Japan's Prime Minister has said that this is the worst crises in Japan since WWII. As of 7AM Pacific time today, Sunday 3/13/2011, the official death number is 1200. One regional official alone, said that in his region the numbers will undoubtedly be in the tens of thousands.
200,000 people in Fukushima near the nuclear power plant have been evacuated. Those who may have been exposed to radiation are being handed out iodine to treat it just to be cautious. There was an explosion at one reactor on Saturday. They fear another explosion in a different reactor at the same plant.
Many people are trying to understand the power and repercussions of this quake and tsunami. Fareed Zakaria put it this way: "If you take the quake that hit New Zealand recently and multiply it by 1,000 you would get the one that hit Japan. Or if you remember the one that devastated Haiti last year, this one is several hundred times more powerful. That's why despite all the precautions and preparedness, the devastation has been so great." A stream along the bottom of the page on Fareed's show said: "Quake moved Japan's coast either feet; shifted Earth's axis."
The BBC has stated its the 7th most powerful earthquake in recorded history.
The world is sending aide. The U.S.S Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier has arrived today and has made dozens of trips sending aide. Three of ten US ships have arrived to give aide in Japan. Has anyone noticed how it took three days for help to arrive during Katrina, but Japan much further away is receiving aide so quickly?
According to the ABC web site: "The tsunami raced across the Pacific at 500 mph, the first sirens began sounding across Hawaii late Thursday night. Early Friday, the tsunami waves reached Hawaii, tossing boats in Honolulu. The water covered beachfront roads and rushed into hotels on the Big Island. The waves carried a house out to sea. Seven-foot waves flooded low-lying areas in Maui. As the sun rose, people breathed a sigh of relief."
Brookings, Oregon (OregonLive.com)They also said that: "Outside Brookings, Ore., just north of the California border, four people went to a beach to watch the waves and were swept into the sea. Two got out on their own, and the others were rescued, authorities said. Brookings harbor saw the worst reported damage in the state with half the facility destroyed and 10 boats sunk, Curry County Sheriff John Bishop said."
Crescent City marina (OregonLive.com)"In Crescent City, California, an 8-foot wave rushed into the harbor, destroying about 35 boats and ripping chunks off the wooden docks, as marina workers and fishermen scrambled between surges to secure property. Officials estimated millions of dollars in damage.
"Scientists warned that the first tsunami waves are not always the strongest. The threat can last for several hours and people should watch out for strong currents. U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Ken Hudnut said residents along the coast should heed any calls for evacuation."
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center site has posted this bulletin:
A WIDESPREAD DESTRUCTIVE TSUNAMI HAS OCCURRED, AND TSUNAMI WAVES HAVE NOW CROSSED THE ENTIRE PACIFIC. FOR ALL AREAS - WHEN NO MAJOR WAVES ARE OBSERVED FOR TWO HOURS AFTER THE ESTIMATED TIME OF ARRIVAL OR DAMAGING WAVES HAVE NOT OCCURRED FOR AT LEAST TWO HOURS THEN LOCAL AUTHORITIES CAN ASSUME THE THREAT IS PASSED.
DANGER TO BOATS AND COASTAL STRUCTURES CAN CONTINUE FOR SEVERAL HOURS DUE TO RAPID CURRENTS. AS LOCAL CONDITIONS CAN CAUSE A WIDE VARIATION IN TSUNAMI WAVE ACTION THE ALL CLEAR DETERMINATION MUST BE MADE BY LOCAL AUTHORITIES. DUE TO LOCAL EFFECTS SOME AREAS MAY CONTINUE TO EXPERIENCE SMALL SEA LEVEL CHANGES FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD LASTING HOURS OR EVEN DAYS.
FOR ALL AREAS COVERED BY THIS CENTER...THE TSUNAMI WARNING IS CANCELED.
THIS WILL BE THE FINAL BULLETIN ISSUED FOR THIS EVENT UNLESS ADDITIONAL INFORMATION BECOMES AVAILABLE.
THE JAPAN METEOROLOGICAL AGENCY MAY ALSO ISSUE TSUNAMI MESSAGES FOR THIS EVENT TO COUNTRIES IN THE NORTHWEST PACIFIC AND SOUTH CHINA SEA REGION. IN CASE OF CONFLICTING INFORMATION... THE MORE CONSERVATIVE INFORMATION SHOULD BE USED FOR SAFETY.
THE WEST COAST/ALASKA TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER WILL ISSUE PRODUCTS FOR ALASKA... BRITISH COLUMBIA... WASHINGTON... OREGON... CALIFORNIA.