Saturday, March 12, 2011
The town that drowned: Fresh pictures from the port where 10,000 people are missing after it was swept away by the megaquake
------10,000 people missing in Minamisanriku 24 hours after double disaster struck
------Official death toll hits 574, but hundreds believed to be buried under rubble or washed away by waves
------Explosion at nuclear power plant, but experts say reactor is not at risk
------Number of people contaminated with radiation could reach 160
------Region hit by repeated aftershocks, some up 6.8-magnitude
------Rescue operation begins but some areas still cut off by road damage and flood waters
------Force of quake shifts Japan 8ft to the East
Just 48 hours ago, it was a picturesque fishing town where tourists flocked to enjoy the coastal air and natural hot springs. But this horrifying picture shows all that remains of Minami Sanriku after it was destroyed by the tsunami that has wreaked devastation across Japan.
Last night, the official death toll from Friday’s 8.9 magnitude earthquake and ensuing tidal wave stood at 1,700 people – although it is feared the final total could rise sharply once a full picture of the catastrophe emerges.
Minami Sanriku alone, 10,000 people could have died – more than half of the city’s population.
Obliterated: Where there was once a thriving town, buildings are now covered with mud in Minamisanriku town, Miyagi after the tsunami drowned the entire town
It only took a few minutes for the 30ft wave to wash the town away with terrifying force. The locals desperately tried to escape to higher ground. But most did not stand a chance.
It is hard to imagine any life remains among the debris. Where last week fishing boats bobbed in the harbour, it is now impossible to tell where the sea begins and the land ends.
One of the few buildings left standing is the town’s Shizugawa Hospital – the large white building to the centre left of this picture. But the rest of what was once the town centre is flooded with filthy sea water.
Other structures lie battered and smashed in piles of broken wood and twisted metal, but most are now little more than debris.
Just visible through the murky waters towards the bottom left of the photograph are the painted stripes of a zebra crossing.
There are vague remnants of roads and the occasional outline of a flooded car, and it is just possible to see the half-submerged outline of the town’s athletics track towards the top left of the picture.
Minami Sanriku lies about 55 miles west of the earthquake’s epicentre and directly in the path of the subsequent tsunami.
And in Fukushima, thousands of people were forced to flee the vicinity of an earthquake-crippled Japanese nuclear plant after a radiation leak and authorities faced a fresh threat with the failure of the cooling system in a second reactor.
--The tottering towers of Tokyo: Dramatic videos show the moment the earthquake struck
--Incredible swarms of fish form off coast of Acapulco: But was surge caused by tsunami thousands of miles away?
--Moment we feared another Chernobyl: Thousands undergo radioactive screening after explosion in nuclear power station
--British teacher missing after Japan earthquake struck is found safe and well
--Devastation and despair: Terrifying pictures reveal full horror of Japan's worst quake
The government insisted radiation levels were low following Saturday's explosion, saying the blast had not affected the reactor core container, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said it had been told by Japan that levels 'have been observed to lessen in recent hours'.
But Japan's nuclear safety agency said the number of people exposed to radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi plant could reach 160. Workers in protective clothing were scanning people arriving at evacuation centres for radioactive exposure.
These pictures reveal the brutal aftermath of the tsunami, but an amateur video posted online, filmed by one of the town’s residents, shows the terrifying moment the wave hit.
It shows people desperately driving uphill to escape the wave and the road lined with locals watching open-mouthed as their homes are swept away.
The horrifying footage focuses briefly on those people caught in the traffic, including emergency vehicles, which failed to escape in time. One bus narrowly misses being washed away after speeding uphill as those filming shout ‘Run! Run!’.
Two hundred people were said to have been evacuated from the roof of the hospital and police believe the tidal wave may have washed away an entire train.
One photograph showed the letters ‘SOS’ written on the ground in the car park of the Minami Sanriku Elementary School. The letter H, surrounded by a circle, had also been added, a plea for helicopter assistance.
Tsunami warnings were issued to the entire Pacific seaboard, but the worst fears were not realised. Widespread damage was caused to some coast areas, including California, but there were no reports of fatalities.
President Barack Obama has pledged U.S. assistance and said one aircraft carrier was already in Japan and a second was on its way.
Japan's worst previous earthquake was an 8.3-magnitude temblor in Kanto which killed 143,000 people in 1923. A 7.2-magnitude quake in Kobe killed 6,400 people in 1995.
The country lies on the 'Ring of Fire' - an arc of earthquake and volcanic zones stretching across the Pacific where around 90 per cent of the world's quakes occur.
Shelter: A young girl watches the news in a community centre in Fukushima, where an explosion destroyed a building at a nuclear power plant
An estimated 230,000 people in 12 countries were killed after a quake triggered a massive tsunami on Boxing Day, 2004, in the Indian Ocean.
A magnitude 8.8 quake which struck off the coast of Chile in February last year also generated a tsunami which killed 524 people. Authorities mistakenly told people in coastal regions there was no danger of a tsunami.
p/s KUASA ALLAH mengatasi kuasa manusia...selama ini semua tahu mengenai Jepun dan teknologinya yang amat canggih...