Posted at 03:09 PM ET, 03/14/2011

Japan earthquake and tsunami: Live updates day four


Japan Self-Defense Forces officers search for victims in Higashimatsushima City, Miyagi Prefecture in northern Japan, March 14, 2011. (KYODO - REUTERS)

As Japan deals with day three of devastation after an 8.9-magnitude earthquake and powerful tsunami, and the threat of a nuclear meltdown, we’ll be following along with live updates here.

JAPAN: 6:20 a.m. (JST), Tuesday /5:52 p.m. (ET), Monday

We’re closing up for the night. Thanks fo reading today, and come back tomorrow for more updates as we follow Japan’s recovery.

JAPAN: 6:20 a.m. (JST), Tuesday /5:20 p.m. (ET), Monday

Earthquake shakes Tokyo

The earthquake that shook Tokyo had a magnitude of 4.1 jolted the Tokyo area and hit around 5 a.m. local time onTuesday, public broadcaster NHK said, according to AP. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage and no tsunami warning was issued.

JAPAN: 5:05 a.m. (JST), Tuesday / 4:05 p.m. (ET), Monday

Earthquake shakes Tokyo

According to witness, an earthquake shakes buildings in Tokyo, Reuters reported. We’ll update you when we here more.

Tokyo Times tweeted:

That was a big quake. I thought these aftershocks were supposed to be getting smaller...less than a minute ago via Twittelator

JAPAN: 4:05 a.m. (JST), Tuesday / 3:05 p.m. (ET), Monday

Red Cross tweets thanks

The Red Cross, who has offered “shelter and comfort” to many victim of the Japan quake and tsunami, tweeted their gratitude for one of the many origami cranes left by passengers at Yokota Air Base, Japan thanking them for their efforts.


JAPAN: 4:05 a.m. (JST), Tuesday / 3:05 p.m. (ET), Monday

Fuel rods exposed at Japan nuke plant

Fuel rods have been exposed at the Unit 2 reactor at Japan’s stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant. WATCH:

JAPAN: 3:05 a.m. (JST), Tuesday / 2:05 p.m. (ET), Monday

Cost of Japan disaster at least $180 billion

Japan faces a recovery and reconstruction bill of at least $180 billion, or 3 percent of its annual economic output, Reuters reported.

JAPAN: 2:30 a.m. (JST), Tuesday / 1:30 p.m. (ET), Monday

Death toll

Japan’s death toll reaches 1,897, with at least 3,002 missing, CNN reported.

JAPAN: 2:12 a.m. (JST), Tuesday / 1:12 p.m. (ET), Monday

Rescue personnel has been doubled to find victims


A survivor of the tsunami that swept through his village of Saito, in northeastern Japan, retells the story to a rescue team that arrived to search the area Monday, March 14, 2011. (David Guttenfelder - AP)

Disaster experts say the next 48 hours are critical when it comes to finding survivors in Japan, according to Al Jazeera. The number of military personnel has been doubled to 100,000 to try to improve their chances.

JAPAN: 1:12 a.m. (JST), Tuesday / 12:12 p.m. (ET), Monday

Facebook plots Japan updates around the world

Facebook has plotted user updates on the tsunami and earthquake by place and time on a map, collecting information on 4.5 million status updates from 3.8 million users, BBC reported. Facebook tracked the words 'Japan', 'earthquake' and 'tsunami'.
Check out the moving map here:

JAPAN: 12:50 a.m. (JST), Tuesday / 11:50 a.m. (ET), Monday

Obama ‘heartbroken’ over Japan devastation

Obama pledges the United States 'will stand with the people of Japan' in difficult days ahead. WATCH:

JAPAN: 12:35 a.m. (JST), Tuesday / 11:35 a.m. (ET), Monday

In a press conference, Tokyo Electric Power Company said fuel rods at the troubled Fukushima Daiichi Number 2 unit are exposed again, according to local media, Reuters reported.

Those watching the press conference were largely unimpressed. Here are some of their tweets:

I now understand why NHK leaves press conferences early... This is just a mess.less than a minute ago via web

Why is it so hard for Japanese to say "I don't know"; the press can't expect the speaker to know all the details of what's going onless than a minute ago via web

JAPAN: 12:30 a.m. (JST), Tuesday / 11:30 a.m. (ET), Monday

Footage of Japan tsunami the moment the tsunami hit

Amateur footage has emerged that shows boats being overturned in the fishing port of Miyako and cars being carried away in Kamaishi city. WATCH:

JAPAN: 12:05 a.m. (JST), Tuesday / 11:05 a.m. (ET), Monday

IAEA director general releases statement on nuclear power plant

Yukiya Amano, the Internataional Atomic Energy Agency, director general, has released the following statement on the nuclear power plant. WATCH:

Amano is expected to give a press conference in the next few hours. We’ll update as it happens.

JAPAN: 11:49 p.m. (JST) / 10:49 a.m. (ET), Monday

Freezing weather increases hardship for victims and rescuers


In this March 13, 2011 photo, three women wrap themselves up in blankets at an evacuation center in Yamadamachi in Iwate Prefecture after spending a cold night following Friday's powerful earthquake and tsunami that hit the country's northeast coast. (Takashi Ozaki - AP)

Cold weather has increased the hardship for disaster victims and rescuers, CNN reported.
 

Some victims have been exposed to cold weather and water for days, rescuers report. Conditions are expected to worsen with temperatures forecast to drop below freezing by Wednesday across parts of the earthquake zone.
 

JAPAN: 11:28 p.m. (JST) / 10:28 a.m. (ET), Monday

Japan, before and after


This combo made from images provided by GeoEye shows the Arahama area of Sendai, Japan on April 10, 2010, left, and March 12, 2011, after an 8.9-magnitude earthquake struck causing a tsunami that devastated the region. (AP/ GeoEye)

See more photos of Japan, before and after, here.

JAPAN: 11:22 p.m. (JST) / 10:22 a.m. (ET), Monday

Sendai devastated, without basic supplies


The interior of a restaurant is strewn with debris after the recent tsunami, close to the airport in Sendai on March 14, 2011. (PHILIPPE LOPEZ - AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
In Sendai, a city of 1 million that now has little electricity or gasoline, many people are on a desperate quest for food or supplies, Andrew Higgins reported.  

The devastation along Sendai’s waterfront is catastrophic. “Across an expanse of what used to be residences and factories now stretches a smoke-covered vista of crunched cars, uprooted houses and shredded roads,” Higgins reports. One line on the subway system is still running, but trains to Tokyo and elsewhere have all stopped.  Food shops and restaurants are closed. The city center has little physical damage but the city is seizing up from lack of basic supplies.

One reporter tweeted from Sendai:

People in Sendai whose homes don't have water, gas, electricity are offered places to stay temporarily in school gyms.less than a minute ago via HootSuite

JAPAN: 11:05 p.m. (JST) / 10:05 a.m. (ET), Monday

Japanese stock markets fall

Japanese stock markets fell more than 6 percent Monday as the country’s manufacturers shuttered plants to assess damage and deal with power shortages, and the nation’s economy wrestled with the impact of not only a natural disaster but lingering concerns about nuclear safety., Howard Schneider reported Monday. Read more here.

JAPAN: 11:00 p.m. (JST) / 10:00 a.m. (ET), Monday

Rescue efforts continue in submerged Kesennuma

Rescue efforts continue in Kesennuma, a city in Northeast Miyagi that was submerged in water and engulfed in flames after the tsunami hit, the Boston Globe reported. Kesennuma, whose coastline forms part of a national park, has a population of 74,000 

Three days later, wrecked cars and trucks lay in heaps of rubble, broken houses have been swept down the river, and the numbers of people lost are yet to be estimated, Japanese paper the Daily Yomiuri reported.

Satoshi Abe, a 55-year-old office worker in Kesennuma, told the Daily Yomiuri, "This is a hellish sight I can hardly believe.”

Footage captures the unstoppable tide of water and sludge as it spreads across Kesennuma:

One journalist tweeted:

Long day at Kesennuma Port, which is devastated. Many areas burning. Search teams with dogs in ruins. They found old couple alive. Great!less than a minute ago via TweetDeck

JAPAN: 10:50 p.m. (JST) / 9:50 a.m. (ET), Monday

4 millioni kW of thermal power to be restored soon

Tokyo Electric Power Company says it is working to restore 4 million kW of thermal power soon, with 2.5 million kW to come back online within a week, Reuters reported.

JAPAN: 10:25 p.m. (JST) / 9:25 a.m. (ET), Monday

Twitter implores government’s tireless spokesman to get some rest

Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano has been working tirelessly, and he needs to get some rest, Japanese twitter users said Monday.

The hashtag #edano_nero has become a global trending topic on Twitter. “Nero” means to sleep in Japanese.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s right-hand man, Edano has won respect after attending endless press conferences at all hours of the day and night to relay every development since the earthquake and tsunami hit.

A Twitter trend has become popular around the prime minister as well, but his is #kan_okiro. “Okiro” means to wake up in Japanese.

Popular Japanese blogger Michael Gakuran tweeted:

#edano_nero is trending! It means 'go to sleep, Edano!' The wishes of fellow Twitterers who see a tireless man working morning and nightless than a minute ago via web

JAPAN: 10:08 p.m. (JST) / 9:08 a.m. (ET), Monday

Rescue operations continue in Miyagi prefecture


A Japan Self-Defense Forces officer smiles as he holds a four-month-old baby girl who was rescued along with her family members from their home in Ishimaki City, Miyagi Prefecture in northern Japan, March 14, 2011. (YOMIURI - REUTERS)


Japanese Self Defence Force soldiers continue rescue operations in Miyagi prefecture, where local authorities fear more than 10,000 may have died in that prefecture alone, Reuters reported. On Monday, 1,000 washed up bodies were found scattered across Miyagi’s coastline.

JAPAN: 9:50 p.m. (JST) / 8:50 a.m. (ET), Monday

Volcano resumes eruptions

If you missed it yesterday, a volcano in southern Japan has resumed eruptions Sunday, the Japan's Meteorological Agency said in a warning. The volcano started spewing ash and rock again after a couple quiet weeks.

The mountain is on an island, 950 miles from the epicenter of Friday's earthquake, and it is unclear if the eruptions were linked to quake.

Watch video that purportedly shows the volcano erupt:

JAPAN: 9:40 p.m. (JST) / 8:40 a.m. (ET), Monday

Death toll rises

Japan's death toll has reached 1,833, CNN reported. At least 2,369 are missing.

JAPAN: 9:30 p.m. (JST) / 8:30 a.m. (ET), Monday

Map of stranded in Minamisanriku

Yesterday we reported on Minamisanriku, the town hardest hit by the destruction of earthquake and tsunami, with about 10,000 people missing. A google map is now out that shows tweets and texts from people stranded in Minamisanriku. (View in the browser Google Chrome to translate from Japanese to English.)

JAPAN: 9:15 p.m. (JST) / 8:15 a.m. (ET), Monday

Governments reexamine nuclear power plants as Japan battles to contain a nuclear meltdown

Anxiety over Japan's quake-stricken nuclear reactors has caused governments to review their energy policy.

U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said Sunday on CBS television's Face the Nation: “I don't want to stop the building of nuclear power plants, but I think we've got to kind of quietly put, quickly put, the brakes on until we can absorb what has happened in Japan.” WATCH:

Switzerland’s energy minister said Monday that the country is suspending approvals to replace three of its nuclear power stations, Reuters reported.

In Germany, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said Monday that individual nuclear power plants could be shut down on safety grounds, the Wall Street Journal reported. If German reactors were found to have inadequate cooling systems, the facilities would be shut down and upgraded, Westerwelle said.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Russia has no plans to change its domestic nuclear energy program, Reuters reported.


A combo of screen grabs taken from news footage by Japanese public broadcaster NHK on March 14, 2011 shows the moment of a hydrogen explosion at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station number three reactor on March 14, 2011. (NHK - AFP/Ho/GETTY IMAGES)

JAPAN: 9:00 p.m. (JST) / 8:00 a.m. (ET), Monday

New hydrogen blast at troubled plant injures 11; U.S. ships move away from plant

A new explosion ripped through the quake-stricken nuclear plant in nuclear Japan Monday, injuring 11 people, one of them seriously, Chico Harlan and Steven Mufson reported.

The hydrogen blast was reported at unit 3 of the Fukushima Daiichi plant as hundreds of people were tested for radiation exposure and the death toll in Japan continued to climb. The blast raised new fears of a possible nuclear meltdown. A Japanese government official separately said that a third reactor at the six-reactor facility had lost its cooling capacity.

The explosion at unit 3 did not damage the core containment structure, but did prompt Japan’s nuclear agency to warn those within 12 miles to stay indoors and keep air conditioners off.

The U.S. Seventh Fleet said Monday it had moved its ships and aircraft away from the plant after discovering low-level radioactive contamination.

The fleet said that the radiation was from a plume of smoke and steam released from the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan was about 100 miles offshore when its instruments detected the radiation. The fleet said the dose of radiation was about the same as one month’s normal exposure to natural background radiation in the environment.

 

By  |  03:09 PM ET, 03/14/2011

 
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