Tsunami hits Japan

Japan Earthquake Epicentre. Source: BBC News

By Susannah Radford

An earthquake measuring 8.9 on the Richter Scale shook Japan at 2.46pm local time near Sendai.  The earthquake which is the largest for 140 years, was centred  20 miles underground about 250 miles from Tokyo.  While aftershocks have continued, the tsunami is of immediate concern reaching up to 10 metres in height. At least 29 people have been reported dead.

Tsunami warnings have now been issued to the west coast of Northern California including Oregon and Alaska and could reach the cost within 6 hours.

Edinburgh Napier News talked exclusively with the office of the Consulate General of Japan in Edinburgh who commented that the situation was “too premature to say yet.  The government will reach Headquarters in Tokyo.  We haven’t got an update.  There is still a possibility of a recurring tsunami.  But we don’t know much.  We’re still waiting.”

The Pacific basin is fraught with volcanic activity.  Christchurch, New Zealand was left reeling from a 6.3 magnitude earthquake on 22 February 2011 while they were only beginning to recover from the 7.3 magnitude earthquake in early September last year.  South Asia was devastated by a tsunami in December 2004.