Three years ago today, Japan was shaken by an earthquake and tsunami that devastated their country and affected the entire Pacific Ocean – including many tense hours here on Maui as the tsunami approached. Hawaii Tourism Authority CEO Mike McCartney, issued the following statement today marking the anniversary.
“The resilience of the Japanese people has helped them to heal and move forward from this tragedy. However, we know they are still recovering both physically and emotionally. The losses they endured can never be forgotten.
“On behalf of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, we continue to send our heartfelt aloha to our ‘ohana in Japan as we remember the anniversary of the March 11 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.”
Hawai’i is not under threat of a damaging tsunami after a 7.3 magnitude eqrthquake struck off the east coast of Japan this morning.
The Pacific Tsunami Center says the temblor struck at 7:10 a.m. HST, about six miles below the ocean floor off Fukushima, Japan. Reports of regional tsunami waves of up to 15 inches have been reported, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. A regional tsunami advisory was lifted within two hours of the quake.
Japanese television images of harbors showed calm waters. The quake hit about 170 miles off Fukushima, and it was felt in Tokyo, some 300 miles away.
“It was fairly big, and rattled quite a bit, but nothing fell to the floor or broke. We’ve had quakes of this magnitude before,” Satoshi Mizuno, an official with the Fukushima prefectural government’s disaster management department, told The Associated Press by phone. “Luckily, the quake’s center was very far off the coast.”
Mizuno said the operator of the troubled Fukushima plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co., said no damage or abnormalities have been found.
All but two of Japan’s 50 reactors have been offline since the March 2011 magnitude-9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami triggered multiple meltdowns and massive radiation leaks at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, about 160 miles northeast of Tokyo.
No injuries have been reported.
Hawaii and the entire Pacific region are safe this morning – at least from natural threats. No tsunami warning was issued after a magnitude 7.1 earthquake in the Bougainville Region of Papua New Guinea. The earthquake struck shortly after midnight HST, about 40 miles west southwest of Panguna, Papua New Guinea and about 233 miles southeast of Kokopo, Papua New Guinea. Seismologist report the quake struck at a depth of 36 miles beneath the seafloor.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said that based on available data, no destructive Pacific-wide tsunami is expected. A day earlier, an earthquake that struck the central Philippines killed at least 144 people also dealt a serious blow to the region’s historical and religious legacy by heavily damaging a dozen or more churches, some of them hundreds of years old.
By Jeff King
A few nerves were rattled overnight when a magnitude 4.0 earthquake shook parts of Maui County. Hawai’i Civil Defense and the Pacific Tsunami Center say the 12:04 a.m. temblor was centered about four miles off the north shore of Moloka’i.
The quake rumbled from 11.9 miles beneath the ocean floor. No tsunami was generated by the quake. Nor is any expected.
An earthquake in the eastern pacific this morning prompted precautionary tsunami warnings in the area of Nicaragua – but did not generate a destructive tsunami. Hawai’i was never in tsunami danger.
The quake, which struck at 7:34 a.m. HST today (11:34 a.m. local time), was measured at 6.5 magnitude. It was centered west of Masachapa, Nicaragua at a depth of 22 miles about 30 miles offshore.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said Hawai’i and the Pacific Rim were not put on alert. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries after the quake, which was felt at 11:34 a.m. local time.
Nicaragua’s seismological institute measured the temblor’s strength as 6.6, and it declared a tsunami alert as a precaution because of the earthquake’s strength.
Over the past hour, some 10 aftershocks have followed an original 5.3 magnitude earthquake that rattled rocks and nerves southeast of the Big Island. No tsunami was generated and there were no reports of injuries or damage, according to Maui Civil Defense.
According to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, the earthquake was centered in deep ocean southeast of the Big Island. It reported the time of the earthquake as 2:13 p.m. Small quakes had preceded the event, and several aftershocks have followed. The quake occurred about 40 miles below the ocean floor.
“No tsunami is expected,” the warning center’s website said. However, “some areas may have experienced strong shaking.”
For more information, go online to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center’s website at ptwc.weather.gov or the U.S. Geological Survey’s site at usgs.gov.
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