11 March 2011 15:09 [Source: ICIS news]
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By Tomomi Yokomura?xml:namespace>
The 8.9-magnitude quake struck Japan’s northeast coast at 14:46 local time (05:46GMT), some 373 km (231 miles) northeast of Tokyo, and 130km east of Sendai, Honshu – the largest island in the country, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS).
It caused a huge tsunami with waves up to 10 metres high, which swept inland destroying buildings and infrastructure, and paralysing refining and petrochemical operations.
There was a major explosion at a petrochemical complex in Shiogama, Miyagi prefecture and the facility is currently on fire, according to local media reports
An uncontrolled fire at the
There was also a fire at the chemical factory of JFE Chemical in the Chuo ward in the city of
JX Nippon Oil & Energy shut its paraxylene facilities in Kashima, with a combined capacity of 600,000 tonnes/year and in
Meanwhile, a source close to the company said that three of JX Nippon Oil’s refineries were down - a 145,000 bbl/day unit at Sendai in Miyagi prefecture, a 189,000 bbl/day crude oil refinery at Kashima in Ibaraki prefecture and a 270,000 bbl/day unit at Negishi, Kanagawa prefecture.
Mitsui Chemicals and Mitsubishi Chemical operate chemical plants in Kashima,
Telephone lines and power are down in some parts of the affected area, making it difficult to check on operations of other petrochemical plants.
A state of emergency was declared at Tokyo Electric Power’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) when the cooling system failed in a reactor following an automatic shutdown, leading to the evacuation of nearby residents.
It is not clear which ports are closed, but the
Stock markets in Asia fell as the natural disaster compounded investors' concerns over unrest in
The Bank of Japan said in a statement that it will continue to assess the possible impact of the earthquake and is ready to take action as necessary
Transport has been paralysed in the area with rail and airport closures, leaving thousands of people stranded.
According to local media reports, 200-300 bodies have been found in the port city of
A tsunami warning was put in place across the Pacific to North and South America, but that has now been lifted for
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