A powerful earthquake with magnitude of 8.9 on Richter Scale struck the north eastern coast of Japan on Friday unleashing Tsunami with more than 7 meters high waves that swept away boats, cars and homes while widespread fires burned out of control.
According to The Jakarta Globe, the earthquake was followed by more than 50 aftershocks for hours, many of them of more than magnitude 6.0. Dozens of cities and villages along a 2,100-kilometer stretch of coastline were shaken by violent tremors that reached Tokyo, located hundreds of kilometers from the epicenter.
BBC quoted local officials as saying that more than 1,000 people are thought to have died.and many others missing. Hundreds of bodies were found in the northeastern coastal city of Sendai. The death toll was likely to continue climbing given the scale of the disaster.
Electricity and Communications have been badly affected by the earthquake and tsunami until noon today.
This afternoon, a magnitude 6 earthquake has caused a large explosion at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in north-eastern Japan, close to the epicentre of Friday's earthquake. Officials fear a meltdown at one of the plant's reactors. Tens of thousands of people in the surrounding area have been urged to evacuate
Noriyuki Shikata, deputy cabinet secretary for the Japanese prime minister tweets: " Blast was caused by accumulated hydrogen combined with oxygen in the space between container and outer structure. No damage to container."
Officials of the Indonesian Embassy in Tokyo told TV-One that there are around 20.000 Indonesian citizens living in Japan at the moment, and in order to know their condition the Embassy in Tokyo and Consulate General in Osaka have opened a hot line phone connection.
The Tsunami has triggered alert in countries located south of Japan like Taiwan, the Philippines and Indonesia, but no casualty was reported. And region in the Province of Papua was affected. While in Bitung, North Sulawesi the height of sea waves increase only 10 Centimeter above normal.
President SBY has expressed sympathy and condolence and offered assistance, while countries Australia and New Zealand have sent their rescue team.
In this connection I would like to express my condolence and deepest sympathy to the families of the victims.