Japan was hit by a massive earthquake that measured 8.9 on the Richter scale, on March 11. This was followed by a 10 meters high Tsunami wave that washed away most of Northern Japan. The nearest city to the epicenter is the coastal city of Honshu, 130 km (80 miles) from the quake center. Japan's capital city Tokyo is situated 373 km (231 miles) away.
The earthquake also set an oil refinery ablaze and most of Japan's airports and plants have been shut down .
The Nikkei 225 average closed down 1.7% at 10,254.43 points after the earthquake struck.
This quake was approximately 24.4 Km deep within the ocean and there are warnings of a possible Tsunami hitting multiple nations including, Hawaii, Philippines, Indonesia and Russia. Fortunately, India has not been included in the list of nations that are in impending danger of a Tsunami.
The Indian markets tumbled in reaction to this news. The Sensex lost more that 200 points while the Nifty slipped below 5450. Experts, however, say that such a natural calamity would not impact the Indian markets for too long and is unlikely to have a direct impact on the economy on the whole, but it would have a deep impact on the Indian auto and banking sectors.
There are fears however, that a Tsunami could impact some of India's oil refineries on the shores, affecting India's oil and the country's export activity.
In 2004, an earthquake with a magnitude between 9.1 and 9.3 on the Richter scale rocked the Indian Ocean that triggered a series of devastating tsunamis along the coasts of most landmasses bordering the Indian Ocean, killing over 230,000 people in fourteen countries, including India.