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Japan Quake

March 11, 2011 | By Donald R. Prothero
As many of us watched the coverage of the Sendai earthquake and tsunami in Japan on Friday, we were staggered and horrified by the images of death and destruction. The magnitude 8.9 quake is the largest to hit Japan in more than 150 years and the seventh largest in recorded history. The tsunami produced even greater damage and loss of life. The final figures won't be known for many days, yet it seems clear that hundreds and possibly thousands of people are dead, injured or missing, and the economic toll will be in the millions.
May 17, 2013 | By Geoffrey Mohan
When the magnitude 9 earthquake struck Japan more than two years ago, there were 1,200 global positioning system stations recording ocean floor movement in real time. None was linked to that nation's tsunami warning system, which underestimated the full impact of the inundation that killed more than 18,000 people, left at least 350,000 homeless and caused meltdowns in three nuclear reactors. Data from those GPS stations could have produced a more accurate warning within three minutes, including a better estimate of wave sizes and tremor magnitude, a team of European researchers has found.
March 15, 2011 | By Ken Bensinger, Los Angeles Times
With the scale of the disaster in Japan still being measured, concerns are growing that last week's earthquake and tsunami could lead to a long-term disruption in the world's supply of automobiles, consumer electronics and machine tools. Japan is the world's third-largest economy and a huge exporter of cars, electronic components and industrial equipment as well as steel, textiles and processed foods. In turn, it's a voracious consumer of petroleum, imported agricultural products and luxury consumer goods.
December 11, 2011 | By John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Times
Japan's natural disaster in March was only hours old when the Tokyo-based charity got on the line to the old man. He'd just arrived in Uganda, an exhausting trip for a 77-year-old whose knees are so weak he sometimes needs a wheelchair to get around. "Come back," the charity implored its founder. "We need you. " Two days later, Yoshiomi Tamai not only returned to Japan, but he headed straight for this provincial city 190 miles north of Tokyo. The death toll from the earthquake and tsunami was rising into the thousands.
March 11, 2011 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
The massive earthquake that struck Japan on Friday reportedly stranded 69,000 people at Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea after damaged roads and transportation interruptions forced visitors to camp overnight in 30-degree temperatures. While the theme parks experienced some quake damage, there were no reports of any injuries. Disney employees provided blankets, heaters and raincoats to visitors who were required to shelter in place and prohibited from leaving the park because of safety concerns.
August 16, 2005 | From Associated Press
A 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck the northeastern coast of Japan today, collapsing a pool's roof onto swimmers in the coastal city of Sendai and shaking buildings in Tokyo, 185 miles to the south, officials and news media said. At least 36 people were reported injured. Nineteen were hurt at the pool, but none critically, broadcasters said. Others in the quake zone were hurt by falling rocks and tumbling roof tiles.
July 16, 2007 | From the Associated Press
A strong earthquake rocked Japan's western coast today, killing at least two people and injuring more than 320 as it destroyed dozens of wooden buildings. An official at Kashiwazaki Central Hospital confirmed the deaths of two women. National broadcaster NHK said the victims, in their 80s, had been buried in rubble. Kyodo News agency said injuries to others included broken bones, cuts and bruises. A media report of two additional deaths was not immediately confirmed.
January 21, 1995 | MICHAEL ARKUSH
It makes perfect sense for the students and staff at Santa Susana School to aid quake victims in Kobe, Japan. They know the feeling. Last January, many of them suffered severe damage in the Northridge quake. Some lost their homes and still haven't moved back. "We went through that trauma ourselves," said Farida Nassery, the director of elementary programs at the private school in Chatsworth. "We really feel for the Japanese."
Tsunamis that surged up to 16 feet high within 15 minutes of a magnitude 7.8 earthquake on the bed of the Sea of Japan off Hokkaido island were blamed Tuesday for most of the 99 deaths and 160 missing in Japan's latest seismic disaster.
The western port city of Kobe remained virtually paralyzed today in the wake of the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that killed more than 1,800 people, sent as many as 150,000 seeking refuge and laid waste to assurances that modern construction technology protects city dwellers in Japan from major seismic damage. In what Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama called Japan's most devastating tremor since the Great Tokyo Earthquake of 1923, police today put the death toll at 1,817, with 926 missing and 11,182 injured.
August 19, 2011 | By John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Relations between the U.S. and Japan, already strained over the delayed relocation of an American military base on Okinawa, received no help this week after a retired U.S. envoy publicly criticized Tokyo's initial response to its March nuclear crisis. Comments by Kevin Maher, a former director of the U.S. State Department's Japan Office, shed light on Washington's behind-the-scenes mindset during the early days of the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Photos: Japan earthquake and tsunami Speaking to reporters in Tokyo, Maher said U.S. officials worried over the lack of leadership shown by Prime Minister Naoto Kan's government after damage from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that led to meltdowns of several reactors at the coastal atomic plant.
May 24, 2011 | By John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Times
Moments after the massive earthquake struck this northeastern Japan town, editor Hiroyuki Takeuchi gazed about his tiny newsroom and took stock: His computers were worthless; his printing press on the floor below would soon be flooded by the tsunami. Still, the next day Takeuchi and his staff of six reporters made sure the Ishinomaki Hibi Shimbun hit the streets just as it had for the last 100 years. For six days, working by flashlight, wearing overcoats in the chilly office, they put the paper out by hand, with black felt-tip markers and large sheets of white paper.
May 19, 2011 | By John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Times
In a gesture that experts believe may improve the often testy relations between Japan and two of its neighbors in Northeast Asia, the leaders of China and South Korea this weekend will visit areas devastated by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak will tour Japan's Fukushima prefecture, where workers are still struggling to stop the radiation leaks at a stricken nuclear power plant. They will also visit the city of Sendai, which suffered enormous damage in the magnitude 9 quake and the tsunami it spawned.
April 15, 2011 | By Nathan Olivarez Giles, Los Angeles Times
Japan's massive earthquake has affected the production and distribution of a key component in mobile phone cameras. Toshiba's Image Sensor fabrication facility in Iwate, Japan, has been shut down because of the earthquake, according to the technology research firm IHS iSuppli. Toshiba Corp.'s Iwate plant manufactures logic chips and complementary metal-oxide semiconductor, or CMOS, image sensors for cellphone cameras. Meanwhile, Sony Corp. has had to delay the delivery of its CMOS sensors to cellphone manufacturers, IHS iSuppli said in a report Thursday.
April 14, 2011 | By John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Times
For Mika Terui, unit 5-2 of this devastated community's newest housing complex was home, finally home. The 39-year-old mother of three felt like one of the luckiest survivors of the magnitude 9 earthquake and resulting tsunami that killed thousands of people and left many others homeless or languishing in evacuation centers. A day earlier, she and her family of five had moved into one of 36 prefabricated temporary homes built on the playground of a junior high school, part of a public-private disaster relief effort in this ravaged community on Japan's northeastern coast.
April 8, 2011 | By Lucy Jones
A little over a year ago, a magnitude 8.8 earthquake shook the nation of Chile and generated a tsunami that caused much destruction along the Chilean coast. It was the sixth-largest earthquake recorded in the last century, and it destroyed 17% of Chile's gross national product. But the earthquake and tsunami combined killed only 521 people — remarkably few. The American Red Cross in Los Angeles and San Francisco sent a delegation to Chile to examine what enabled the Chileans to survive and recover so well.
March 11, 2011
Do you have friends or family visiting Japan? Have you heard from them? In our coverage of the travel aspects of the Japan quake, we are interested in their stories and what they may add to the understanding of this tragedy. Please share them in the comments section at the end of this post. We welcome images as well. To post one, go to,0,1365934.ugcphotogallery
March 17, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times
With devastating images still coming from Japan following the earthquakes and tsunamis, earthquake safety and preparedness is on the top of Californians' minds. Although we may think we know what to do in the event of a strong quake, we may not be thinking clearly when the earth starts to shake. Here's what to do--and what not to do--in the event of an earthquake: If you're indoors, the American Red Cross advises you to drop, cover and hold on. Duck under a sturdy table or desk and hold onto a leg in case the table moves.
April 3, 2011 | By Julie Makinen and Kenji Hall, Los Angeles Times
Japan's Red Cross has collected more than $1 billion in the first three weeks after the massive earthquake and tsunami but has yet to distribute any funds directly to victims, prompting Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano to urge Sunday that the process be accelerated. Meanwhile, the operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant reported no significant progress in stopping the leak of radioactive water into the sea. Tokyo Electric Power Co. officials think the leak has been coming from a concrete pit holding power cables near reactor No. 2, and attempted Sunday to seal a crack there with a special polymer.
March 23, 2011 | By Julie Makinen and Don Lee, Los Angeles Times
[Update 12:47 a.m.] Tokyo's utility company says black smoke has been seen emerging from Unit 3 of the crippled nuclear plant in northeastern Japan, prompting a new evacuation of the complex. Officials with Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Wednesday that workers from the entire Fukushima Dai-ichi plant have been temporarily evacuated. _________________ Control room lights were on and electronic thermometers were functioning Wednesday at several of Japan's stricken nuclear reactors, marking small but potentially critical steps toward controlling overheated fuel that has been spewing radiation for more than a week.
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