Timeline of Japanese Earthquake

Like many people, the shear enormity of these events is overwhelming. I was wondering how much warning people had of the Tsunami. So, I started a time line of events. It appears there was about 25minutes between the time the earthquake was felt at the coast and the time the wave hit the nearest tsunami monitoring station.

Thursday 9th March 2011 (day before)

  • 7.2 MW event approximately 40 km (25 mi) from 11 March quake,
  • Another three on the same day in excess of 6 MW in magnitude.

Friday, 11th March 2011

  • 14:46:23 (5:46 UK time) Magnitude 9.0 Earthquake
  • 14:47 Seismic wave of earthquake hits Sendai 130km from epicentre
  • 14:47 Earthquake Early Warning system connected to more than 1,000 seismometers  in Japan sent out warnings on television of an impending earthquake to millions.
  • 14:48 Tremor felt in Tokyo
  • 15:12 6.8m tsunami wave hits Iwate Kamaishi-oki
  • 15:15 tsunami higher than 3.2m hits Ofunato –
  • 15:20 tsunami higher than 3.3m hits Ishinomaki-shi Ayukawa
  • 15:21 tsunami higher than 4.0m hits Miyako
  • 15:21 tsunami higher than 4.1m hits Kamaishi
  • 15:41 Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tempco) reports emergency generators for reactors 1, 2 and 3 at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant have failed and there were reports that the diesel-powered back up systems was also affected by the Tsunami.
  • 15:44 3.5m tsunami hits Erimo-cho Shoya
  • 15:50 7.3m tsunami hits Soma
  • 15:55 flooding Sendai Airport, which is located near the coast of Miyagi Prefecture
  • 16:36 The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped 1.7 percent
  • 16:52 4.2m tsunami hits Oarai
  • 18:18 0.52m tsunami reaches Wake Island
  • 19:20 0.32m tsunami reaches Legaspi in Phillippines
  • 19:30 Prime Minister Naoto Kan declares “nuclear emergency status,” but officials say this is standard procedure and that no radioactive material was detected in the area.
  • 19:39 Kyodo News Service reports at least 32 dead.
  • 19:44 1.55m tsunami hits Midway Island
  • 19:49 0.3m Tsunami reaches Marshall Islands
  • 2100: Residents within a 3km radius of the Fukushima nuclear power station are told to leave their homes,
  • 22:48 Police report finding 200 to 300 bodies in coastal region of Sendai
  • 23:53 A fire at Onagawa nuclear plant is extinguished

Saturday 12th March

  • 00.30 Tsunami reaches California causing “significant damage” to moored boats.
  • 00:39 Fires are reported in at least three Japanese prefectures (Hakodate, Chiba, Miyagi). An oil refinery was ablaze near Tokyo.
  • 00:42 A dam breaks in Fukushima prefecture destroying many homes.
  • 01:07 Kyodo News Service puts number of confirmed deaths at 137.
  • 02:06 Radiation level in Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant reported rising.
  • 03:34 National Police up confirmed death toll to 151.
  • 04:21 6.2 magnitude earthquake hits Nagano and Niigata
  • 04.30 Santa Cruz Harbor experiences another wave surge, doing more damage to boats in the harbor.
  • 05:00 Nuclear emergency declared at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
  • 05:30 Decision made to release the pressure building in reactors by venting some of the steam. The steam contains trace amounts of radioactive material.
  • 05:44 National Police now put death toll at at least 184.
  • 05:56 6.3 earthquake hits west coast of Honshu.
  • 09.50 tsunami waves measuring nearly 1.5 meters at their highest hit Peru. In the southern port of Pisco, the ocean surged into the town square and damaged about 300 houses.
  • 11:00 Pressure builds in reactor unit 2 and the steam is vented, releasing more radioactive material into the air.
  • 15:30 There is a massive explosion at the power station, in which one of the four buildings collapses and injures four workers.
  • 16:17 NHK broadcast network say Death toll at least 900.
  • 20:00 Officials confirm that the concrete building surrounding the plant’s steel reactor container has collapsed, but the steel container has not been damaged.
  • 21:07 Fires reported at more than 200 locations in 12 of Japan’s prefectures.
  • 22:37 About 9500 people (half the population) are reported to be unaccounted for in the town of Minamisanriku on Japan’s Pacific coast.

Sunday 13th March

  • 03:10 Petrol sales in Tokyo limited to 20 liters per car.
  • 06:00 The cooling system of reactor 2 failed. Tepco says it will release more steam and more radioactive material and considers injecting seawater.
  • 08:30 There are reports that reactor 3 is facing a partial meltdown and that radiation has risen to unsafe levels.

Monday March 14

  • 04:34 seawater injection to No. 2 reactor started
  • 11:04 There was a second massive explosion at reactor 2. In an effort to cool reactor 2, as officials were venting the reactor to prevent a complete nuclear meltdown. The blast injured 11 people but the reactor’s containment vessel was not damaged.
  • Rescuers say they have found 2,000 bodies in Miyagi prefecture.
  • In one of the biggest one day falls Japan’s benchmark Nikkei index fell 6.2 percent and the broader TOPIX index slumped 7.5 percent.
  • JAPAN’s central bank pumps 38bn into economy in bid to prevent economic disaster.

Tuesday March 15

  • 06:10 There was a third explosion at reactor 2. part of the No. 2 reactor’s container vessel was damaged following the apparent hydrogen explosion.
  • Tokyo stock market plummets for a second day
  • Food, water and fuel are reported to be running short in some parts of Japan and large swathes of the country remain without power
  • Serious radiation dosages of up to 400 millisieverts per hour recorded at the Fukushima plant.
  • Tokyo Electric Power continue rolling electricity power blackouts

See Also

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One Response to Timeline of Japanese Earthquake

  1. Roger D. says:

    Fascinating. This was something I was looking for but no-one seemed to bother to mention., particularly the gap before the wave arrived.

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