It wasn’t for four frantic and sleepless days after an earthquake hit Japan, that Akiko Kosaka finally saw footage of her sister screaming at a Fuji TV camera crew and holding a sign in Japanese on the balcony of their home, which, translated, read: “Kosaka Family. We are all safe.”
Japan has raised the maximum radiation dose allowed for nuclear workers, citing the urgent need to prevent a crisis at a tsunami-stricken power plant from worsening.
Early-morning warnings from government officials had put Tokyo at risk of radiation fallout. One claim was that the radioactive cloud would reach Tokyo within 10 hours.
In glittery Ginza, thumping heart of a hyper-voltage nation, the lights have dimmed.
Out of respect for a mounting toll of dead, injured and homeless compatriots, even iconic Tokyo Tower has dialed down its luminous glow while rolling blackouts are imposed on country reeling from multiple cascading catastrophes.
These are days of horror, privation and fear for millions of Japanese. Officials in the hard-hit port city of Sendai report that 10,000 may have died in that flattened region alone, as a grisly tide casts up thousands of bodies along the coast. Tokyo and other cities are still being shaken by aftershocks, as is Japan’s $5-trillion economy. Much of the nation is devastated. Millions are without food, water or heating in near-freezing temperatures.
For several hours, Ashley Russell thought his daughter was dead. A missing persons website set up to track Japan’s tsunami said so.
The Australian father eventually discovered that the post was a hoax and his daughter, Alice Byron, is safe.
The rescues of Sai Abe and a younger man pulled from rubble elsewhere in the region were rare good news following Friday's disaster that killed at least 2,700 people and left thousands missing.
Throughout Sendai and the handful of towns and villages around it, locals are becoming increasingly fearful about the possibility that Japan’s eastern coastline, already crippled by a massive earthquake and the tsunami, could become a nuclear wasteland.
With the same mixture of resilience and resignation that has lifted Japan out of previous disasters, many survivors of last Friday’s calamity are calmly pitching in to help themselves and others, taking life one day at a time. Four days on, there is little of the public anger and frustration that so often bursts forth in other countries.
In a nationally televised statement, Prime Minister Naoto Kan said radiation had spread from the four stricken reactors of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant along Japan's northeastern coast.
A Malaysian newspaper has apologized for printing a caricature of Japanese cartoon superhero Ultraman comically trying to outrun a tsunami.
Malaysians reacted with a tirade of anger after the Malay-language Berita Harian daily newspaper published the cartoon Sunday. Critics vented on Twitter and Facebook and some politicians called for a boycott of the paper.
The full exposure — twice — of the fuel rods at a Japanese nuclear power plant is dangerous but is not a harbinger of an imminent full meltdown, a spokesman at the U.S. Nuclear Energy Institute said Monday.
Sendai, a city of 1 million people, is one of the largest cities in northern Japan. Some are showing up at shelters complaining about everything from the poor quality of food given to those left homeless, to the poor information given about people who are missing or dead, to the lack of public profile of local leaders.
Japan was just struggling to its economic feet when a massive earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster delivered a historic punch.
But whether it will be a knockout blow — with repercussions for the world economy — or a setback before a painful recovery is difficult to predict.
A new explosion was reported Monday morning at the Fukushima plant, further escalating concerns about the crisis. TV footage showed a massive column of smoke belching from the plant's No. 3 unit. Officials said it could be a hydrogen explosion similar to an earlier one at a different unit in the facility.
The 25-year-old first-time mother was charging up the stairs for a third time when a tidal wave of water exploded through the windows and doors of her home in Sendai, sweeping both Takami and her baby away in the roiling rapids.
Meet Emiko Chiba, one of Japan’s miracle tsunami survivors.
On Friday afternoon, Emiko was driving her compact silver Suzuki One World through the winding roads of this valley town in northern Japan.
And then, at 2:46 p.m., Emiko’s life as she knew it ended when a black wall of water roared into the mouth of the valley and began levelling everything its path.
But instead of joining this disaster’s thousands of victims, the 42-year-old Emiko became an impossible story of survival.
An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.1 jolted the Tokyo area around 5 a.m. local time on Tuesday, public broadcaster NHK said. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage and no tsunami warning was issued.
Tokyo Electric Power says it will ration electricity with rolling blackouts in parts of Tokyo and other Japanese other cities.
The planned blackouts of about three hours each will start Monday. They are meant to help make up for a severe shortfall after key nuclear plants were left inoperable due to the earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan.
Retired Japanese navy vice admiral Yamada Michio stood at the top of a bridge, shaded his eyes from the setting sun, and scanned a jumbled mass of broken concrete, split wooden beams and churned up muck.
It was a scene of breathtaking destruction unlike anything he’d ever seen before.
Ottawa has outlined a wide range of expertise and technical assistance it’s offering Japan as the Asian country works to recover from a massive earthquake and tsunami.
In a statement released late Sunday, Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon says Canada is ready to offer “any and all” possible assistance to Japan.
Hiromitsu Shinkawa was pushed out to sea while he clung to the roof of his home after a tsunami swept away his wife. For two days, he drifted off Japan’s northeastern coast, trying to get the attention of helicopters and ships that passed by — to no avail.
Finally, on Sunday, a Japanese military vessel spotted the 60-year-old waving a red cloth. He was about 15 kilometres offshore from the earthquake-ravaged city of Minamisoma, said Yoshiyuki Kotake, a Defence Ministry spokesman.
Organizations helping earthquake- and tsunami-ravaged Japan have made it easy for Canadians to donate.
A Toronto man living in Japan says the federal government is “providing no help” to Canadians wanting to know if they should leave the earthquake and tsunami-ravaged country, especially given the nuclear threat.
Japan’s weather agency says a volcano in southern Japan has resumed eruptions of ash and rocks as the country struggles with the aftermath of a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami in the north.
The Quebec-based Society of Foreign Missions said Sunday that 76-year-old Andre Lachapelle was killed in the wake of the two natural disasters that have claimed the lives of thousands.
Japan’s nuclear crisis intensified Sunday as authorities raced to combat the threat of multiple reactor meltdowns and more than 170,000 people evacuated the quake- and tsunami-savaged northeastern coast where fears spread over possible radioactive contamination.
Nuclear plant operators were frantically trying to keep temperatures down in a series of nuclear reactors — including one where officials feared a partial meltdown could be happening Sunday — to prevent the disaster from growing worse.
In the wake of the most dangerous earthquake in Japan’s history, there is growing fear here that the government is not doing enough to contain damage from the hobbled reactor.
Some residents here in Fukushima, a large city where patients were being brought for treatment from the disaster zone, say the biggest problem is they don’t believe that they’re getting all the information they need about developments at the nearby power plant.
Canadians in Tokyo are awestruck by the calm, controlled and organized way Japanese citizens are dealing with Friday's monstrous earthquake that has claimed at least one Canadian life.
While details Saturday were sparse, the victim was later identified as Quebec missionary Andre Lachapelle.
Prime Minister Naoto Kan said he is sending 50,000 troops for the rescue and recovery efforts following Friday’s 8.9-magnitude quake that unleashed one of the greatest disasters Japan has witnessed — a 7-meter tsunami that washed far inland over fields, smashing towns, airports and highways in its way.
On Oct. 17, 1989, Edward, 54, survived the “World Series Earthquake” in San Francisco, one of the deadliest on record in California, which hit just as broadcasters were going to air with Game Three of the World Series.
Now, his brother is living through the aftermath of Japan’s biggest-ever recorded quake, which has killed hundreds and left uncalculated devastation. For two brothers who grew up in not-so-quake-heavy Ontario, the coincidence has left them contemplative.
Japan’s northeastern coast was a swampy wasteland of broken houses, overturned cars, sludge and dirty water Saturday as the nation awoke to the devastating aftermath of one of its greatest disasters, a powerful tsunami created by one of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded.
Mississauga resident Kazuko Moghul has been unable to reach many relatives living in Ishinomaki on Japan’s northern coast, the region closest to the earthquake’s epicentre and hardest hit by the tsunami.
NASA geophysicist Richard Gross calculated that Earth’s rotation sped up by 1.6 microseconds.
Canada’s nuclear regulator insists the country’s nuclear sites in New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario are prepared to handle a natural disaster comparable to the 8.9-magnitude quake that rocked Japan on Friday.
Miles from the ocean’s edge, weary, mud-spattered survivors wandered streets strewn with fallen trees, crumpled cars, even small airplanes. Relics of lives now destroyed were everywhere — half a piano, a textbook, a soiled red sleeping bag.
On Saturday, one day after a massive tsunami tore through Sendai, residents surveyed the devastation that has laid waste to whole sections of this northern port of 1 million people, 128 kilometres from the epicentre of the 8.9-magnitude earthquake that set off one of the worst disasters in Japan’s history.
Tsunamis triggered by Japan's devastating earthquake that prompted evacuations on the Pacific coast of North and South America caused flooding as far away as Chile Saturday, but damage was limited.
Japan braces for more aftershocks.
Residents of coastal British Columbia and Vancouver Island were expected to return home late Friday afternoon after the tsunami failed to pose much of a risk with water levels rising only slightly.
Tsunami waves swamped Hawaii beaches and brushed the U.S. western coast but didn't cause major damage after devastating Japan.
Earthquakes are always a surprise, in the sense that we can forecast their likelihood in certain areas, but never predict their exact geography and timing. With the massive earthquake that struck Japan, however, even the forecast was wrong.
Friday’s massive offshore earthquake wreaked death and destruction on the country’s eastern coast. But experts say thousands of lives were likely spared by a defence system that is among the world’s best.
Japan ordered thousands of residents near a northeastern nuclear power plant to evacuate on Friday following a massive earthquake that caused a problem in the plant's cooling system.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said the Fukushima No. 1 power plant was not leaking radiation. The plant is in Onahama city, about 270 kilometres northeast of Tokyo.
Many islands and low-level areas throughout the Pacific were evacuated, including some parts of B.C.
A tsunami swept at least five people watching the waves out to sea Friday and ripped docks out of harbours in California and Oregon, spreading the destruction of a devastating Japanese earthquake to the shores of the United States.
Japan’s huge earthquake brought super-modern Tokyo to a standstill Friday, paralyzing trains that normally run like clockwork and stranding hordes of commuters carrying mobile phones rendered largely useless by widespread outages.
A ferocious tsunami spawned by one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded slammed Japan's eastern coast Friday. Here is some of the online footage.
Canadian James Barringer, who lives and works in Tokyo, described the scene when the 8.9 earthquake struck, shortly before 3 p.m. Friday, local time: "Horrible images of 9/11 flashed in my head, a sign of how much more powerful this quake was than any other I’ve felt, and we get them all the time.”
The nurses touched down at the airport for what was supposed to be a three-day vacation, and had just cleared customs when they started to feel the tremors.
For more than two terrifying, seemingly endless minutes Friday, the earthquake, measuring 8.9 on the Richter scale — centred east of the city of Sendai, 370 kilometres northeast of Tokyo — shook apart homes and buildings, cracked open highways and unnerved even those who have learned to live with swaying skyscrapers.