Major 8.9 magnitude earthquake struck 111 miles east of Sendai, Japan

A major 8.9 magnitude earthquake struck Japan few hours ago. The earthquake's epicenter was 111 miles east of the city of Sendai. Nikon has a major manufacturing facility in Sendai:

Nikon Sendai plant (credit: Nikon Corp)

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  • My thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by this. What a horrible disaster.

    • Vandyu

      Agree Kyle. I’ve been watching the events unfold on BBCNews and CNN. The nation is devastated. Japan is about the size of California, but much better prepared to deal with major earthquakes. The tsunami is what has done the most damage. Let’s all be patient and supportive of our Asian friends. Their economy, infrastructure, and logistics will take a while to get re-organized. Some things cannot be replaced. Lives have been lost. Families destroyed. So many homeless. Glad to hear that so many nations are coming to their aid. Humans can be at their best when tragedy strikes.

    • mariko

      Thanks folks for your kind concern and recovery wishes for my country.
      I live in Tokyo and am far from the Tohoku area(northen Japan), yet I too had a horror experince at work when the shakes happened. I was on the 7th floor at work…our office building was quite old(built in 1972), so it shook so hard… and shook for a long time!
      I couldnt look up at all, barely holding on to my desk and kept chanting ‘please stop! please stop!’ The NZ earthquake and WTC collapse acrossed my mind, I thought the whole building was going to fall.
      Now so sad for the lost of ppl of Tohoku area(northern Japan). These ppl’s life has been aways so hard in strict cold weather w/ long snowy winter. People make simple living from fishry and farming industries. Tohoku faces a big decrease of young ppl’s manpower to take after their industries and hold serious jobless and low income situations.
      I feel some strange events and disasters are happening here and there in the world lately. I dont find it normal.

      • jane

        hi mariko, i read your comment and its nice to know some part of japan are stil holding on after the horible desaster in your country…but i am wondering if people in sendai was given a warning or evacuated prior to the desaster? are casualties identified already as of the moment?….the thing is i have friend who lives in sendai and until now i cannot reach her…i just want to know are they safe?….even a tiny bit of information that might help relieve my worries..thank you

        • mariko

          sorry for my late reply! ive jus came back to this site.
          i know ppl who have their parents living in sendai or fukushima(northern japan where the catastrophe is the worst). only lucky ppl have barely survived or escaped. its hard to follow up the lives of ppl becos phone connections are not easy since the disaster. all you can do is to keep connecting your friend day after day…if you want to locate your friend, i can try to put up some message in japanese for you. let me know while im still alive..!

  • Mike Devonport

    I don’t care if you like this or not. People died, hurt, and lost families show some respected. My advice to all Nikon Rumors bloggers, is to go down to their local Red Cross and donate what ever you can to quake victims.

    • Banned

      It’s not Haiti or the US they can manage that themselves, thank you.

      • Mike Devonport

        I know Japan is rich country, but the international community as well as individuals should help Japan what ever they need. That includes donations.

        • Anton

          Japan has a very large deficit (about 10% GDP). This earthquake could make (don’t laugh) it broke. Agencies like S&P will probably lower it’s credit rating. Considering what is going on in north africa, this might severely affect the global economy (an extension of the financial crisis).

          • Deagleman

            Unlike the US, Japan’s debt is almost entirely held by the Japanese people. I doubt this will greatly affect their ability to borrow from foreign countries.

            • Anton

              Exactly, once they borrow (their is no question weather they will be given a credit) their credit ranking will be lowered by S&P, M&S, … And this will escalate their dept even more.

            • mariko

              Its wrong to consider Japan is a rich country. Our country owes a huge national debt by issuing ‘government bonds’ to support other nations. This burden goes to citizens.

  • Sly Larive

    I will not join in and jump on the people who find humor in such news. Hopefully you will never have to face such a tragedy to understand the full force of dismay and hopelessness. We live in a time where seeing someone savagely being by another instantly becomes a youtube sensation, we have only ourselves to blame.

    The Japanese are a proud and generous people. They are always at the forefront when other countries are in need. Hopefully our leaders will be swift in sending help wherever it is needed.

    • +100
      Everyone should do their part in making the world a better place 🙂

      • Mock Kenwell

        Yes and part of that is lightening the mood under dire circumstances.

    • Mike Devonport

      I agree

    • Vandyu

      Nicely stated. We are accustomed to instant gratification. We need to put ourselves in their place–no electricity, homes destroyed, autos and possessions gone, families separated, many deceased, so many lost and fearful, most without safety or comfort. All of this is so much more important than when the latest camera model will be released.

      • Clark Tanaka

        thank you so much for your words Vandyu, some of my friends are still having hard time contacting their family and friends and thousands of people are freezing without blankets and food.
        I was just shocked to see such joke in a state like this.

        Luckily I am still alive and be able to even be online.
        Thanks to everyone for your prayers.

        Clark from Tokyo.

  • Gary

    lol, that is one epic comment

  • Sly Larive

    I must admit I smirked from your comment. I understand that all is not gloom and doom, but I prefer to keep a sombre tone this morning.

  • luxnoto

    I appreciate your concern of our tragedy. Here is a video about Sendai.

  • Mock Kenwell

    Well, all the buildings in the shot seem small and in good shape. Great news.

    • jerl

      I’m guessing you already know this but the shot is probably a stock shot taken before the earthquake.

  • I am so sad hundreds people are dead or missing by earthquake and fire. This is the biggest earthquake in history in Japan.

  • The invisible D900

    Darm ! It was suposed to be my joke, I guess you’re faster than me.

    • The invisible D900

      Ok, I guess it’s not very appropriate.
      Sorry to all Japanese people.

  • KC

    IS would help the Canon facilities ;D

  • sirin

    omg. so inappropriate. but so damn good. ))

  • Dweeb

    All that’s known so far is the complex didn’t collapse killing employees. Anything official information will be issued with it’s effect on Nikon stock prices in mind.

    Count of every piece of hardware in that facility having to be checked and re-calibrated along with damage to goods in production, along with their other divisions such as stepper motors.

    Also involved will be homeless employees, parts not arriving at the airport, etc.. People might be prevented from entering the building until structural inspections are done. Needless to say this is very serious, likely a lot more than they will let on.

  • rhlpetrus

    Horrible scenes, hope people have been able to reach higher grounds before tsunami hit the area.

    • Merv

      Looking at the map of the earthquake, I think they would have had only minutes to immediately realize that they had to move to higher ground.

  • Merv

    Thoughts to all who have been affected by this and other earthquakes including

    Chile, 8.8, about 500 casualties
    Haiti, 7.0, 50,000 – 220,000 casualties
    Christchurch, 6.3, a couple hundred dead
    Japan, 8.8, already 60 reported dead

    Thom Hogan on his website is thinking that the Sendai plant was not heavily damaged, but time will tell. Guess we will soon find out if Nikon has always had long-term preparations for this type of disaster; they could have chosen to build their plant on a hill.

    Though it could be that the workers in this plant may be very heavily impacted by the tsunami.

    • There are 300+ dead so far. I would imagine this will hit the thousands in a few weeks. Nowhere near Haiti, but still a very serious situation 🙁

      And could possibly get worse if the Fukushima reactor isn’t brought under control.

      • Mike

        Japan, with all it’s technological knowhow and knowing it is in an earthquake prone area has, I can only imagine, extensive earthquake proofing designs in it’s modern architecture. It alsmost appears that the tsunami is a greater factor in death and damage. In local news here in Canada, they mentioned that a train (!) is unaccounted for after the tsunami. The power of nature is limitless it seems.

        • Just heard a bit ago, now two trains unaccounted for 🙁

          Given Japan’s reliance on trains, it would not surprise me to hear that there were more than 2 missing.

    • My report is second-hand. It’s one of the few times I’ve dropped my second source requirement. I’ve watched several from-air videos of the Sendai area now, and it appears that the water incursion pushed worst up the river channel towards the main city. While the airport just to the East of the plant was flooded, by the time the wave got there it appears it had lost much of its height.

      But I don’t think it makes much difference whether the plant itself suffered any direct damage. The area is devastated. Power loss, people loss, transportation losses, you name it. Almost certainly every business in the area will be affected, and possibly for some time to come.

      Everyone impacted by this has my sympathy and my hope for a quick and satisfactory resolution to any losses, problems, or other issues they suffered. If I find out that there’s something I can do more directly to help, I will do so.

    • D700guy

      It could actually turn out that Nikon plant workers would need to stay employed during this severe time of need.

  • Discontinued

    I had a similar* joke in mind, but didn’t let it slip my mouth/finger tips, till I had watched the news. 60 people dead sealed me up. The very next moment another 200 were reported at sendai beach. Let’s not get this VR-IS-Joking out of hand.

    * caused by testing VR III

  • Polartek

    Map with location – Hard to find. Not far from a river or from the ocean. Cannot tell elevations to know how low they are from sea level. Cannot tell if this area was hit by the tsunami like tv coverage is showing, but if it was, then it looks like the factory could easily have been hit. Satellite image appears to be factory shown in picture for story.
    Google map link below:,140.891762&sspn=0.245897,0.305901&g=natori+city+japan&ie=UTF8&hq=277+aza+hara&hnear=Natori,+Miyagi+Prefecture,+Japan&t=h&ll=38.175862,140.920258&spn=0.061468,0.109177&z=14

  • D700guy

    From the maps I’ve seen, Sendai looks pretty much fucked. The only city that looks to be in a worse location is Kesennuma.

  • Eric Calabros


    “The temblor hit 130 kilometers off the coast of Sendai, north of Tokyo, at a depth of 24 kilometers”

    I think the facility may be in safe distance.

    • Eric Calabros

      but, its obvious there is no Power

  • OMR

    God bless Japan. México está contigo gran pueblo japonés.

  • The situation in the nuclear power plant Fukushima N ° 1 will be normalized according to media data recovery. (live-ticker “” Germany)

  • Sahaja

    Actually the casualty figures probably would have been much higher than they are if Japanese buildings weren’t designed with a kind of built-in VR.

    • chuck

      this is what happens when you use VR on a tripod kids!

  • Evnarmil Who

    You are in my prayers, Japan!

  • Bruce

    There are probably going to be major logistics issues in the Sendai and surrounding areas as recovery takes place. Damage to infrastructure including port and the airport facilities may impact movement of people, supplies, and produced goods for some time. Reports from the ground tell me that after shocks are still moving through. I have friends in Tokyo that are now quite scared; the city was moving like a boat on an ocean for some time. My prayers go to all in Japan and I still plan to travel back there again on the 23rd.

  • ArthurH

    Oh my God what a horrible tragedy…my thoughts are with all these people affected…

  • I am so sad it is estimated more than 1000 people who are dead and missing by the earthquake, tsunami and fire.
    Thank you for your sympathy.

  • Rick Rae

    Thoughts and prayers with all the people of Japan. Devastation is massive and now word is that a nuclear power plant has experienced an explosion and fears of a melt down. If any nation is prepared for this it’s Japan, but this is incredibly bad.

  • DanD

    Actually, I think this is good news for Japan, especially if you look at long term. The Japanese economy has been in deep trouble for years, recently they loose 2nd position to China. Yes, this is a terrible disaster but it also a huge (read: gigantic) opportunity for Japan to regain it position. It’s like god’s wake up call for Japan. Call me crazy but you’ll see, after this, the restructuring process will bring Japan back in the limelight.
    Hell, this is not the first time, earthquakes, tsunamis, even Atomic bomb(s) cannot bring Japan down before, why this is any difference???

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