Japan earthquake and tsunami - latest updates: Monday

17:38, Mar 14 2011
The area is flooded by tsunami in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture (state) as Japan was struck by a magnitude 8.9 earthquake off its northeastern coast.
An area is flooded by tsunami in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture (state) as Japan was struck by a magnitude 8.9 earthquake off its northeastern coast.
Japan earthquake 11/03
People at a book store react in Sendai, northern Japan.
People at a book store react in Sendai, northern Japan as an earthquake hits Friday.
People at a book store react in Sendai, northern Japan as an earthquake hits Friday.
Japan earthquake 11/03
Reporters at the Associated Press Tokyo Bureau in Tokyo take shelter under a table while a strong earthquake strikes eastern Japan.
Japan tsunami 11/03
A tsunami carries buildings (bottom) across water in Sendai.
Japan tsunami 11/03
A tsunami carries boats across waters in Kamaishi city port.
Japan quake
An office building burns in Tokyo after the earthquake.
Japan quake
People take shelter as a ceiling collapses in a bookstore during an earthquake in Sendai, northeastern Japan.
Japan quake
Rescue workers hurry to a building following reports of injuries in Tokyo's financial district.
Japan quake
A building burns after an earthquake in the Odaiba district of Tokyo.
Japan quake
Hundreds of Oahu residents flocked to the Times Supermarket to purchase water and supplies in Hawaii.
Japan quake
In this video image taken from Japan's NHK TV, ships and boats are washed ashore in Hachinohe, Aomori Prefectur.
Japan quake
In this image made off Japan's NHK TV video footage, houses are washed away by the tsunami in Sendai, Eastern Japan.
Japan quake
In this image made off Japan's NHK TV video footage, houses are washed away by the tsunami in Sendai, Japan.
Japan quake
In this image made off Japan's NHK TV video footage, vehicles are washed away by the tsunami in a coastal area of eastern Japan.
Japan quake
People walk past a ruined bus stop which was crushed by part of fallen outer wall of a nearby building in Sendai, Japan.
Japan quake
Giant fireballs rise from a burning oil refinery in Ichihara, Chiba Prefecture.
Japan quake
Part of houses swallowed by tsunami burn in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture.
Japan quake
A person on the third floor of a Japanese airport photographs damage and debris.
Japan quake
Houses swept away by a tsunami smoulder near Sendai Airport.
Japan quake
Natural gas storage tanks burn at a facility in Chiba Prefecture, near Tokyo.
Japan quake
An aerial view of a tsunami swamped Sendai Airport in northeastern Japan
Japan quake
A truck is stuck on a road crack after a powerful earthquake in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan.
Japan quake
A fire burns at a passenger terminal at Sendai Airport after the airport was swamped by the tsunami in northeastern Japan.
Japan quake
Residents walk through rubble residents after a powerful earthquake in Iwaki, Fukushima prefecture.
Japan quake
Black smoke rises from a building in Tokyo's Odaiba bay area.
Japan quake
In this video image taken from Japan's NHK TV, a wave from the tsunami heads to the coast in Miyagi Prefecture on the north east coast of Japan.
Japan quake
Waves of the tsunami hit residences in Natori, Miyagi prefecture.
Japan quake
In this video image taken from Japan's NHK TV, a wave from the tsunami sweeps boats inland in Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture, Japan.
Japan quake
A technician at the French National Seism Survey Institute , points at a graph showing the Japan earthquake.
Japan quake
Women wait on the street after evacuating a building following an earthquake in Tokyo.
Japan quake
Houses swept out to sea burn following the tsunami.
Japan quake
Light planes and vehicles sit among the debris after they were swept by a tsumani that struck Sendai airport in northern Japan.
Japan quake
Houses are in flame while the Natori river is flooded by tsunami tidal waves in Natori city, Miyagi Prefecture, northern Japan.
Japan quake
Houses and cars are swept out to sea in Kesennuma city.
Japan quake
A building swept by a tsunami is pictured in Ibaraki Prefecture, northeastern Japan.
Japan quake
Tsunami swirls near a port in Oarai, Ibaraki Prefecture.
Japan quake
Flames rise from an oil refinery after a powerful earthquake in Ichihara, Chiba prefecture.
Japan quake
Earthquake-triggered tsumanis sweep shores along Iwanuma in northern Japan.
Japan quake
Buildings burn after an earthquake near Sendai Airport, northeastern Japan.
Buildings burn following an earthquake in Yamada town, Iwate Prefecture, northeastern Japan.
Buildings burn following an earthquake in Yamada town, Iwate Prefecture, northeastern Japan.
Fishing boats are swept by a tsunami in Oarai City in Ibaragi Prefecture, northeastern Japan.
Fishing boats are swept by a tsunami in Oarai City in Ibaragi Prefecture, northeastern Japan.
Houses lie flattened after a powerful earthquake in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture.
Houses lie flattened after a powerful earthquake in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture.
Passengers sleep at a lobby as they wait for their transportation at Haneda Airport in Tokyo, March 12, 2011.
Passengers sleep at a lobby as they wait for their transportation at Haneda Airport in Tokyo, March 12, 2011.
Earthquake in Japan
Damage is seen in Ofunato city in Iwate prefecture in Japan.
Ofunato city in Iwate prefecture
Cracks are seen in roads after an earthquake hit Satte in Japan.
Japan earthquake
The devastation caused by the Japanese earthquake is evident.
Japanese earthquake
Ruben Chavez, a resident, helps Ecuadoreans to evacuate from Santa Elena, a coastal city bordering the Pacific Ocean in Ecuador.
japan quake
A light aircraft and vehicles swept by the tsunami are seen in Natori city, Miyagi prefecture.
Japan quake
Buildings swept by a tsunami following an earthquake are seen in Miyagi Prefecture.
japan quake
A building swept under a bridge following a tsunami and earthquake is seen in Sendai, northeastern Japan.
Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant
Five nuclear reactor units at the Fukushima nuclear plant are in a state of emergency.
Ship near Sendai
A ship lifted up onto shore after an earthquake and tsunami is seen in Sendai.
Miyagi Prefecture
People, in a floating container, are rescued from a building following an earthquake and tsunami in Miyagi Prefecture.
Energy map
An energy map provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows the intensity of the tsunami in the Pacific Ocean caused by the magnitude 8.9 earthquake.
Japan earthquake
An SOS sign is drawn on the grounds of a school in Minami Sanrikucho in Miyagi Prefecture.
Japan quake
Houses are in flame while the Natori river is flooded over the surrounding area by tsunami tidal waves in Natori city.
japan earthquake
Washed out vehicles are mingled with landslide and debris in Minami Soma, Fukushima, northern Japan.
Woman and child in Iwate prefecture
A woman and child in Iwate prefecture after the Japan quake and tsunami.
Evacuees
Evacuees from the area of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant take refuge in an evacuation center in an elementary school in Namie
Japanese earthquake, tsunami aftermath
A resident is rescued from debris in Natori, Miyagi, northern Japan.
Japanese earthquake, tsunami aftermath
A soldier carries an elderly man on his back to a shelter in Natori city, Miyagi prefecture.
Japanese earthquake, tsunami aftermath
A combination picture of satellite images taken by Taiwan's National Space Organisation shows Japan's Sendai area before the earthquake and tsunami.
Japanese earthquake, tsunami aftermath
A picture taken from the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force helicopter shows the central part of the town of Minamisanriku, Miyagi Prefecture.
Japanese earthquake, tsunami aftermath
People evacuate with small boats down a road flooded by the tsunami waves in the city of Ishinomaki in Miyagi prefecture.
Japanese earthquake, tsunami aftermath
Soldiers walk on debris scattered across the town of Minamisanriku in Miyagi prefecture.
Japanese earthquake, tsunami aftermath
A building stands in the rubble in Rikuzentakata, northern Japan after the magnitude 8.9 earthquake and tsunami struck the area.
Japanese earthquake, tsunami aftermath
A man rides a motorbike past an overturned squid-fishing boat tossed onto land by a tsunami in Hachinohe City, Aomori Prefecture.
Japanese earthquake, tsunami aftermath
Rescue workers search for victims in the rubble in Rikuzentakata, northern Japan after the magnitude 8.9 earthquake and tsunami struck the area.
Japanese earthquake, tsunami aftermath
Buildings destroyed by a tsunami are pictured in Minamisanriku, Miyagi Prefecture, in northern Japan.
Residents return into the restricted area to look at their quake-damaged homes in Miyagi prefecture.
Residents return into the restricted area to look at their quake-damaged homes in Miyagi prefecture.

10.40pm: A reactor at a power plant in quake-hit Fukushima has lost all its cooling capability, Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency says.

9.23pm: US helicopters flying missions about 96km north of the damaged Fukushima reactors were coated with radioactive dust that had to be washed off, the New York Times has reported.

8.20pm: China has expressed condolences to its regional rival Japan for the loss of life resulting from Friday's earthquake and tsunami.

Premier Wen Jiabao said Monday at the end of China's annual legislative session that a Chinese rescue team was in Japan, where thousands are estimated to have died.

Wen told a news conference: "I want to use today's opportunity to extend our deep condolences over the lost lives in this disaster and express our sincere sympathy to the Japanese people".

Ring of Fire
RING OF FIRE: An area where large numbers of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur in the basin of the Pacific Ocean.

7.46pm: A magnitude 6.1 aftershock has been felt in northeastern Japan, the United States Geological Survey reports.

7.28pm: The Tokyo stock market has plunged on its first business day after an earthquake and tsunami of epic proportions laid waste to cities along Japan's northeast coast.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 stock average dived 646.32 points, or 6.3 per cent, to 9605.11 - its lowest level in four months.

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6.34pm: Automaker Toyota plans to halt operations at all of its factories in Japan.

Toyota has announced that it will stop production at its 12 factories across the country.

5.50pm: Japan's nuclear safety agency says six workers were injured in today's explosion. They were all conscious.

5.12pm: Eleven people were injured in the blast at Fukushima nuclear plant, Kyodo News reports.

4.50pm: Some 2,000 bodies were found on two shores in Miyagi Prefecture following Friday's devastating earthquake and massive tsunami.

3.30pm: Japanese media report another hydrogen explosion has taken place at the Fukushima nuclear facility.

3.14pm: Japanese television station NHK reports a three to five-metre change in the sea level has been detected in north of country.

2:40pm: A magnitude 5.8 quake has struck 140 kilometres northeast of Tokyo, shaking tall buildings in the city.

Authorities did not issue a tsunami alert and there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

1.25pm: Bank of Japan injects 7 trillion yen (NZ$115 billion) into short-term money markets following quake.

1.23pm: Japan's key Nikkei sharemarket index has fallen five per cent in early trading today on quake fears.

1.09pm: Experts say that "tsunami overlap" increased the destructive power of the sea surge after Friday's earthquake.

As the fault rupture was 500km long in a north-south direction, "tidal waves hit the coastal area from different directions and crossed over each other, increasing [the tsunami's] destructive power", Tomoya Shibayama, professor of ocean engineering at Waseda University, told the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper.

"They also became higher after currents threw them back and forth against the sea floor in coastal areas where the water was more shallow,"  he said.

12.27pm: Japan Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency official says there's no need to be overly alarmed by radiation rise.

Naoki Kumaga said radiation at the Fukushima plant was higher than legal limits but they would be much higher if the reactor was on the verge of a meltdown.

12.17pm: Wall Street Journal reports Japan could be facing biggest disaster recovery bill in history.

11.51am: New Zealand officials say there continue to be no reports of Kiwis injured or killed in Japan.

11.13am: Radiation levels have again risen above allowable levels at the Fukushima nuclear plant, Kyodo News reports.

11.10am: Japanese authorities say that radioactivity levels at the site boundary of the Onagawa nuclear power plant have returned to normal levels.

The current assumption of the Japanese authorities is that the increased level may have been due to a release of radioactive material from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

10.51am: Japanese officials say radiation levels have dropped off at Fukushima reactor that exploded at the weekend.

10.45am: Japanese with power asked to conserve it as companies say rolling outages will begin today.

10.13am: Japan has been rocked by more than 250 aftershocks since Friday's magnitude 9 earthquake.

9.23am: Australia's Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd says entire international community is worried by nuclear crises in Japan.

8.50am: NZ has been assured our search and rescue team in Japan will be kept safe from potential radiation.

8.07am: Japanese weather agency says a volcano in southern Japan is spewing ash and rock into the atmosphere.

The volcano is on Kyushu island, about 950 miles from the epicentre of Friday's magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami, which devastated much of the country's northeastern coast.

8.06am: Japanese officials say cooling system at Tokai nuclear plant north of Tokyo is now working again.

7.46am: The remainder of New Zealand's search and rescue personnel have arrived in Japan.

The advance team arrived yesterday and the last contingent of personnel arrived this morning, Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully said.

New Zealand authorities are urging Kiwis in Japan to get in contact, or contact friends or family so they can get a better idea of how many are there and their situation. If calling from overseas, call +64 439 8000. If you are in New Zealand it is 0800 432 111.

7.37am: 310,000 people have been evacuated from Japan's northeastern coast following the tsunami and crises at nuclear plants in the region.

6.30am: The cooling system pump has stopped at the Tokai No.2 nuclear power plant in Japan's Ibaraki prefecture, Kyodo news has reported.

The plant, located about 120km north of Tokyo, had suffered a nuclear accident in 1999.

Authorities admitted there may have been a partial meltdown at the stricken Fukushima plant - however they are not able to get close enough to the reactor to confirm this.

6.16am: A state of emergency has been declared at Onagawa nuclear power plant.

Authorities say a partial meltdown could be in progress in two reactors, but they can't confirm this.

Over 200,000 people have been evacuated from around the Fukushima reactors.

US aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan has begun rescue operations off the coast of Japan.