Almost 400 passengers on a Japan Airlines plane miraculously survived after it collided with another plane on a runway at Tokyo’s Haneda airport on Tuesday evening.
Flight 516, which had taken off from Hokkaido in northern Japan nearly two hours earlier, is believed to have been involved in a collision with a Japanese coastguard plane as it landed. Japanese media report that one person onboard the coastguard plane escaped, while the other five remain unaccounted for.
Japan Airlines have announced that all 379 people on board their plane – passengers and crew – have been safely evacuated. According to the flight tracking site, FlightAware, the flight was an Airbus A350-900.
Live footage showed passengers fleeing the aircraft using inflatable slides and running away across the tarmac. The aircraft is now entirely destroyed by the flames – with air crews still battling to bring it under control.
Japan’s coastguard says its aircraft – which is thought to have collided with the passenger jet – was on its way to Niigata Airport to deliver aid to the earthquake-hit Noto peninsula, according to the news agency Reuters.
Plane delivering aid after powerful earthquake in Japan
The number of people killed in a powerful earthquake in Japan which caused homes to collapse and triggered tsunami warnings is now known to be 48.
Hundreds of buildings were destroyed by Monday’s quake or by subsequent fires. Japan’s prime minister, Fumio Kishida, says the quake has caused numerous casualties and they face a “race against time” to rescue survivors.
There have been numerous aftershocks as emergency workers search for people feared to be trapped under rubble.
Japanese PM Fumio Kishida has ordered army personnel to help with the relief effort, which is being hampered by extensive damage to roads.
Kishida’s chief cabinet secretary has warned people to “be alert” for more earthquakes in the coming week.
The government says just over 57,000 people have been evacuated. Tens of thousands of households remain without power.
Japan 2011 earthquake and tsunami
On 11 March 2011 a 9.0–9.1 undersea megathrust earthquake occurred in the Pacific Ocean, 72 km (45 mi) east of the Oshika Peninsula of the Tōhoku region.
It lasted approximately six minutes, causing a tsunami. It is sometimes known in Japan as the “Great East Japan Earthquake”.
It was the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in Japan, and the fourth most powerful earthquake recorded in the world since modern seismography began in 1900.
The earthquake triggered powerful tsunami waves that may have reached heights of up to 40.5 meters (133 ft) in Miyako in Tōhoku’s Iwate Prefecture, and which, in the Sendai area, traveled at 700 km/h (435 mph) and up to 10 km (6 mi) inland.
Residents of Sendai had only eight to ten minutes of warning, and more than a hundred evacuation sites were washed away.
The official figures released in 2021 reported 19,759 deaths, 6,242 injured, and 2,553 people missing, and a report from 2015 indicated 228,863 people were still living away from their home in either temporary housing or due to permanent relocation.
*The above article was first published in Greek Reporter and was republished with permission.