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Phivolcs: No tsunami threat from latest Japan quake

April 8, 2011 8:08am

Tags: Phivolcs
State seismologists on Friday allayed fears of another tsunami reaching the Philippines after a magnitude-7.1 quake hit Japan again Thursday night.

Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology head Renato Solidum Jr. said Phivolcs issued Alert Level 0 shortly after the quake struck at about 10:32 p.m. Thursday (Manila time).

"Thursday night’s quake was not that powerful as to trigger a tsunami that would reach the Philippines," Solidum said in an interview on dzBB radio.

Last March 11, a magnitude-9.0 quake that hit Japan triggered a powerful tsunami, but the huge wave had been greatly weakened when they reached the Philippines.

Solidum said Phivolcs’ issuance of an Alert Level 0 for Thursday night’s quake was more for information purposes.

"Kung may magtatanong sa ating kababayan, sinasabi natin na wala silang dapat ipangamba. Hindi ganyan kalakas ang lindol upang makaapekto sa ating bansa," he said.

According Phivolcs, "strong distant earthquake" near the East Coast of Honshu, Japan, had a depth of 40 km and a preliminary magnitude of 7.4.

"No destructive Pacificwide threat exists based on the historical and tsunami data. However, earthquakes of this size sometimes generate local tsunamis that can be destructive along coast located within a hundred kilometers of the epicenter," Phivolcs said.

Latest Japan quake no threat to nuclear plants

There is no sign of damage to nuclear plants in Japan from a magnitude-7.1 quake that hit the country Thursday night, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Friday (Manila time).

In its update, the IAEA cited data from Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) on the status of key nuclear facilities, including the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

"NISA confirms that no changes have been observed at the on-site radiation monitoring posts (of the Fukushima Daiichi plant). The injection of water into the reactor pressure vessels of Units 1, 2 and 3 was not interrupted," it said.

The IAEA said the quake’s epicenter was 20 km from the Onagawa nuclear power plant and about 120 km from the Fukushima Daiichi and Daini nuclear power plants.

It said the NISA confirmed that no changes have been observed of the readings at the on-site radiation monitoring posts of the Fukushima plant, which was crippled following a magnitude-9 quake and tsunami last March 11.

At the Onagawa Nuclear Power Plant, all reactors have been in cold shutdown since the 11 March earthquake.

“NISA has confirmed that two out of the three lines supplying off-site power to the site were lost following the 7 April earthquake. Off-site power continues to be supplied through the third line," the IAEA said.

It added cooling of the spent fuel pool was temporarily lost, but has subsequently been restored.

“No change has been observed in the readings from the on-site radiation monitoring post. The status of the plant is currently being checked," it said.

At the Tokai Daini Nuclear Power Plant, the IAEA said it remained in cold shutdown since the March 11 earthquake.

No abnormality has been observed, it added.

At the Higashidori Nuclear Power Plant, the IAEA said NISA has confirmed that the Higashidori NPP was shutdown and in a maintenance outage at the time of Thursday’s earthquake.

Off-site power has been lost and emergency power supply to the site is operating, it said.

“All the fuel had been removed from the reactor core and stored in the spent fuel pool. Cooling of the spent fuel pool is operational," it said.

Tomari nuke plant

In Hokkaido, the IAEA said the Tomari Nuclear Power Plant’s Unit 1 and 2 were in operation at the time of Thursday’s quake.

“Following the 7 April earthquake, the Hokkaido Electric Power Company reduced the generating power to 90% of capacity," it said.

At the Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant, NISA confirmed that Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant and uranium enrichment facility lost off-site power. Emergency power supply to the site is operating.

Signs of 'early recovery' at Fukushima plant

The IAEA said the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi plant remains very serious although there are early signs of recovery in some functions such as electrical power and instrumentation.

On April 6, it was reported that the leakage of water from the sidewall of the pit closest to the sea has stopped after coagulation agents (liquid glass) were injected into the holes drilled around the pits.

Work continues to prevent further releases to the sea.

In Unit 1 fresh water is being continuously injected into the reactor pressure vessel through the feed-water line.

Fresh water is being injected continuously into the RPVs through the fire extinguisher lines in Units 2 and 3 at indicated rates of 8 m3/h and 7 m3/h respectively using a temporary electric pump with off-site power. — LBG/RSJ, GMA News

Tags: Phivolcs