)
Some respond to Japan earthquake by pointing to global warming
“Some islands affected by climate change have been hit,” said Nilsson. “Has not the time come to demonstrate on solidarity – not least solidarity in combating and adapting to climate change and global warming?”
“Mother Nature has again given us a sign that that is what we need to do,” he added.
Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/03/11/some-respond-to-japan-earthquake-by-pointing-to-global-warming/#ixzz1GKrE81f2

Tenuc
March 11, 2011 3:22 pm

TerryS says:
March 11, 2011 at 2:58 pm
…What they will fail to mention is the “leak” will be nearly all water vapour with a small trace amount of N16 (the radioactive part)…
May be a more serious problem if the water has been contaminated by fissionable material from heat damaged fuel rods.
There is too little hard information around to know just how good or bad things are at the moment, but I’m not getting good vibes about this one!

Olen
March 11, 2011 3:25 pm

Could not help but notice the comments in WUWT on the BBC report speculating on more damage to the Pacific islands due to the climate warming and sea level rise. The fact many inhabited islands have never been anymore than barely above sea level may not be important.
BBC exposed their policy as a biased network by using a real tragedy to take a cheap shot. Making climate change a focal point is a true low in reporting in view of the reality.
What were they thinking with the scope of the tragedy up front to detour their report to support a theory not only not proven but riddled with deception.

March 11, 2011 3:27 pm

NOAA tsunami animation

J
March 11, 2011 3:32 pm

I wonder if a tsunami of this proportion will yield noticeable cooling of SST. Seems like it might stir and cool like soup, or a hurricane. Any opinions?

DirkH
March 11, 2011 3:33 pm

Ok. The German journalists translated correctly – if this was their source.
“Radiation surged to around 1,000 times the normal level in the control room of the No. 1 reactor of the Fukushima Daichi plant, Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said. ”
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42025882/ns/world_news-asiapacific/
Double sigh.

DirkH
March 11, 2011 3:36 pm

For all those who don’t understand my exasperation with these journalists: The control room of a nuclear power plant is never inside the reactor containment. For obvious reasons.
Maybe we should have SMART people in the newsrooms. Which we don’t.

March 11, 2011 3:54 pm

Radiation is of course more than 1000
times mormal -and of course
the nuclear industry and the usa
and Japan govts and their shills
will spin it just as
the Usa and BP and the USa media
spun the on-going endless
BP Gulf of Mexico catastrophe-
(the pro-nuke and pro-oil shill troll crowd
is just as vocal and more ballistic
than any anti crowd and much better funded)
And the connected psycho imbecile builders of
usa nuke plants built them on or near
earthquake faults because faults create rivers and
rivers are where the coolant water is cheapest.
http://www.businessinsider.com/fukushima-nuclear-plant-2011-3
here are the facts-
not troll hot air–
http://alethonews.wordpress.com/2010/05/29/2010/02/25/look-out-for-the-nuclear-bomb-coming-with-your-electric-bill/
http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=18951
http://alethonews.wordpress.com/2010/02/25/2009/12/03/theres-more-to-climate-fraud-than-just-tax-hikes/
http://redactednews.blogspot.com/2010/09/911-global-warming-and-other-crimes.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/harvey-wasserman/frances-nuke-power-poster_b_176690.html
http://www.namastepublishing.co.uk/Populations%20Exposed%20to%20Enviromental%20Uranium.htm
http://www.namastepublishing.co.uk/Global%20Implications%20of%20Sellafield%20-%20Irish%20Sea%20Coast%20Effect.htm
http://redactednews.blogspot.com/2010/09/911-global-warming-and-other-crimes.html
http://www.nirs.org/home.htm
http://www.app.com/article/20100915/NEWS/9150349/Nuclear-waste-piles-up-with-no-disposal-plan
trillion dollar loan guarantee to nuke industry
http://www.psr.org/assets/pdfs/alexander-webb-bill.pdf
http://www.beyondnuclear.org/home/2010/5/27/packing-the-nuclear-pork-barrel-by-nrdc.html
http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/cpaine/packing_the_nuclear_pork_barre.html
http://iraqwar.mirror-world.ru/article/228057
http://www.beyondnuclear.org/
http://nuclear-news.net/2009/06/05/is-nuclear-a-green-fuel-%C2%AB-voices-from-ghana/
http://nuclear-news.net/
http://go2.wordpress.com/?id=725X1342&site=alethonews.wordpress.com&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nuclear-news.net%2F2009%2F05%2F06%2Fformer-federal-regulator-plans-for-fermi-3-nuclear-reactor-could-lead-to-job-loss%2F&sref=http%3A%2F%2Falethonews.wordpress.com%2F2010%2F02%2F25%2Flook-out-for-the-nuclear-bomb-coming-with-your-electric-bill%2F
http://iraqwar.mirror-world.ru/article/225551
http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/20100522/NEWS02/100521022/Strontium-discovered-in-soil-surrounding-Vermont-Yankee-leak

tokyoboy
March 11, 2011 3:56 pm

Good morning folks, it’s 8:55 am now local time, Saturday, March 12.
Yesterday evening I had to walk home; 7-8 miles, 2.5 hours.
I saw a huge number of cars “adhered to roads”; no move, all the way.
They say the dead and missing are more than 1,000 now, but nodody knows exactly.
In several places near the epicenter, towns disappeared by a single tsunami stroke; a big tragedy indeed.
I do feel natural disaster mitigation is much much more important than preparing for the imaginary AGW.

March 11, 2011 4:00 pm

a second NOAA animation, more interesting details

Stephen Brown
March 11, 2011 4:05 pm

#
2252 GMT: The Tokyo Electric Power Company has said the cooling systems of three reactors at second nuclear power plant, Fukushima-Daini, are malfunctioning, according to the Kyodo news agency. The plant is 11km (7 miles) to the south of Fukushima-Daiichi, where the cooling system one of its reactors is not working and pressure is rising.
Copied from the BBC site.

Stephen Brown
March 11, 2011 4:07 pm

2310 GMT: More from the Tokyo Electric Power Company: It says the ability to control pressure in some of the reactors at Fukushima-Daini has been lost. Pressure is stable inside the reactors, but rising in the containment vessels, a company spokesman says.

Mark Twang
March 11, 2011 4:10 pm

Well, that didn’t take long:
http://www.grist.org/article/2011-03-11-todays-tsunami-this-is-what-climate-change-looks-like
“Today’s tsunami: This is what climate change looks like”
From the website “Grist”. They call themselves “a beacon in the smog”.

Mark.r
March 11, 2011 4:14 pm

They are saying that this quake is 8000 times stronger then the Christchurch one.

March 11, 2011 4:26 pm

tokyoboy
It’s really good to hear from you.
and I hope everyone else from Japan is well. Hope to hear from the rest of you.

Doug Badgero
March 11, 2011 4:28 pm

N16 is produced only during reactor operation. It was gone within the first minute after the reactors tripped. Any radioactivity in released steam will be from low level fission products due to tramp uranium in cladding and minor leaks in fuel assemblies, if they have any. Perhaps some activated corrosion products and noble gases. The real issues will only occur if they get fuel damage AND a significant breach of containment. I work in nuclear in the USA. For the record, I work for AEP but I speak for myself not AEP.
I am paying attention to developments but not too worried yet.

DirkH
March 11, 2011 4:30 pm

tokyoboy says:
March 11, 2011 at 3:56 pm
“Good morning folks, it’s 8:55 am now local time, Saturday, March 12.”
Glad that you’re fine – and that the modern architecture of Tokyo withstood the quake so well.
I understand the Japanese fascination with Tokyo-destroying monsters (Gojira, Neon Genesis Evangelion,…) much better now, having seen the videos of the Tsunami devastation…

Darren Parker
March 11, 2011 4:31 pm

This is the html version of the file http://www.spaceandscience.net/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/ssrcresearchreport1-2010.doc.
Google automatically generates html versions of documents as we crawl the web.
Space and Science Research Center
P.O. Box 607841
Orlando, Fl 32860
Research Report 1-2010 (Preliminary)
Correlation of Solar Activity Minimums
and Large Magnitude Geophysical Events
John L. Casey1
Released for world wide web (www) distribution on Monday, March 1, 2010.
[1] An independent review of historical records was performed for 350 years of global volcanic activity
(1650-2009) and seismic (earthquake) activity for the past 300 years (1700 to 2009) within the continental United States and then compared to the Sun’s record of sunspots as a measure of solar activity. All three data sets were examined to determine whether a relationship existed between them and if the results of such a study could be used to develop methodology for identifying future geophysical events. The preliminary results from the study have shown that there exists a strong correlation between the solar activity that causes climate changes and the Earth’s largest seismic and volcanic events. The impressive degree of correlation for global volcanic activity (>80.6%) and for the largest USA earthquakes (100% of the top 7 most powerful) vs. solar activity lows provides a basis for future estimates of the time periods and magnitudes for the largest volcanic and seismic events many decades in advance. Finally, the coincidence of the Centennial and Bi-Centennial cycles of the RC Theory showed unmistakable relationships to these largest geophysical events. The use of such a tool may provide a new and valuable method for protection of people and property located in and around high risk geologic zones. Further, a significantly increased risk is indicated during the next 20 years for volcanic and earthquake events of historic scale. Citation: Casey, John. L. (2010), Correlation of Solar Activity Minimums and Large Magnitude Geophysical Events, Research Report 1-2010 (Premiminary), March 1, 2010, Space and Science Research Center, (SSRC).
1. Introduction.
[2] Previous work by Casey (2008) known as the “RC Theory,” established solar activity as a reliable model for prediction of the Earth’s climate changes. During the course of the research it was observed that there may be a positive correlation between solar activity as measured by sunspot counts over a long term base line average, and major geophysical events specifically earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. This previous research found for example, that the largest ever recorded volcanic eruption, Mt. Tambora in Indonesia (1815), as well as the largest earthquakes in the history of the United States, the New Madrid earthquakes of 1811-1812, all occurred near the bottom of the last solar hibernation known as the Dalton Minimum (1793-1830). Given this initial relationship, a more detailed study of geophysical records was made to assess the degree of correlation if any that may exist between the Sun’s activity and such events.
2. Review of Global Volcanic Activity vs. Solar Activity from 1600AD to 2009AD.
[3] Using the historical record of volcanic eruptions developed by the Smithsonian Institution, an extraction was made of all those eruptions that were rated at a Volcano Explosive Index (VEI) of “5” or greater. The level of 5 on the VEI scale of 0-8 was selected since it was the beginning class of large eruptions. Many are familiar with the scale of such via Mt. St. Helens. This volcano has an established eruptive history and up to and after the May 18, 1980 VEI 5 event, was well documented and instrumented.
_______
1. Space and Science Research Center, a division of Verity Mgmt. Svcs. Inc., Orlando, Florida
***********************************************************************************
Table 1. Volcanoes of greater than or equal to VEI of 5 from 1650 to 2009. This list of large volcanic eruptions since 1650 was used as the baseline list for comparison against solar activity, i.e. periods of reduced sunspot count to determine any apparent associations. 5* = a class five VEI with potentially large date uncertainty, P* = plinian large class eruption, assumed >VEI 5. The study did not include activity associated with geological hot spots or caldera (super volcano) sites. Source: Smithsonian Institute.
Volcano Location Year VEI
1. Shiveluch Kamchatka Penninsula 1650 5
2. Long Island N.E. New Guinea 1660 6
3. Usu Hokkaido, Japan 1663 5
4. Shikotsu Hokkaido, Japan 1667 5
5. Gamkonora Halmahera, Indonesia 1673 5*
6. Tongkoko Sulawesi, Indonesia 1680 5*
7. Fuji Honshu, Japan 1707 5
8. Katla So. Iceland 1721 5*
9. Shikotsu Hokkaido, Japan 1739 5
10. Katla So.Iceland 1755 5
11. Pago New Britain 1800 P**
12. St.Helens Washington State, USA 1800 5
13. Tambora Lesser Sunda Islands,Indo. 1815 7
14. Galungung Java, Indonesia 1822 5
15. Cosiguina Nicaragua 1835 5
16. Shiveluch Kamchatka Penninsula 1854 5
17. Askja N.E.Iceland 1875 5
18. Krakatau Indonesia 1883 6
19. Okataina New Zealand 1886 5
20. Santa Maria Guatemala 1902 6
21. Lolobau New Britain 1905 P*
22. Ksudach Kamchatka Penninsula 1907 5
23. Novarupta Alaska Penninsula 1912 6
24. Azul, Cerro Chile 1932 5+
25. Kharimkotan Kuril Islands 1933 5
26. Bezimianny Kamchatka Peninsula 1956 5
27. Agung Lesser Sunda Islands, Indo. 1963 5
28. St. Helens Washington State, USA 1980 5
29. El Chichon Mexico 1982 5
30. Pinatubo Philippines 1991 6
31. Hudson, Cerro So. Chile 1991 5+
************************************************************************
Of the 31 eruptions documented since 1650 with a VEI greater than or equal to 5, a total of 25 occurred during a reduced period of sunspots if not a major reduction in sunspots or a solar hibernation, e.g. the Dalton or Maunder Minimums. This preliminary study showed 80.6% of the largest eruptions took place during extended solar activity minimums. Significantly, the following list of the eight largest volcanic eruptions globally (VEI>6) since 1650, shows all but one took place only during a solar hibernation, or significant reduction in solar activity as measured by sunspot count.
*************************************************************************************
Table 2. Volcanic eruptions that took place during major solar minimums and solar hibernations. This table establishes the strong relationship between the largest volcanic eruptions and solar activity lows on the order of the Centennial and Bi-Centennial Cycles defined by the RC Theory.
Volcano Location Year VEI Associated Solar Minimum
1. Long Island N .E. New Guinea 1660 6 Centennial: Maunder
2. Pago* New Britain 1800 P Bi-Centennial: Dalton
3. Tambora Lesser Sunda Islands 1815 7 Bi-Centennial: Dalton
Indonesia
4. Krakatau Indonesia 1883 6 Centennial: Year 1900
5. Santa Maria Guatemala 1902 6 Centennial: Year 1900
6. Lobobau New Britain 1905 P Centennial: Year 1900
7. Novarupta Alaska Peninsula 1907 6 Centennial: Year 1900
8. Pinatubo Philippines 1991 6 No Correlation
*************************************************************************************
* P = plinian level large eruption.
3. Solar activity time line for comparison with volcanic and earthquake activity.
[4] Extended sunspot minimums, i.e. covering two or more 11 year Schwabe cycles, intermediate minimums, and solar hibernations were extracted from the chart below for use in volcanic and earthquake vs. solar activity comparisons:
Figure 1. 400 years of sunspot observations depicting the Maunder and Dalton Minimums and the Modern Maximum. Source: Graphics; R. A. Rhode, Global Warming Art, from data sets by Hoyt and Schatten (1998a, 1998b).
4. Correlation of the Largest Continental Earthquakes to Solar Activity for the Period 1700 to 2009.
[5] Identification of the largest continental US earthquakes was done with data from the US Geological Survey (USGS). The table below shows the top seven largest earthquakes and is taken from the revised June 7, 2005 published list of the largest fifteen earthquakes and reexamined for completeness on September 8, 2009. All of these largest seven are strongly correlated to an associated solar activity minimum.
**************************************************************************************
Table 3. Top seven largest continental USA earthquakes. Source: USGS*
Location Date Magnitude Associated Solar Minimum
1. Cascadia subduction zone 01-26-1700 ~9 Centennial: Maunder
2. New Madrid, Missouri 12-16-1811 8.1 Bi-Centennial: Dalton
3. New Madrid, Missouri 02-7-1812 ~8 * Bi-Centennial: Dalton
4. Fort Tejon, California 01-09-1857 7.9 Intermediate Minimum***
5. San Francisco, California 04-18-1906 7.8 Centennial Minimum
6. Imperial Valley, California 02-24-1892 7.8 Centennial Minimum
7. New Madrid, Missouri 01-23-1812 7.8 Bi-Centennial: Dalton
*************************************************************************************
* Measurement methods vary. The USGS says the New Madrid Feb 7 1812 temblor may have been 8.8 on the Richter scale.
** Centennial and Bi-Centennial cycles from the RC Theory have periods of 90-100 years and 206 years respectively.
*** Intermediate Minimums are easily observed declines in solar activity (sunspots) though lesser in magnitude than Centennial or Bi-Centennial events.
5. Conclusions.
[6] As a result of research conducted, it is reasonable to conclude there exists a strong correlation between global volcanic activity among the largest of classes of eruptions and solar activity lows. With the 80.6% occurrence of large scale global volcanic eruptions taking place (>VEI 5) during solar activity lows and with 87.5% occurring for the very largest (>VEI 6) eruptions during major solar minimums, it is concluded that any reliable predictive tool for forecasting future solar activity would also lend itself to forecasts for future global volcanic eruptions of the most powerful magnitudes. For example the RC Theory of solar activity may be an effective tool for forecast of global volcanism.
[7] The occurrence of each of the largest seven USA earthquakes during solar activity lows and in particular during solar hibernations indicates a predictive tool like the RC Theory for future extended solar minimums may also be effective in forecasts of major USA earthquakes.
[8] Given the unusually high degree of correlation found in the study for both the highest levels of global volcanism and USA earthquake activity when compared to extended solar activity lows, it can be concluded that there exists a significant likelihood (greater than 80%) that the current recently started solar hibernation may result in historic scale global volcanic eruptions and record earthquake activity within the continental United States.
[9] The determination that solar activity cycles may indicate timing and intensity of geophysical events like volcanism and earthquakes points toward a possible connection between solar activity and the underlying cause of these geophysical events, namely plate tectonics.
[10] The solar hibernation identified by Casey (2008) is currently under way. The results of this study and the high correlation between described volcanism and earthquakes and solar hibernations warrants the widest dissemination of warnings to personnel and governing organizations in high risk geophysical zones. It is expected beginning at any time and during the next twenty years of the solar hibernation, that potentially historic volcanic eruptions are likely globally and similarly record setting new earthquakes are likely within the continental United States.
[11] Acknowledgements.
The Global Warming Art project and the GNU Free Document Licensing program in total, for their open availability of high fidelity graphical representation of important research data, especially by R.A Rhode and L. McInnes and data from Hoyt and Schatten. The US Geological Survey for historical data on USA earthquakes. The Smithsonian Institute for data on global volcanism.
References
Siebert L., Simkin T (2002-). Volcanoes of the World: an Illiustrated catalog of Holocene Volcanoes and their Eruptions. Smithsonian Institution, Global Volcanism Program Digital Information Series, GVP-3, (http:www.volcano.si.edu/world/).
USGS, Largest Earthquakes in the United States, June 07, 2005, http:www.earthquake.usgs.gov/regional/states/10_largest_us.php.
Casey, John L. (2008) The existence of ‘relational cycles’ of solar activity on a multi-decadal to centennial scale, as significant models of climate change on Earth, Research Report 1-2008, January 22, 2008, Space and Science Research Center, (SSRC).
_______________
John. L. Casey, President, Verity Mgmt. Svcs., Inc., and Director of the Space and Science Research Center (SSRC).
P.O. Box 607841, Orlando, Fl 32860
http://www.spaceandscience.net
3

robertvdl
March 11, 2011 4:37 pm

http://www.ustream.tv/discovery/live/all
[Reply: Please post a few words of explanation when posting a link. Thanks. ~dbs, mod.]

Keith Minto
March 11, 2011 4:41 pm

Not sure if this has been posted before, but this is Google’s Japan 2011 earthquake page with a good resources section with flight, blackout, transport, disaster and alarm information. Phone numbers and a people finder is there as well, looks like a timely and valuable link, perhaps needs to be at the top.
http://www.google.co.jp/intl/en/crisisresponse/japanquake2011.html
My thoughts are with the Japanese people at this terrible time.

Douglas
March 11, 2011 4:42 pm

tokyoboy says: March 11, 2011 at 3:56 pm
[Good morning folks, it’s 8:55 am now local time, Saturday, March 12.
Yesterday evening I had to walk home; 7-8 miles, 2.5 hours.—– I do feel natural disaster mitigation is much much more important than preparing for the imaginary AGW.]
—————————————————————————-
Tokyoboy Best wishes to you. Good to hear you made it home safely. Have followed your comments here. I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiment. You live in the real world.
BTW I have a nephew who lives near Tokyo – haven’t heard from him yet – and a niece who was saved from the PGG building in Christchurch – the February quake – she was lifted out by a crane when many of her workmates perished. These are real problems to face.
Douglas

tokyoboy
March 11, 2011 4:49 pm

DirkH says: March 11, 2011 at 4:30 pm
[…] the modern architecture of Tokyo withstood the quake so well.[….]
Yes, indeed; this morning most of public transportation lines are OK, and the street traffic is as that on normal Saturdays.
The only personal problem is that I was unable to get anything to eat for lunch at convenience stores, because last night many people had to stay in office and bought most of foods and drinks. Several stores are momentarily shut down due to lack of regular supply.
An on-board announcement in the subway I took was “We hope you get home safely” at 8:30 in the morning!

Keith G
March 11, 2011 4:50 pm

We live in Zushi. I was at work in Yokosuka, and it shook us pretty well, over 250 miles away. And it went on and on. Cars were jumping around like low-riders. I can’t imagine how horrible it must have been for those in Sendai and the other affected areas. Please keep everyone affected in your prayers.
This is a good time to remind everyone that you *REALLY* need to have a good emergency kit at home, in your car, and at work. We had pretty much a full kit, but by time we got home, it was pretty dark and we needed the car flashlight to locate the kit because the power was out. Under the stairs? In the closet? No, in the shed. It has been thankfully unused since we got it after Katrina. Still in good shape. Full kit information available at:
http://www.fema.gov/areyouready/assemble_disaster_supplies_kit.shtm
We were lucky because my wife was at school with my son and the girls’ day care is across the street from my work. Our electricity was up at work so we got the tsunami warning right away, and we kind of beat the rush home. The 30 minute drive still took almost 2 hours. People who left 15 minutes or so after me had a 4 hour drive.
Lessons learned? 1) Write up your family emergency plans, and e-mail it to yourself on your cell phone, iPhone, etc. Keep a copy at work in your kit and in your car kit. 2) Keep family e-mails and phone numbers in multiple locations. Wallet, cell phone, glove compartment, address book at work. After you get your family safe, distant friends and family will want to know you are OK. You MAY be able to text them if e-mail is down to ease their mind. 3) Have a plan as to who gets your children or elderly relatives in case of an emergency. We ended up with 4 children and one grandmother from the neighborhood for several hours. 4) Have an alternate cooking plan (grill or camp stove). You can always have peanut butter and jelly, but that gets old after a while. 5) Have a land line (non-cordless) since those may still work if power is out. 6) Have something for everyone to do to keep them calm. Kids can fill up water jugs and the bathtub (in case water stops–helps with flushing the toilet). 7) Check on and talk to neighbors. You’re in it together. 8) Conditions may change. Power was on at work, I had no idea it was off at home since cell phones were busy and texting barely worked. 9) An emergency radio is handy–if you’re international, you may not understand local warnings. 10) I happened to have my car, but many people ended up walking because the trains were stopped and buses were full. 11) The people on bikes and scooters were making MUCH better time than those of us in cars. Also, I could have walked the 7 miles home as quickly as I drove; but had the 5-year old twins so it wasn’t an option. Get the best information you have and make the best choice you can. Take into consideration who you have to care for, what you need, where you are going, and the level of your gas tank. A 7 mile drive took the car from half full to a quarter tank, and there was no chance to refill the tank once we hit neighborhoods without power.
We were thankfully spared from everything other than some minor inconveniences, but it was truly an eye-opening experience. An event 250 miles away caused us to lose power, get in traffic snarls, broke the family into 2 units that could not communicate, left friends stranded miles away and children in need of adult supervision, and gave concern to family and friends because we couldn’t tell them we were okay. To be quite honest, our plans were barely adequate and our kit only good for the situation we were in. If the quake had been closer, we would have been in a bad situation. And even if the situation of yesterday evening had continued (power off and 5 extra people), I’m not sure how long we would have been good for. Maybe several days.
Seriously, take time this weekend to write a plan, update your safety kit, and make sure you have one at home, in your car, and at work. Spend the money to get yourself prepared. We took the time after Katrina and are glad we did. We are even MORE glad that this little test run was mercifully easy on us. Should there be a next time, we will be much better prepared!!
God bless and keep you, and don’t forget to pray for the poor people of Northeastern Honshu.

Mark Twang
March 11, 2011 5:03 pm

It’s really too bad Dubya is no longer around to take the blame for things like this.

tokyoboy
March 11, 2011 5:12 pm

Part of photonews by Asahi Newspaper online site (may undergo updating):
http://www.asahi.com/photonews/
Top 6 photos are on the quake (from left top clockwise):
1. Kesennuma city (near epicenter): ships and housed washed away.
2. Kesennuma city: large-area fire.
3. Chiba: oil tank explosion.
4. Tokyo: smoke from fire.
5. Chiba: oil refinery fire.
6. Fukushima (nearer to epicenter) : tsunami disaster.

Alan Wilkinson
March 11, 2011 5:12 pm

Although it was 8.9 magnitude compared with the Christchurch 6.3, the peak ground acceleration in Christchurch was a massive 2.2g compared with only 0.82g in this one:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_ground_acceleration
This tsunami was likely the main killer.

March 11, 2011 5:22 pm

NZ, then Japan. Maybe now it’s California’s turn.

sky
March 11, 2011 5:25 pm

Small silver lining: the tsunami damage in Japan would have been even worse if the quake had not occurred near low tide.

fhsiv
March 11, 2011 5:50 pm

MS said: “The moon causes tides in the ocean. Does it create anything comparable, though of smaller amplitude, within the lava below earth’s crust ?”
Earth tides are partly controlled by the moon. Check out the link below for a good summary and some referneces:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_tide
Wikipedia is not totally worthless!

Bob Diaz
March 11, 2011 6:01 pm

Like others, I am shocked at the level and scale of the destruction. I hate to think of what the final total for loss of life, injury, and property damage will be.
However, some people just don’t understand the real reason for the quake. I guess plate tectonics is a bit too much for them to understand…
http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f103/KQ6WQ/Motivational/You_Failed_Science.jpg
Bob Diaz

Les Francis
March 11, 2011 6:02 pm

From Lubos Motls’s site.
An interesting statistic

three out of six largest earthquakes since 1900 took place in the recent 6 years.

John Whitman
March 11, 2011 6:15 pm

1F1 Nuclear Unit – my understanding is that venting the secondary contaiment gases through the existing SBGT system would be a normal backup approach in an emergency situation like the one that seems to have occurred.
The highest priority is to resupply electrical power to replace the power lost from both grid and the EDGs (emergency diesel generators).
My latest understanding is there is a reasoned well organized and calmly controlled approach being taken. Love those guys.
John

Stephan
March 11, 2011 6:22 pm

The ONLY factor that has changed is prolonged minimal /or changed solar activity (SNN, FLUX, geomagnetic, etc, see all WUWT postings about this), nothing else has. please note.
Nota Bene: current temps are -0.353C AMSU and has been below anomaly for 3 months now. Global warming ain’t correlated guys.

KevinK
March 11, 2011 6:23 pm

Totally separate from my beliefs about “AGW”, my thoughts and prayers (no offense intended) are with the folks in Japan, hopefully their thoughtful preparations and good luck will help to reduce the inevitable suffering from these events that seem to exceed our ability to predict them.

Stephan
March 11, 2011 6:25 pm

Of course PREVIOUS solar minima should be checked against previous earthquakes etc.

March 11, 2011 6:35 pm

This article has good information on the Japan nuclear power plant emergency. The comments that follow are also quite interesting.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703597804576194123030511478.html?mod=WSJ_hp_MIDDLETopStories
I am on record as opposed to all nuclear power plants, especially new nuclear power plants. This earthquake and the current emergency is but one of the reasons.

Dave Worley
March 11, 2011 6:58 pm

Such an act of nature brings into perspective the relative weakness of terrorist acts, climate change and so many other things we are led to believe that we should fear.
Technology now allows us to witness this catastrophe and to imagine ourselves in the place of these poor souls.
And yet the majority of people in the free world are resting in the comfort of our homes.
Prayers to the many people suffering tonight.
Hope for a better tomorrow.
Thanks for the comfort we enjoy.

Ian Cooper
March 11, 2011 7:11 pm

Heard earlier today on CNN that the magnitude was upgraded to 9.1! Has anyone else seen, or heard this. Certainly puts this quake into the top ten recorded.
The loss of life has already exceeded that from Chritchurch less than three weeks ago. If it weren’t for the tsunami we could have expected a lot fewer deaths thanks to the preparidness of the Japenese people and authorities. The thoughts of all Kiwis are with the people of Japan at this difficult time.
[ryanm: USGS still has 8.9. other agencies offer their own estimates]

RoHa
March 11, 2011 7:12 pm

My wife spent a good chunk of last night trying to get through to her family. They are OK. Her neice’s husband has a small demolition company, and was doing a job in Tokyo when the local people came and complained that his bulldozer was making the whole neighbourhood shake. So now we know who to blame.
But, if no-one else has done, I’m going to blame it on Global Warming.

Steve
March 11, 2011 7:23 pm

It didn’t take long for Global Warming to get the blame it seems: http://dailycaller.com/2011/03/11/some-respond-to-japan-earthquake-by-pointing-to-global-warming/#ixzz1GLLpfH3q
(pitiful)

Dave Worley
March 11, 2011 7:29 pm

Roger Sowell,
I’ll wager that this earthquake will prove how wrong you are.
The comments to your article are from folks who know as little about nuclear energy as President Obama.
Embarrasing having him offer assistance to the Japanese.

BFL
March 11, 2011 7:32 pm

Since there is some evidence that extended solar minimums are tied to volcanism/earth quakes and those minimums also influence cooling, maybe possible that mantle rock contraction from the cooling would open magma seals and cause movement in slip faults?

Ulric Lyons
March 11, 2011 7:36 pm

I`m surprised no one has mentioned the solar proton burst:
http://www.lmsal.com/solarsoft/latest_events/

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
March 11, 2011 7:52 pm

From Roger Sowell on March 11, 2011 at 6:35 pm:

I am on record as opposed to all nuclear power plants, especially new nuclear power plants. This earthquake and the current emergency is but one of the reasons.

This is a reason to use CANDU reactors. Use low-grade fuel that must be prodded into having fast-enough fission reactions, rather than high-grade fuel that must be restrained from having too-fast fission reactions.

Mariss
March 11, 2011 8:10 pm

We had a really impressive 6″ (150 mm) tsunami here in Hawaii at 3AM. It was worth it staying up to see it.:-)

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
March 11, 2011 8:24 pm

From Mark Twang on March 11, 2011 at 4:10 pm:

“Today’s tsunami: This is what climate change looks like”
From the website “Grist”. They call themselves “a beacon in the smog”.

Grist: (bold added)

The proverb “all is grist for the mill” means “everything can be made useful, or be a source of profit.

Too true.

Alan Wilkinson
March 11, 2011 8:54 pm

Big earthquakes are not new:
Here are the largest magnitude earthquakes in history, according to the USGS website:
– 9.5, Chile, May 5, 1960. A quake off the coast of southern Chile killed more than 1,600 people and left 2,000,000 homeless.
– 9.2, Alaska, United States, March 27, 1964. A quake and tsunami killed 128 people and caused severe damage to the state’s largest city Anchorage.
– 9.1, Indonesia, December 26, 2004. An undersea quake caused a massive tsunami that devastated coastlines in countries around the Indian Ocean, ultimately killing more than 220,000 people.
– 9.0, Russia, November 4, 1952. A quake off the coast of the remote Kamchatka peninsula in Russia’s far east caused Pacific-wide tsunamis.
– 9.0, Peru, August 13, 1868. The port of Arica, which is now part of Chile, was hit by a quake felt up to 1,400 kilometres (870 miles) away.
– 9.0, North America, January 26, 1700. A quake affecting 1,000 kilometres of coastline set off a tsunami that crossed the Pacific Ocean and caused damage to coastal villages in Japan.
– 8.9, Japan, March 11, 2011. An undersea quake off northeast Japan unleashed a 10-metre-high tsunami which left devastation in its wake.
– 8.8, Chilean coast, February 27, 2010. An offshore quake and tsunami killed more than 500 people, most in the coastal area of Maule, 400 kilometres (250 miles) south-west of the capital Santiago.
– 8.8, Ecuador, January 31, 1906. A quake struck off the coast of Ecuador and Colombia and was felt as far away as San Francisco.
– 8.7, Alaska, February 4, 1965. A quake in the remote Rat Islands generated a tsunami reported to be 10 metres high.
– 8.7, Portugal, November 1, 1755. The capital Lisbon was struck by a quake while many residents were in church. A quarter of the city’s population perished.
– 8.7, Chile, July 8, 1730. A quake hit the city of Valparaiso, 120 kilometres northwest of the capital Santiago, causing a tsunami which hit more than 1,000 kilometres of coastline.

March 11, 2011 8:56 pm

Tokyo skyscrapers swaying in earthquake

Editor
March 11, 2011 9:15 pm

Smokey says:
March 11, 2011 at 5:22 pm
> NZ, then Japan. Maybe now it’s California’s turn.
Be very careful in looking for patterns in a series of random events. People do that all the time – they’re called winning streaks and loosing streaks. Besides, you left out China and Hawaii.
Turkey and Afghanistan are always good choices.
These days I feel more concerned about St. Louis than San Francisco.