Otaku throughout Tokyo and northern Japan are reporting heavy casualties as the region was wracked by a massive magnitude 8.9 earthquake, one of the most powerful in recent memory.
Many suffered toppled figures and found manga volumes flung from their shelves, with heavy casualties reported amongst figures flung from loftier displays. The cleanup is expected to take many hours.
Fortunately, Internet and electricity services were all but unaffected, allowing visual reports of the casualties incurred to be circulated quickly – some of the scenes recorded may be disturbing:
The main earthquake was intensely felt in the otaku heartlands of the Kanto plain, and several large earthquakes and near continuous aftershocks continued for many hours after the initial quake; coastal areas in Japan and beyond also suffered considerable inundation as a result of tsunami.
However, although large even by Japanese standards, disruption is expected to be transient and significant damage appears only to have been suffered in a few particularly hard hit localities – not least Sendai, severely flooded by tsunami, and by such ill-fated structures as Chiba’s oil refinery and the Tokyo Tower: