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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  • Alex

    Poor people. Just saw some live footage of the tsunami rolling forth obliterating everything in its way. And what does this mean for Nikon. I wonder if their plant got hit hard.

    • At their Sendai plant Nikon is manufacturing the D800 and D4 bodies.

      • LGO

        Learned of earthquake within 15 minutes after it happened. Great tragedy and expect a lot of damages.

        Do not expect any new FX cameras from Nikon cameras as Sendai badly impacted. The Sendai Airport runway was underwater but Sendai Airport tower seems to be unscathed except for flooding in the ground floor.

        • Vic

          Compare to the human lost and the other tragedy, camera body or lens is way less important.

          Can’t believe people still worry about camera stuff…

          • Well, don’t expect anything from that place in a looong time. This is the least of Japan’s worries. Looking at the television, it’s terrible, i’m shocked. That God may help them.

            • ja

              what god does it in the first place ???????

            • sss

              There is no god

            • Banned

              No there is no god or why would you ask him to fix something HE provoked? No sense.

          • LGO

            @ Vic

            I merely stated a fact. You are the one who seem to be worried.

            • Vic

              I am happy with my D3 and 30+ lens. so I am all set.


            • LGO

              A fish is caught by its mouth. Enough said.

            • Wataru

              You speak of happy at a time like this?

            • gt

              Vic’s comment seems really shallow at a time like this

          • Anthony


            I am from Christchurch…166 people lost their lives february earthquake, I had gone to school with one of the victims. My sister will probably have to rebuild her house, my brother-in-law lost his job (along with about 40,000 others in Chch). Now Japan has had an earthquake that was about 100 times bigger and while I am concerned for the Nikon staff in Sendai, I am just as concerned for the millions of people who are probably going to be affected by this event.

            I am so pleased to hear that you have still got your Nikon D3 and 30 lenses though… gee, you must be a great human being… probably an even better photographer… wow…

          • Banned

            It’s a Nikon Rumors website so naturally people will talk about the tragedy from the perspective of Nikon. Or why would admin even post about it?

      • Unito

        Enough of your holier than thou attitude. It is bad enough that so many lives have been lost and thousands of people are displaced. To say and imply that the readers here do not care and that they worry more about camera is hypocrisy at its highest level.

        • Banned

          You’re the one with the holier than thou attitude here.

          • Atano


            Unito talk against Vic but you agree with Vic? Maybe you Vic?

    • Cold Hands Luke

      Link I just came across:

      The bit about the factory not being badly affected sounds too good to be true, unless they meant that the workers are safe, which is the important thing.

      • lolly

        My heart goes out to the people of Japan … condolences to them and the families directly affected by the earthquake/tsunami. I hope most people in the region had time to react and get out of harm’s way.

        Even if the Sendai plant and workers were not badly affected production at the Sendai plant will be adversely affected. People will be off work for days/weeks and transportation, crucial for getting parts in and finished goods out, will be almost non-existent especially sea transportation. Perhaps finished goods can be re-routed to another port if roadways in the region can be repaired quickly.

        I’d agree with others that the D4 will be delayed.

        The people of Japan need time to recover.

  • My heart goes to the people of Japan. Its very hard to watch the tsunami coverage live on the web. I hope it is not as severe as it looks in the video. Japan is well prepared for this kind of natural disaster right?

    • kururu

      meski saya di shizuoka, tetep berasa banget gempanya. ya, mudah2an minim korban jiwa.

  • Gareth

    It was a really slow rolling earthquake here in Osaka. I felt like I was going to faint and felt dizzy. I didn’t realise it was an earthquake until someone rang us up to ask if the kids are OK. Everyone who felt it here seemed to think they were just feeling a bit dizzy, it was strange.

    As for other areas, it doesn’t look so good. No reported dead so far, but injuries reported and the tsunami may have washed so people away.

    Hope it was nothing serious.

    • MikeO

      I felt the same thing in Kobe! it was like a dream.. it just kept going and i felt lightheaded! I was so nervous. We are lucky down here in Kansai!

    • Glad to hear that Osaka and Kobe is not that affected.

    • studies have shown that earthquakes emit ULF waves that can disorientate and disturb people and animals. this is what you may have experienced. I hope the people of japan are safe and wish for their speedy recovery.

  • I saw on TV that Sendai airport is under water.

    • Alex

      Yeah saw that too. Watching the live footage gave me goose bumps. Hope those people trying to escape the tsunami front in their cars that obviously didnt make it got out of it alive. PS: Wonder how far inland is the Nikon plant.?

  • Gallon

    2 in the morning central time here. The event is getting full time emergency coverage on several tv networks. Whoa, that was a big one!

  • Mister le

    So sad.

  • Nicola

    It’s another shocker.

    All the news and historical videos have been placed here:

    Not good, and neither is the pattern of these things down there. 🙁

    • venancio

      thanks for this link…

      • Nicola

        No probs. 🙂

  • NikoNiko

    Bugger! Thats huge. Hope everyone’s ok. And i hope it doesnt slow down my D800 too much. ..

    • NikoNiko

      Never heard of one that big before. Bad as.

    • Take care

      Ohhh – please…. What if you or one of your love ones had bed strucked there in Japan, had you care anything about a camera then ??
      Please – think !

      • NikoNiko

        @Take care, yeh I know… I hadn’t seen anything when I made that comment. It just looked like more natural disaster stuff to me…. I guess I’m getting used to seeing it on TV all the time..

        Sorry all for insensitive comments…

        • Take care

          It wasnt ment for you but for them who directly was concerned for upcoming camerarelease instead of the people. Even the people in Nikon

  • My heart goes out to them. I lived in Japan for a couple years and most of their modern infastructure was designed to handle quakes. Most of the homes aren’t though. We had rolling quakes every few weeks while I was there but that was shortly after the Kobe quake. As much as I enjoyed my stay there, I was pretty happy to get away from those quakes.

  • Sad for poor souls out there.

    Hope no serious casualty.

  • From what I can tell, it looks like the factory is about 2 miles away from the airport and the land in that area appears to be fairly flat…

  • Roald

    Hey !
    Why is some more conserned about what this will have to say about Nikon-cameras or equimpent ???
    I’m waiting for some new things my self, but under this circumstances I’m more worried about the Japanes people and the people of the other countries where the earthquake and tsunami is hitting.
    Forget about the Nikon / Canon stuff for now!!!
    Lets our hope and prays goes to all the people there instead.

    • ennan

      This is a nikon related site – i dont think theres anything wrong with discussing the impact this will have on future nikon releases or the company in general.
      It should be obvious that we all feel for the people affected by this disaster and if this was a different site unrelated to nikon I would agree that discussing camera equipment would be distasteful, but its not.
      If anything it shows how a disaster like this does not just affect those involved. The industry which has suffered will have an impact globally. We have no idea how this will affect nikons future. Heres hoping they recover ok.

      And for the record my heart goes out to the people of japan and those caught in the earthquake and tsunami. Heres hoping casualties were light.

      • NikoNiko


      • Agree! There is nothing wrong on this site of contemplating the impacts to Nikon.

      • +1

  • I live a couple hours south of Sendai. Was actually supposed to spend the weekend up there (if this had hit later, I would’ve been in it).

    4 hours after the main quake, my building is still shaking (as I write this). Have never, ever experienced anything like this in my life.

    I’m in relative safety (even if the aftershocks are still happening), but I mourn for those in the hard-hit areas. Sendai… can’t imagine what the death toll is going to be once things calm down 🙁

    • gt

      stay safe man :\

    • venancio

      be sure you’ve got spare batteries for your portable communication gadgets, and don’t forget the charger… you might be in a position to help… and as was said in Avatar, this is sad, this is sad ONLY… i fear a six figure casualty count, same as the one in Thailand many Christmases ago…
      + stay safe…

    • Stay safe Fried Toast

  • The Nikon factory is further inland than the airport, but not by much. They are actually quite close to each other. So, yes, it’s likely going have a significant impact. Just like it will impact all those people who live between the factory and the sea. And all those Nikon workers whose family may be missing, injured or dead. The new cameras will come. Lost ones are gone forever.

  • PJS

    The USGS site says the quake was 81 miles from Sendai, not 111. Here’s a link:

    There have been many, many aftershocks since the original quake and tsunami. You can follow them here:

    My thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this tragedy.

  • Stevens

    I hope none of the hard working engineers of Nikon got hurt.
    Praying for them and their families.

  • Jeff Curtner

    Maps showing the factory location:

    It appears the factory is several miles from the coast. In the second map the red balloons are where the Sendai Airport which was reported flooded. The factory is further inland and may or may not be affected.

  • I too, want to express my feelings about this, and my hopes that the number of dead and injuried will remain low. People are far more important than equipment when a disaster like this strikes.

  • ItsaChris

    cnn just reported that its the 7th worst earthquake recored.
    And the images are crazy.

    nikon might have some more problems with supply but the yen (and in turn the jap economy) could be devastated by this natural disaster. and all of this effects people not just the concern of there safety.

    earthquakes can happen in groups (not just talking about hr or days but historically earthquakes are clumped together). 7.2 2 days ago and 8.9 today with many after shocks even up to 8.0. recently we had the 2 major 2010 Chile earthquake that were 5 days apart.

  • jsa

    My thoughts go to the families of Japan.

    At least here most of us, except Lokyer and Toowooomba, had time to prepare.

  • dino

    What a tragedy… thoughts and prayers for them all.. after Chile now Japan… It looks like the whole Pacific plaque is involved somehow.. Stay safe, guys! Whoever is under the quake line should pay attention in this period !

  • Kaze kaze

    Just saw some live feeds, bad news, and my prayers are with the brothers and sisters there.
    The mag has apparently downgraded into a 7.9 ish instead of the initial report 8.8 to 8.9 scale.

  • Carlos R B

    All my fellings to the japanese people. At least, they are much more prepared for this kind of happenings, than other countries. The images from the waves and water taking everything on the way are scaring….
    Seems like some bad times are ahead of us, regarding nature. Its time to prepare ourselves, and, in time, to see also what we can do to to issues like global warming and etc…( i know this earth quake has nothing to do with our behaivier)…its time for regular citizens to take action into a better place for our children to live….
    i know is OT….so i end it….

  • DX2FX

    Further delays on D800..

    • Jimmy

      Amazing to think that this is all some people worry about at times like this.

    • Mike

      Yes, that’s what is sad about this story. |-P

  • Distanted

    There’s thousands of people suddenly doing without electricity, transportation, drinkable water, shelter, friends and family…nows a good time to dust off your D100 and count your blessings.

  • My hopes are the same as everyone’s around here. Do not really care about the gear – let’s keep our fingers crossed for the people affected.

  • Anonymous

    Who cares about the cameras right now. Let’s hope that in this tragedy the human casulties are minimal. My prayers go out for those poor people.

  • Stuart

    “Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported that a 10-metre wave (33ft) struck the port of Sendai, carrying ships, vehicles and other debris inland.”

    Best Wishes to Japan, i really hope enough warning was given.

  • Discontinued

    Holy Shit ! ! !

    There is smoke and there is fire and this is not a rumor.
    What a mess. Hope it looks worse than it is. I feel
    sorry for the people.

  • longzoom

    Oh God keep your wings over my most lovely country on the planet Earth…

  • neil

    My thoughts and prayers go to all those who have been affected.

    It is sad to hear people bemoaning the delays to new cameras from Nikon when so many have died and been made homeless by the quake. Are there really so many shallow and thoughtless people worshiping at the alter of consumerism?

    • I shoot Nikon

      Are all you bible-thumpers completely out of your mind? You people are so pretentious, that you disgust me. This is a camera forum and there is nothing wrong with expressing concern over the future of the product we all care about. If the post does not begin with “my prayers go out to…” and end with “god bless the brave people of Japan”, it does not mean that the poster does not care about the country as whole. Everyone feels bad about the situation, but not everyone feels they need to indulge in these fake acts of tear-shedding and god praising like you people do.

      Too bad you are so brain-washed that you can’t even admit that if your so benevolent god did not want this for this disaster to happen, it wouldn’t have happened. As you all like to say “he has a plan”, so I guess this plan includes delaying the release of the D800. Thousands of people die of starvation every day and I don’t see you crying over it on this forum, so feel free to find another place to mourn or at least cut down on your personal attacks of members who are not as fake as you.

      • lolly

        It’s called respect and being sensitive to others in dire straits. Anyway, any comment can invite criticism and even ridicule. I guess people call it free speech.

      • neil

        How many assumptions can you get in to one bigoted post? Who mentioned the Bible? What is pretentious about caring for others? Why does expressing concern have to be fake? Who says praying is fake? Brain-washed how? Maybe it is those who assign the potential delay of a new model of camera to ‘God’s plan’ are the ones who are brain-washed in their desire to blindly upgrade.

        As you say, there are millions of people suffering all around the world, but this is to the best of my knowledge, a case of Nikon being directly affected and so this is the first time that suffering has been on topic on this forum.

        If you want to think that my post was fake then that is your choice, but when you manage to get off your high horse, have a thought on what an idiot you have made yourself look with your petty rant.

  • chuck

    Nikon may be wasted but the poor people who have no homes, businesses or even those who have lost their family members…

  • McPix

    The Nikon plant is just 7 km from the coast line on flat terrain – nothing, if there was really a 10 m wave rolling in…
    Wishing the very best to all Japanese!

  • Xanadu AW18

    Stop thinking about material things think about the lost of live rebuilt is just a matter of time and money the people is the biggest lost let´s all pray what ever your religion is.
    And for god´s and all other believe stop making war ihave seen enough during 33 years in the RNLMC time

    • John

      I wish the very best for the Japanese people however lets be real and honest…We all want the Nikon plant to be unscathed……..

      • lolly

        The workers are the greatest assets of any company … you should emphasize this in your comment. No multi-national is going to place all their eggs in one basket. There are other plants that can probably take up the lost production of the Sendai plant.

  • Bruce

    I’m getting txt messages from friends in Japan. Unhurt fortunately but very scared. Lots of power failures. Major after-shocks. Also some reports of cooling water system problems at the Fukushima nuclear power plant but details sketchy. A nuclear emergency was declared a short time ago. I love Japan. Just got back a few weeks ago and hope to return in two weeks.

  • SZRimaging

    Yahoo is reporting at least 32 dead. Sad news indeed.

    My sincere compassion goes out to these people and their families. It is times like these I wish I had more power to do something.

    Hopefully some of our peers out there are in a good enough position to document everything. This kind of event highlights how important photographers and videographers really are. And don’t just document the struggle, but humanities ability to cope with such situations and overcome them.

    • SZRimaging

      Since I posted the toll is up to at least 60.

  • MO

    My condolences to the people of Japan. I hope you will overcome this tragedy soon. As a fan and a Nikon user, I pray for the well being of everyone who works at Nikon and the rest of Japan. That’s the least we can do to thank the people who gift us with great products that we all enjoy.

    Mo from Egypt

  • Cold Hands Luke

    I’ve got a few friends who live in Japan. Fortunately they’re all down in the Osaka/Kyoto region so they should be safe, but it’s still agonising waiting for them to check in on Facebook or whatever.

    The pictures and video from Sendai look horrific, and my heart goes out to anyone in the area and their loved ones. All I can hope is that the Japanese are generally prepared for these events, and so the damage and loss is hopefully much less than it could have been, but still this was a big one.

    Bruce, I love Japan too. Been there twice, unfortunately only for about 10 days each time. If I didn’t have to work for a living I’d probably learn the language and move out there (not necessarily in that order). It’s a wonderful place, earthquakes or no. I’m jealous you seem to get to go out there so often.

  • hybris

    hang in there japan!
    zen practiseing people, we love u

  • sloma_p
  • YooYoung ghirL

    is south korea affected by the tsunami from japan?? someone please answer… reply pls..

    • sloma_p

      Currently no, though it’s approaching Taiwan, so some of the wave could hit SK, but nothing major or damaging.

  • I think of the fate of individuals

  • Bruce

    An evacuation order for residents close by the Fukushima nuclear power plant has been issued and a nuclear emergency has been declared. As best I can gather the reactor scrammed OK but the cooling water system failed and thus they can’t cool it down with residual fission reactions still going on. Details very sketchy still.

    • Anton

      On cnn they reported that there is not enough electrical power to power the pumps (to pump the water).

  • Andreas H

    Man, what a disaster. I hope casualty numbers do not continue to rise even further…
    I just read this:

    It seems Nikon and other camera companies in the area are all right, at least for the most part. I’m glad Nikon employees and production facilities are all right, now some sweeping up and back to production… 😉

    • lolly

      “now some sweeping up and back to production”

      You’re dreaming like the others waiting for the D4. There’ll be a significant delay because of the transportation and power issues. In major emergencies people have to spend time to recover and rebuild. Keep dreaming but dream good fortune for the people of Japan instead.

  • I was thinking of driving up tomorrow to see if I could help in any way; or possibly document some of the tragedy.

    However, there’s a nuclear power plant that is currently having troubles cooling its reactor. If things go south… the tsunami might be the last thing on our minds over here.

    So far, there are only minimal evacuations. Definitely something to keep an eye out for.

    8 hours after the largest quake, there are still tremblors rolling through (one hit while I was typing this out).

  • Bruce

    Latest from Reuters:



    Folks, if they lose this unit at Fukushima you can kiss good-bye to Nikon cameras for a while (and a bunch of other significant manufactured goods from that region).

    • Denko

      I sincerely hope they get this under control sooner rather than later. Read somewhere that another big one is predicted shortly.

  • fiatlux

    Very sad news, shocking images.

    From the information published, I don’t think the Nikon Sendai factory, which is about 7km away from the shore, will have been hit hard by the tsunami. I am confident the Japanese are able to overcome this tragedy and that their economy will recover soon but the human toll will be a tough one for sure.

    All my thoughts go to the impacted families.

  • I shoot Nikon

    Are all you bible-thumpers completely out of your mind? You people are so pretentious, that you disgust me. This is a camera forum and there is nothing wrong with expressing concern over the future of the product we all care about. If the post does not begin with “my prayers go out to…” and end with “god bless the brave people of Japan”, it does not mean that the poster does not care about the country as whole. Everyone feels bad about the situation, but not everyone feels they need to indulge in these fake acts of tear-shedding and god praising like you people do.

    Too bad you are so brain-washed that you can’t even admit that if your so benevolent god did not want this for this disaster to happen, it wouldn’t have happened. As you all like to say “he has a plan”, so I guess this plan includes delaying the release of the D800. Thousands of people die of starvation every day and I don’t see you crying over it on this forum, so feel free to find another place to mourn or at least cut down on your personal attacks of members who are not as fake as you.

    • tony


    • jkg


    • Brexxi


      Well said.

    • Japater

      Well said “I shoot Nikon”, we are all in this forum because we love Nikon products. Plus what a better way to help them than buying their products…

    • lolly

      “You people are so pretentious, that you disgust me …”

      This is a comment forum … any comment will invite criticism and even downright ridicule … your comment is proof of this right of free speech. The further away we are from a disaster the less we worry about others affected in such a disaster … I guess the only ‘personal’ ties some people have to this area is the Sendai plant.

      Try to be sensitive to the situation in Japan and you may not be so disgusted by pretentious people.

  • ob1

    don’t worry, the d800 is a pro cam, pretty sure it’s waterproof 😉

    but seriously, prayers go out to japan. i hope the nuclear facilities hold up.

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