Pollution
Humain
Environnement
Economique

A major earthquake (Mw = 9) hits the North east of Japan at 14:46. A few minutes later, the resulting tsunami ( 10 m wave height) overwhelms the storage facilities of a refinery in the industrial port of SENDAI. Before the arrival of the tsunami, the 200 employees succeed in finding a shelter and evacuate the site in the following night. Many infrastructures are damaged: pipes bent or torn, product spills in the containment structures … While most storage tanks are intact due to seawalls protection, oil spots at the surface of the water reveal a massive pollution in the harbor after the destruction of a crude tank located northwest of the site. A fire broke out at the truck LPG loading facilities. The refinery’s employees and local firefighters can not fight the fire for 48 hours due to the aftershocks and tsunami warnings that require a complete evacuation of the area. Eventually, the fire spreads to a nearby LPG tank farm that will burn for 3 ½ days before the fire is under control, causing some BLEVE of liquefied propane tanks on the first night. The authorities also evacuated residents living close to the site. Crude loading and storage facilities restart two months later, but the refining units are severely damaged and restart is not scheduled before summer of 2012. Damages and loss of production are significant, in the order of several hundred millions of Euros. Another big refinery is damaged by the earthquake in the bay of Tokyo (see accident number 40 256) and four others suffer minor damages and restart their activities 4 days after the earthquake.