Friday, March 11, 2011

Flash Developments Post Earthquake

A good summary from Zero Hedge, citing Reuters' article. I put my comment in [italic] when I have an update from Japanese news source:

A snapshot summary of the immediately known geopolitical and financial consequences of the Japanese earthquake per Reuters:

- At least 50 people killed in the quake and ensuing tsunami, Japanese TV broadcaster NHK says. [Nikkei Newspaper says 60 dead, 56 missing, 241 injured, as of 9:28PM Japan Standard Time.]

- A ship carrying 100 people was swept away by the tsunami, Kyodo news agency reports.

- A train is unaccounted for in one coastal area, Kyodo says.

- "The earthquake has caused major damage in broad areas in northern Japan," Prime Minister Naoto Kan tells reporters.

- Quake triggers tsunami up to 10 metres (30 feet), waves sweep across farmland, sweeping away homes, crops, vehicles, triggering fires. Tsunami of 7 metres later hits northern Japan.

- Strong aftershocks hit northern Japan. ["Aftershock" off the coast of Ibaragi (north of Tokyo) was M7. Seismologists in Japan say "aftershocks" will continue, and tsunami will likely strike repeatedly. This earthquake was "out of the scale", even for them.]

- Tsunami warnings issued for the entire Pacific basin except the mainland United States and Canada.

- Countries covered by the warnings include Russia, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, Honduras, Chile, Ecuador, Colombia and Peru.

* Alerts lifted for Australia and New Zealand .

- Taiwan has evacuated some residents from the east coast, but lifted the tsunami warning that had been in place.

* Indonesia had expected tsunami waves to hit the northern coastal areas of Sulawesi, the Moluccas and Papua islands at 1130 GMT, but by 1200 GMT it had not been felt, an Indonesian official said.

- Hawaii orders evacuations of all coastal areas.

- Ruling and opposition party chiefs agree the government needs to compile an extra budget after the quake.

- Power cut to four million homes in and around Tokyo. Several fires blaze in Tokyo.

- Many sections of Tohoku expressway serving northern Japan damaged. Major fire at Chiba refinery near Tokyo.

- Bullet trains to the north of the country stopped. The government was to dispatch 900 rescue workers to stricken regions. [Partial operation started on bullet trains.]

- Tokyo's Narita international airport resumes some outbound flights after earlier closing, halting flights and evacuating passengers.

- Tokyo underground, suburban trains halted. Sendai airport in the north flooded. [Tokyo's Metropolitan Subway has said it will be able to resume operation on Saturday.]

- All Japanese ports closed and discharging operations halted, shippers report.

- Eight military planes scrambled to survey damage. Prime Minister Naoto Kan asks people to remain calm and orders the military to do their utmost to act. Cabinet to meet. The government says more tsunami possible.

- Tokyo Stock Exchange says it plans to open for trading as normal on Monday.

- Central bank vows to do utmost to ensure financial market stability.

- Government says a cooling function at Tokyo Electric Power's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant was not working, but there was no radioactive leakage.

- Television reports a major fire at Cosmo Oil Co's Chiba refinery east of Tokyo, and a fire was reported at JFE's steel plant, also in Chiba.

- Toyota says stopped output at parts factory and two assembly plants in the northeast.

- Mitsubishi Chemical says halts operations of two naphtha crackers at Kashima after a power outage.

- Electronics firm Sony closes six factories, Kyodo new agency reports.

- Asian shares fall after the quake hits while Nikkei still trading; European shares fall to their lowest in three months, with reinsurers Swiss Re , Munich Re and Hannover Re all down more than 4 percent.

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