It is believed that the whole coastline between the ports of Aomori and Chosi has seen severely damaged.. (Photo: Stock File)
Ports buried under mud after tsunami; more tremors hit
Monday, March 14, 2011, 23:50 (GMT + 9)
The Japanese fishing port of Minamisanriku situated 80km west of last Friday’s earthquake's epicentre now lies masked by a thick layer of mud and debris. Japan's historic fishing port of Hakodate also suffered greatly.
The town of Minamisanriku, located some 500km north of Tokyo in Miyagi prefecture, was pummeled by 10m-tall waves following the magnitude-9 quake.
In Hakodate, 2m waves tore through and left wooden boxes and fish containers dotting the streets; thousands of frightened residents fled the coast afraid that another barrage of water and mud could strike the harbour in the south of Hokkaido Island, report AFP.
In Minamisanriku, as local communication networks were shattered and several roads to the north-east remain impenetrable, information about the fishing port remains scant, TodayOnline reports.
Only a few buildings persist; neighbourhoods are now mostly populated by twisted metal, buckled wooden constructions and smashed cars.
Further, according to the latest news by Japanese monitors, a new aftershock with a whopping magnitude of 6.2 has hit off-shore 140km (87 miles) north-east of Tokyo on Monday.
The tremor wobbled tall buildings in Tokyo, but the authorities did not issue a tsunami alert. The US Geological Survey informed that the quake had a depth of 18km.
The government had advised people not to go to school or work due to transport interruption and power cuts, such that most people may have experienced this latest tremor in their homes.
On Sunday, another earthquake was reported to have hit Tokyo also with a magnitude of 6.2 and located at a distance of about 179km.
Since the original catastrophe on Friday, there have been reports that the whole coastline between the ports of Aomori and Chosi has seen severely damaged.
Numerous fishing boats, processing plants and fish farms have disappeared or been severely harmed, and the fishing fleet has ceased operating in the north due to alerts of possible additional tsunamis.
In the areas where the tsunami caused the most damage – the ports of Hachinohe, Rikuzen-Takada, Kesennuma, Ofunato, Ishinomaki, Siogama, Shitigahama and Onahama -- most vessels will not be able to operate for several weeks as a result of the absence of crew members and supplies. It is expected that most ports will not be functional for several months.
The remaining vessels may in the interim operate from other ports.
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By Natalia Real