TOKYO (Reuters) - Following are main developments in the 8.9 magnitude earthquake that struck northeast Japan on Friday.
- Death toll expected to exceed 1,000, domestic media say, with most people appeared to have drowned.
- Some 3,000 residents living near a nuclear plant in Fukushima prefecture, some 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo, evacuated from area. Government warns small radiation leak is possible and expands evacuation zone around the plant.
* Radiation detected at central control unit at Tokyo Electric Power Co’s No.1 reactor at Fukushima Daiichi plant has risen to about 1,000 times the normal level.
- Northeastern city of Kesennuma, with population of 74,000, hit by widespread fires, with one-third of the city submerged. Sendai airport in Miyagi prefecture in northeastern Japan on fire, according to media.
- Strong quakes also hit northwestern Japan.
- Quake triggers tsunami up to 10 meters (30 feet), with waves sweeping away homes, crops, vehicles and submerging farmland. Scores of locations on fire, including a large waterfront area in northern Sendai city.
- Tsunami warnings issued for the entire Pacific basin, except mainland United States and Canada, but some countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and the Philippines, have lifted alerts.
- Leaders of Japan’s ruling and opposition parties agree on need to compile an extra budget.
- Bank of Japan to hold policy meeting on Monday, will announce decision on same day. The central bank vows to do utmost to ensure financial market stability.
- Total insured loss could be up to $15 billion, equity analysts covering the industry say.
- Disaster sends oil, metals, and grain prices sliding on fears over its impact on demand, deepening their biggest decline in months; yen rises broadly on risk aversion by Japanese investors and expectations of repatriations by Japan’s insurance companies; oil prices slides more than $3 a barrel.
- Japanese shares traded in New York fall sharply. Earlier, Japanese equity futures fell 3.3 percent.
- Tokyo Stock Exchange plans to open for trading as normal on Monday.
- All Japanese ports closed and discharging operations halted, shippers report.