Saudis are safe after 7.3-magnitude quake hits Japan



Agence France Presse

Published — Friday 7 December 2012

Last update 8 December 2012 1:12 pm

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

TOKYO: A one-meter-high tsunami hit northeast Japan yesterday after a powerful undersea quake struck off the coast.
Broadcasters urged residents along the shoreline to remember the 2011 catastrophe and move to higher ground when the initial tremors rocked the region.
Meanwhile, the Saudi cultural attaché in Japan, Essam Bukhary, reported that all Saudi citizens are safe following the quake and 6.2 aftershock.
“The cultural mission office was in contact with each of the three Saudi students and their families in Sendai,” Bukhary said. “Everyone reported to be well with no injuries.”
Telephone systems jammed up with the sheer volume of calls, complicating officials’ efforts to evacuate exposed areas until the tsunami warning was lifted two hours later. Meteorologists said the wave swept ashore just after 6 p.m. in Ishinomaki, a city badly hit by the 2011 quake-generated tsunami that wrecked a large swathe of coast, killing thousands. There were no immediate reports of any fatalities following the quake, which had a magnitude of 7.3, according to the United States Geological Survey.
Several smaller tsunamis were also recorded, including a 40-centimeter wave at Soma, a city that lies just outside the evacuation zone declared around the Fukushima nuclear plant after meltdowns there last year.
Operator Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) told AFP there were no reports of any problems at the crippled plant.
Broadcaster NHK reported 5,000 people had fled in Miyagi prefecture, a region devastated in last year’s disaster. Officials in Minamisanriku, Miyagi prefecture, said they were doing their best to get people to safety, but were running into technical difficulties.
“We are now calling on people to evacuate to higher ground,” town official Ryuichi Omori told AFP shortly after the quake struck. “It’s already pitch dark here. Phones — both landlines and mobiles — are not going through now, which makes it difficult to see people’s movement.
“The quake was not so big, although it felt very long. It was not big at all compared with last year’s earthquake. The town office is now setting up a disaster taskforce.”
A presenter on state broadcaster NHK repeatedly urged viewers to get to safety after the initial tremors, which set Tokyo buildings swaying violently. “Remember last year’s quake and tsunami,” he said. “Call on your neighbors and flee to higher ground now!”
The 7.3 quake struck 36 kilometers (23 miles) under the Pacific, the US Geological Survey said, with an epicenter 284 kilometers (176 miles) east of Sendai. It was followed by a 6.2 aftershock and another tremor measuring 5.5.
The Japan Meteorological Agency issued a tsunami warning, one notch lower than a tsunami alert, for the Pacific coast of Iwate, Fukushima, Aomori and Ibaraki prefectures. The agency lifted the warning around two hours later.
A spokesman for TEPCO said the quake had passed off without incident at the wrecked power station. “No abnormalities have been recorded on instruments at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant’s six reactors,” a TEPCO spokesman said.
“All workers were ordered to take shelter inside buildings at the Fukushima plant.
“No abnormalities were confirmed with the radiation monitoring posts at the Fukushima plant. No abnormalities were seen with the water processing facilities.” NHK reported 10 people were hurt, including a 36-year-old woman in Ibaraki prefecture, who suffered injuries after a closet fell on her. None of the injuries was thought to be serious, the broadcaster said.

Transport systems in the region were briefly interrupted, but normal service was resumed a short time later.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: The Ministry of Education has suspended all parallel education programs, except in medical and engineering specialties, as well as bridging programs for health diploma certificates.Education Minister Azzam Al-Dhakil gave directions to the rec...
RIYADH: The Cooperative Health Insurance Council said it had suspended operations of six medical insurance companies for violating health insurance regulations by issuing insurance policies without completing the required documentation and violating...
JEDDAH: A local survey found that almost half of Saudis abide by rules and laws in public places outside the Kingdom more than they do inside the country.More than one-third of the respondent sample said they violate road traffic signs and directions...
DAMMAM: A 50 percent decline in the prices of some types of fish in the Dammam Central Market was noted compared to the previous month.Fish sellers attributed this decline to an increased fish supply and fall in demand from hotels and consumers durin...
RIYADH: In a two-day operation, police arrested 343 beggars including women and children during the holy month of Ramadan.A police officer said the raid was carried out in the Salehiya district and 220 of those arrested were women from Ethiopia. “Mos...
RIYADH: The Civil Defense has rescued 105 pilgrims trapped in vehicles and buildings for various reasons since the start of Ramadan. During the first 10 days of the month, it also had to deal with 255 complaints, which included 150 accidents due to f...
RIYADH: Hotels in the capital have made special arrangements by setting up Ramadan tents, where diners can visit to begin and break their fast with special suhoor and iftar meals during the ongoing fasting month.As the Ramadan tent is a popular pheno...
JEDDAH: Kaddadin, or unlicensed transporters, say there is good money to be made during Ramadan especially in transporting Umrah pilgrims from Jeddah to Makkah and back.During this month the number of visitors doubles or triples which means the price...
RIYADH: The holy month of Ramadan is lively at night following Taraweeh prayers. Nights are turned into days during the month in the industrial area where there is a large concentration of automobile workshops.The industrial areas are well illuminate...
RIYADH: The Saudi man behind the green project that ensured 3,400 trees in Khurais in the Eastern Province for a government firm has been approached by a Kuwaiti oil company for a similar project. “After learning about the project in the Eastern Prov...
RIYADH: A total of 1,300 Gambian pilgrims will come to the Kingdom to perform Haj this year, Ambassador Omar Gibril Sallah said on Thursday.“We hope that the pilgrims will observe the fifth pillar of Islam in peace and harmony and may Allah accept th...
RIYADH: The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH) and the Disabled Children’s Association (DCA) have launched a traffic safety campaign, to reduce the number of accidents that cause disability.Prince Sultan bin Salman, the SCTNH...
JEDDAH: The holy month of Ramadan is a period when non-Muslim expatriates too abstain from eating, drinking or smoking during the daytime out of respect for Muslims who fast from dawn to dusk and also because it is healthy. The expatriates are also...
JEDDAH: The Interior Ministry said on Friday that it thwarted a plot by terrorists to attack targets in the Kingdom.Officers from the ministry raided a house in Taif where the suspects were staying and arrested three men, seized Daesh flags, gun sile...
Jeddah: The Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) interior ministers have vowed to take decisive action against those trying to undermine the region’s security and social fabric.At an extraordinary meeting held in Kuwait City, the ministers condemned the...

Stay Connected

Facebook