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
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...
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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 on
JAPAN: 12:30 a.m. (JST), Tuesday / 11:30 a.m. (ET), Monday
Footage of Japan tsunami the moment the tsunami hit
JAPAN: 12:05 a.m. (JST), Tuesday / 11:05 a.m. (ET), Monday
IAEA director general releases statement on nuclear power plant
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
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
See more photos of Japan, before and after, here.
JAPAN: 11:22 p.m. (JST) / 10:22 a.m. (ET), Monday
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.
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!
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
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 night
JAPAN: 10:08 p.m. (JST) / 9:08 a.m. (ET), Monday
Rescue operations continue in Miyagi prefecture
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.
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
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.