General Travel News

Earthquake and tsunami strikes Japan

*Update 6:00 P.M UAE time: death toll is now over 40 people*

*Update 3:00 P.M. UAE time: All flights to Tokyo and other cities in Japan have been canceled.*

TOKYO – A magnitude 8.9 earthquake slammed Japan's northeastern coast Friday, unleashing a 13-foot (4-meter) tsunami that swept boats, cars, buildings and tons of debris miles inland. Fires triggered by the quake burned out of control up and down the coast.
At least one person was killed and there were reports of several injuries in Tokyo, hundreds of kilometers (miles) away, where buildings shook violently through the main quake and the wave of massive aftershocks that followed.
TV footage showed waves of muddy waters sweeping over farmland near the city of Sendai, carrying buildings, some on fire, inland as cars attempted to drive away.
"This is a rare major quake, and damages could quickly rise by the minute," said Junichi Sawada, an official with Japan's Fire and Disaster Management Agency.
Officials were trying to assess damage, injuries and deaths but had no immediate details. Police said at least one person was killed in a house collapse in Ibaraki prefecture, just northeast of Tokyo.
A large fire erupted at the Cosmo oil refinery in Ichihara city in Chiba prefecture near Tokyo and was burning out of control.
Public broadcaster NHK showed footage of a large ship being swept away by the tsunami and ramming directly into a breakwater in Kesennuma city in Miyagi prefecture. Similar destruction was seen in dozens of communities along the coast.
In various locations along the coast, footage showed massive damage from the tsunami, with cars, boats and even buildings being carried along by waters.
The quake struck at 2:46 p.m. and was followed by five powerful aftershocks within about an hour, the strongest measuring 7.1. The U.S. Geological Survey upgraded the strength of the first quake to a magnitude 8.9, while Japan's meteorological agency measured it at 8.4.
The meteorological agency issued a tsunami warning for the entire Pacific coast of Japan. NHK was warning those near the coast to get to safer ground.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii said a tsunami warning was in effect for Japan, Russia, Marcus Island and the Northern Marianas. A tsunami watch has been issued for Guam, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia and the U.S. state of Hawaii.
The quake struck at a depth of six miles (10 kilometers), about 80 miles (125 kilometers) off the eastern coast, the agency said. The area is 240 miles (380 kilometers) northeast of Tokyo.
In downtown Tokyo, large buildings shook violently and workers poured into the street for safety. TV footage showed a large building on fire and bellowing smoke in the Odaiba district of Tokyo.
In central Tokyo, trains were stopped and passengers walked along the tracks to platforms. NHK said more than 4 million buildings without power in Tokyo and its suburbs.
The ceiling in Kudan Kaikan, a large hall in Tokyo, collapsed, injuring an unknown number of people, NHK said.
Osamu Akiya, 46, was working in Tokyo at his office in a trading company when the quake hit.
It sent bookshelves and computers crashing to the floor, and cracks appeared in the walls.
"I've been through many earthquakes, but I've never felt anything like this," he said. "I don't know if we'll be able to get home tonight."
Footage on NHK from their Sendai office showed employees stumbling around and books and papers crashing from desks. It also showed a glass shelter at a bus stop in Tokyo completely smashed by the quake and a weeping woman nearby being comforted by another woman.
Several quakes had hit the same region in recent days, including a 7.3 magnitude one on Wednesday.
Thirty minutes after the quake, tall buildings were still swaying in Tokyo and mobile phone networks were not working. Japan's Coast Guard has set up a task force and officials are standing by for emergency contingencies, Coast Guard official Yosuke Oi said.
"I'm afraid we'll soon find out about damages, since the quake was so strong," he said.
The tsunami roared over embankments in Sendai city, washing cars, houses and farm equipment inland before reversing directions and carrying them out to sea. Flames shot from some of the houses, probably because of burst gas pipes.
In Tokyo, hundreds of people were evacuated from Shinjuku station, the world's busiest, to a nearby park. Trains were halted.
Tokyo's main airport was closed. A large section of the ceiling at the 1-year-old airport at Ibaraki, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northeast of Tokyo, fell to the floor with a powerful crash.
TV announcers urged viewers near the shore to move to strong concrete buildings and stay above the third floor .
Japan's Fire and Disaster Management Agency said they were still assessing damage but had not confirmed any deaths.

More General Travel News
Saudi Arabian Airlines wins best stand design award at Arabian Travel Market 2022
flydubai to operate some flights from Dubai World Central during runway refurbishment project at Dubai International
South Korea Pavilion among top five at Expo 2020 Dubai
Latest Travel News
flydubai to operate some flights from Du...
South Korea Pavilion among top five at E...
Collect souvenirs from the first Emirate...
Featured Sights To See
Fakir Khana Museum

Fakir Khana Museum

Lahore, Pakistan

The museum itself is in a small house in the inner city. The Fakirs were an important family during the Sikh rule of Punjab in the 1700s. Fakir was an ascetic and his sons took over in his role as an important member and minister in the court of the Sikh ruler Ranjit Singh. This small museum showcases the history of Lahore and contains important pieces such as relics from the Prophet Muhammad’s (P...

Tareq Rajab Museum

Tareq Rajab Museum

Kuwait, Kuwait

This museum plays tribute to Tareq Rajab, the first Kuwaiti to be sent abroad to study art and archaeology. He met his wife Jehan Wellborne while studying in the UK and the two got married in 1955, and then returned to Kuwait where Rajab was appointed as the first Director of the Department of Antiquities and Museums in Kuwait. The museum is a collection of items and artefacts collected by Rajab a...

Distillery District

Distillery District

Toronto, Canada

The distillery district was founded in 1832 and is therefore rich in history. This 45 building complex belonged to Canada’s largest distilling company in Victorian times and includes a wind mill, grain mill and the red-brick mill buildings. The Historic Distillery District holds events all year round- including a blues festival, jazz festival, and an outdoor art exhibition Admission: Free ...

Malabar Hills

Malabar Hills

Mumbai, India

Malabar Hills is an elite and posh residential area of Mumbai. It also has a few places of tourist interest like Walkeshwar Temple, Banganga Tank, Parsi Tower of Silence, Hanging Gardens, etc. Malabar Hills is the highest point in the city center being 50 meters above sea level. With some spectacular views of the city surroundings, Malabar Hill is a must-see place. Location: South Mumba...