Picture record of tsunami arrival

11 July 2012

Newly released pictures of the tsunami impact at Fukushima Daiichi show the strength of the wave and the last-minute escape of a ship from the power plant's breakwater area.

An array of amateur photographs taken by a plant worker was released by Tokyo Electric Power Company today. They show the moment that the tsunami of 11 March last year reached the plant as well as fast action by a ship's crew to remove their vessel to safety, at the same time preventing it from further complicating the emergency response that was to come.

Fukushima seafront sequence 1 460x189

On 11 March at 3.35:50 pm, 50 minutes after the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and in advance of the predicted tsunami, a supply vessel moves quickly to leave Fukushima Daiichi's breakwater water area. The vessel must manoeuvre through the gap between the north and south arms of the breakwater, which extend around 500 metres to sea

Fukushima seafront sequence 3 460x189

About five minutes later, the ship is pictured in a safe position beyond the shallow water and facing the oncoming waves 

Fukushima seafront sequence 4 460x189

At 3.41:36 pm the first tsunami wave easily breaches the 5.7 metre sea defence  

Fukushima seafront sequence 5 460x189

Within 45 seconds the plant's waterfront is completely overrun and seawater begins to flow across the site. This water flooded emergency diesel generators, caused an extended station black-out, and triggered the Fukushima accident.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News