Japan’s eastern coastal areas were hit by a massive earthquake of the magnitude of 8.9 at the Richter scale on Friday afternoon. The earthquake is considered to be the most severe in Japan’s otherwise quake prone history. Japan is one of the most seismically active countries in the world, accounting for about 20% of the world's earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater. The quake was immediately followed by 23 feet high Tsunami waves that swept away everything that came its way. Even large naval vessels were seen being swept away helplessly.
Footage from Aljazeera TV
This earthquake is considered to be the fifth severest during the last 100 years. It was anotch higher than the quake that hit Chile last year that had a rating of 8.8. There are reports of fires, and missing of two trains, besides many accounts of falling buildings and death toll that is likely to rise.
The epicenter of the earthquake is said to be at the depth of 24.4 kilometres, 130 km (80 miles) east of Sendai, Honshu, Japan. It has also been reported that the Japanese government has ordered for the evacuation of thousands of residents near the nuclear power plant in Onahama as the plant's system was unable to cool the reactor and pressure inside is rising. The reactor's core remained hot even after a shutdown, and a radiation leak was seen as possible. The plant is 170 miles northeast of Tokyo.
Owing to the massivity of the earthquake, the Pacific tsunami warning centre in Hawaii has issued warning for Russia, Marcus Island and the Northern Marianas. Tsunami watches have also been issued for Guam, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Hawaii and the entire western coast of the US and Canada, from the Mexican border to Chignik Bay in Alaska.
We pray fro the safety of the people of Japan from this great calamity. It may be noted here that Japan was one of the few countries that rendered immediate and timely assistance and help to Pakistan when a 7.6 strong quake jolted Pakistan on 5th October 2005 that left close to 100,000 people dead, beside large scale destruction of infrastructure and buildings.