Friday, March 11, 2011

Japan Rocked by 9.1 Magnitude Earthquake And Tsunami

There is some disagreement as to if the strength was a 9.1 or 8.9 magnitude. There is no disagreement on the fact that it was strong enough to cause wide spread damage and a massive tsunami; the death toll of which will likely climb significantly in the days and weeks ahead. The danger is not over yet. Fires continue to burn, water refuses to recede, buildings could be structurally compromised, and nuclear power plants are not yet fully under control. The images from the event are as riveting as they are heart breaking seeing people driving in cars broadsided by the wave and stranded people waving from top floors for rescue. The destruction was such that oil prices took a dip from the speculation that the world's third largest economy may have just been taken down a few pegs.

"The Japan earthquake was the fourth most powerful ever recorded with a magnitude of 9.1, twice more powerful than the initial estimate of 8.9, Gerard Fryer, geophysicist of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, said this morning.

Three others that were more powerful since the late 1800s when seismometers started measuring ground motions were in 9.5 in Chile in 1960, 9.2 in Alaska in 1964 and 9.1 in Sumatra in 2004, according to Fryer.

The new magnitude was adjusted based on the impact of the quake throughout the Pacific, he said. "It fits all measurements, including in Hawaii," Fryer said.

The U.S. Geological Survey estimate of the quake's magnitude is still 8.9.

Look at the headlines at Drudge Report

"THE GREAT QUAKE OF JAPAN... 9.1 MAG CAUSES CHAOS... BBC LIVE... REUTERS LIVE MAPS, DETAILS... KYODO WIRE... NHK... Hundreds of bodies found... Thousands Missing, Feared Dead... Dam breaks, washes away homes... Agency: N American plate snapped upward... HUGE WHIRLPOOL CREATED... Thousands roam Tokyo streets... Cruise ship, entire train missing... Japan Rushes to Contain Damage...


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