CNN BREAKING NEWS
Earthquake Strikes Northeast of Tokyo
Aired May 26, 2003 - 06:24 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: We've finally got some more information for you out of Japan. In fact, we can live there right now. A seven magnitude earthquake struck northeast of Tokyo.
Steve Herman, who is a journalist working in Tokyo for CNN -- Steve, are you on the line?
STEVE HERMAN, JOURNALIST: Yes, I am.
COSTELLO: Tell us about it.
HERMAN: Well, this was the most powerful earthquake we've had in this earthquake prone country in a couple of years, seven on the Richter Scale, mostly affecting the Tohoku region of Japan. The major cities up there are Sendai and Morioka (ph).
Now, we're about 250 miles south of there and we felt it here. In high rise buildings in Tokyo, workers scurried quickly to get to the stairwells, to get out of the building. On the streets of Sendai, when people felt the intensity getting, the quake getting stronger, they started breaking into a run. But in some areas, people had trouble standing. That's how powerful it was.
COSTELLO: Oh, we can see by this camera shot the earth just shaking. Now, the quake, the epicenter of the quake was 40 miles under the sea. That probably minimized damage, right?
HERMAN: Absolutely. We're not getting any reports of a tsunami, a tidal wave warning. But still, this was very powerful. We have reports of computers tumbling off shelves in offices and roads buckling and a few fires and some minor injuries.
COSTELLO: And the buildings are built to be earthquake proof, as best as that can be.
HERMAN: Well, I think that's one of the big differences between these sort of seven magnitude quakes in Japan. And, say, the developing world, where you have thousands of deaths and thousands of buildings collapsing. We really don't see that, at least in the post- WWII era.
But as you know, we had a quake of this magnitude in Kobe some years ago, in 1995, which killed more than 6,000 people.
COSTELLO: Yes, and just a quake, a 6.5 magnitude quake in Algeria, which killed thousands of people. So the contrast...
HERMAN: Right. The big difference is the building standards.
COSTELLO: Definitely so.
Steve Herman, many thanks for bringing us up to date on that earthquake that hit northeast of Tokyo in Japan.
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