President Obama Responds to "Heartbreak" of 8.9 Sendai Japan Earthquake
During a national press conference Friday morning President Barack Obama was asked about his personal feelings about the 8.9 Sendai earthquake in Japan. President Obama responded that they will provide whatever assistance they need, primarily lifting survivors away from the area. He said that solving the destruction problems requires heavy equipment that can be provided and will be.
The 8.9 magnitude earthquake in the city of Sendai Japan has killed at least three hundred as of Friday morning and has caused tremendous damage. The movie like images of sweeping thirteen foot waves has devastated northeastern Japan and been felt as far away as Beijing China. This is a review and assessment of some of the immediate effects and results of the March 11th earthquake in Japan of 2011.
President Obama said he was “heartbroken” about the devastation in Japan and that for all of our distances and differences that “ultimately humanity is one”. He reflected on his own family and the dealings with loses in family and security as a result of the quake. He also related his growing up in Hawaii and proximity to the Japanese culture that he was especially moved by the events and destruction of the quake.
The earthquake that hit Japan on Friday morning was the fifth largest recorded since 1900, and the ninth largest ever recorded since measurements began according to the Geological Survey Institute. The quake was at a depth of fifteen miles and centered about 80 miles off the coast of Sendai.
The quake triggered numerous strong aftershocks greater than a magnitude of six. A tsunami watch and warning went out to the immediate Pacific area. California’s Newport Beach and Dana Point were not expected to be affected by the possibility of the waves reaching around 8:45 AM Pacific Time.
The quake hit about 200 miles from Tokyo where trembling were felt for over a minute according to many firsthand reports. Videos of trains shaking and passengers falling back and forth have been broadcast worldwide. Tokyo’s Narita International Airport was evacuated to the tarmac.
The city of Fukushima has declared a nuclear state of emergency this morning and is evacuating two million nearby residents. A dam broke nearby and the power plant’s cooling system has been malfunctioning.
President Obama acknowledged that Japan has had a history of these quakes and has used its resourcefulness to rebuild from this latest devastation. News coverage will likely be wall to wall over the weekend.