Japan Sendai Quake and Tsunami: big photo gallery

[Related BB post: "Japan hit by catastrophic 8.9 magnitude quake, massive tsunami sweeps country"]

An office building burns in Tokyo after an earthquake March 11, 2011. A massive 8.9 magnitude quake hit northeast Japan on Friday, causing many injuries, fires and a four-meter (13-foot) tsunami along parts of the country's coastline, NHK television and witnesses reported. There were several strong aftershocks and a warning of a 10-meter (32-foot) tsunami following the quake, which also caused buildings to shake violently in the capital Tokyo. (photos: REUTERS/Kyodo)

People take shelter as a ceiling collapses in a bookstore during an earthquake in Sendai, northeastern Japan March 11, 2011.

A building burns after an earthquake in the Odaiba district of Tokyo.

Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan reacts he he feels an earthquake as he attends a committee meeting in the upper house of parliament in Tokyo (REUTERS / Toru Hanai)

Rescue workers hurry to a building following reports of injuries in Tokyo's financial district after an earthquake off the coast of northern Japan (REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon)

Woman wears hard hat and talks on phone after evacuating building in Tokyo's financial district, after earthquake off the coast of northern Japan. (REUTERS/Kim Kyung Hoon)

People stand outside after evacuating buildings in Tokyo's financial district in Tokyo after an earthquake off the coast of northern Japan. (REUTERS/Toru Hanai)


  1. Kia Kaha Japan, goodness.
    Is it not disconcerting that one of the first concerns the prime minister addressed was the state of the nuclear plants? crikey

    1. Odd comment… Could you imagine the dilemma if there was something badly wrong with a nuclear plant? The disaster could get even worse if there was anything wrong? The place could be without power or worse, there could be some kind of explosion/leak. I’m sure they’ve had enough of nuclear power before.

    2. that area has a lot of nuclear power plants.. i guess the PM wanted to reassure people that at the moment there’s no known radiation leak

    3. Not really, if they started going badly it would make the entire events much worse, plus having power for emergency services is also key, so really it sort of makes sense.

    4. Chernobil… I read that the government of Ukraine will open the disaster area to the tourists. Can you imagine it? Visiting a radioactive area? You´ll come back home glowiing in the dark…

    5. Do you really not consider avoiding another Chernobyl a top priority? A nuclear meltdown could make the area uninhabitable for hundreds of years!

      1. It’s time we started using the sun and wind and sea for energy that is safe, especially in places where we are at the mercy of natural events.

        I can’t imagine how it was for the people in Japan, I have nothing to reference it to except two very small quakes that we had here in uk. I hope the people who have survived will be cared for.

        I think it’s ironic to pray for people if you believe that there is “a god” who has power to prevent these events, but I share the sentiment of feeling hopelessly unable to do anything useful myself.

    6. If the quake ruptured the nuclear plants you could have a meltdown. Those plants SHOULD be top priority to avert further disaster.

  2. Our thoughts and blessings are for all of Japan that have and will suffer from this horrible event.
    J. Davis

  3. Good luck Japan. You stood with us here in NZ (and are still here helping with the rescue effort) when Christchurch was hit 2 weeks ago. I’m sure we will do everything we can to return the love.

    1. Good point “danielpresling”. We are all here to help eachother… and if we are prepared we will not fear:)

  4. seedymckenzie
    No not disconcerting at all. Shows that the Japanese are well prepared and understand where their major risks are in a disaster.
    A radiation leak can potentially cause far more long term harm to more people than the actual earthquake/tsunami combination. Remember Chernobyl? people are still suffering from that.

  5. If it was not Japan, but another country, everyone would be died by now. Japan is prepared for things like this very well. Admire it. Thank you Japanese people

  6. The death toll will have to be huge in the thousands, or hundreds of thousands. Miyagi was just wiped out. My sympathy to the people of Japan.

  7. I am a 7 year veteran of the U.S military and have spent time visiting and working in your wonderful country.

    My experience of working with Japanese people has left me with the impression that if there is anyone on

    this planet who can design, build, maintain and operate a safe nuclear power plant – the Japanese are

    those people. I extend my sympathies for those who lost friends and family members and prayers for the

    whole country.

  8. yes, i am well aware of Chernobyl and the grave seriousness of nuclear threat. That is why i felt disconcerted. I’m unaccustomed to the security of nuclear plants being a primary concern, as there aren’t any nukes anywhere near me. i apologise for the naievety of the comment. just disconcerting. thoughts and prayers with all in japan

  9. I sympathize with Japanese people in their worst natural catastrophe of Earthquake –Tsunami. I pray for them so that they can overcome the catastrophic affect and hope everybody would come ahead by Japanese people in their need.

  10. there is a good reasong for the PM commenting on the status of the nuclear power plants, If the damage to them is bad then the residents around them not only have the earthquake and tsunami damage to worry about but also radiation…do you remember Chernobyl??

  11. BBC / AJE (I was channel-hopping, forgive the poor cite) said that the Onagawa and Fukushima power plants had shut down automatically. Yay good design!

    There’s plenty to worry about with a many-metre wall of water full of buildings and vehicles and other grinding horror, without having to invoke boojums.


    1. Tatebayashi is about 300 km from the epicentre, and well inland, so probably not much more shaken than Tokyo. The major casualties and damage seem to be in Sendai and the coast nearby.

    2. Gunma is inland. I’m sure people felt the quake, but it wouldn’t have been strong enough to cause any damage. And certainly no tsunami.

    3. Tatebashi, Gunma is quite far from the earthquake and did not get damaged very badly from the earthquake, and they do not touch the ocean, so the tsunami did not affect them…hope that helps!

    4. Tatebayashi is about an hour from Tokyo but not towards the Tsunami, more east I think. I have been there and have some friends there so I checked out if there was any damage and I’m getting nothing coming up serious but the earthquake was felt there as I have read some blogs. Hope this helps.

  13. “You´ll come back home glowiing in the dark…”

    I was in chernobyl 1,5 years ago and I didnt come back home glowiing…of course its not an ideal tourist place to visit, but I must admid that visiting there was very interesting. Yes there is radioactivity everywhere,so we could walk only in the safest places…but our guide example ate an apple from the tree near chernobyl:)..I was like, wtf….but there has been thousands of tourist in chernobyl, before I was even there..It has been open to the tourists but now ukraine government has made it official..best time to visit there is autumn or winter because radioactivity is not that strong during that time. If you go there in the hot summer time,its a bit risky because they have evacuate some tourist groubs from there because radioactivity has been dangerous high in the summer time..–>forest fires etc…

    but seeing an empty 50 000 people pripyat city was quite touching…they left in very hurry from the city in 1986…

    glowing guy from Finland

  14. This is a sad day. I hope that my friends in Sendai are alright, and I wish I had a way of finding out.

    1. Google has a person-finder: http://japan.person-finder.appspot.com/?lang=en
      and all of the Japanese companies have a special messageboard where you can enter someone’s number and find out if they’ve left a message, or if you’re in Japan, you can call 171 and check someone’s number to see if they’ve called in recently.

  15. I hope the best for all people in Japan. I am from Portugal but concerned about the situation over there.

  16. Our thoughts and prayers are with Japan and especially the friends in Kesennuma and Tokyo who hosted our son during his Rotary Youth Exchange year.

  17. Japanese law requires them to declare a nuclear emergency given the conditions of the Fukui reactor. It is 95% under control now. It was our country’s first declared Nuclear Emergency.

    Thank you to everyone who has shown their support since this disaster occurred. Please keep Japan in your thoughts and prayers.

  18. The footage of the tsunamis is absolutely terrifying… just totally unstoppable. got a quick email from my brother in Tokyo (under a desk) and he said that it just kept going and going and going. I assume he’s fine but haven’t heard anything since then, but I imagine he’s just trying to get home which may take a while without the subways running…

  19. A 3-kilometer evacuation has been ordered around the Fukushima plant. Apparently they have insufficient backup power to run coolant pumps necessary to stabilize the reactor.

    From CNN: “Fire broke out at a second facility, the Onagawa plant, but crews were able to put that fire out, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency.
    Edano said workers at the Fukushima Daiichi plant were having trouble generating sufficient electricity to pump water into the cooling system. They were using all available backup electricity, he said.
    “The emergency shutdown has been conducted but the process of cooling down the reaction is currently not going as planned,” he said.”

  20. Japan has the power and wisdom to overcome even worse events. Persaonal inconveniences are nothing compared to the loss of lives. The people of Sendai will overcome this disaster and rise again like the phoenix.

  21. My sources tell me Fukushima-daiici unit 2 may be in trouble. They have ordered the evacuation of the 2km radius, as a precaution.
    Sad day for nukes, my friends. Sad day for Japan.

  22. Japan is a country (and a people) which has been in my heart and mind for most of my life and never far from my thoughts.

    I join others in Britain and throughout the world in sending this tiny message of support and sympathy during this terrible dark time.

    Being the pragmatic and industrious people they are I know the people of that great country will rebuild but our hearts go out to all those who have suffered and will suffer the effects of this catastrophe in the future.

  23. My families thoughts are with anyone in Japan and who are hurting from the recent disasters in Japan.

  24. i watched for a few minutes and then had to turn away,this is going to turn out worse than we can think of..and i’m not talking about the power plant.


  26. In defence of seedymckenzie:
    I read the comment that it IS a worry about the nuclear plants when it is the ‘first’ thing the Prime Minister mentions. I did not see snark in it. I agree. While at work we discussed this may put the ‘new green’ sensibility of nuclear power back decades if these things melt.

    Also, at work most of us are atheists, so you are not in our prayers but we are/were certainly shocked and you have our sincere sympathies and best wishes. The power of nature is indeed frightening.

  27. we had a cuddly earthquake in west germany just last week. no big deal. this one is from a different drawer. i visited japan many times and know how great this country is. my thoughts are with those affected … dominik von muehlberg, berlin.

  28. I am sorry for this disaster quake, and I hope Japanese can pass this condition successfully.

  29. Hi Entomological Friends of Japan :

    If you know me and need help please email me . I can provide food and shelter
    in my home, Malaysia. Your friend – K.C. Liew of Taiping.

  30. God bless Japan. We are all praying for you. My heart goes out to the victims. I feel so bad about this incident. Soon Japan will rise again!

  31. God Save Japan You will rise again once all these is over God Bless You and All your Love Ones Be Brave now and You will LIGHT at the end of all this GOD SAVE JAPAN thank you

  32. I feel very scared and sorry for Japan, I hope everything gets better soon, the last thing anyone want is a repeat of Chernobyl

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