Back just a mere one year and a dozen days ago or so, on Saturday, February 27, 2010, B.J. Penn was "seeking refuge at his mother’s house in Hawaii as the beautiful 'Big Island' braced itself for an incoming Tsunami with reported waves of six to fourteen feet." This was due to an enormous 8.8 earthquake off the coast of Chile causing the massive wave to be of grave concern.
This time it was an 8.9 magnitude quake, considered to be the fifth largest recorded quake, that occurred off the northeastern coast of the island of Japan on Thursday afternoon at 2:46 P.M. local time, March 10, 2011. Coverage of the breaking news then airing in the middle of the night in North America Friday, March 11, 2011.
Aftershocks over 7.0 on the Richter scale have been causing a chain reaction of quakes and waves throughout the Pacific region that are still in effect at this time. 60 regions/various countries are currently under a Tsunami warning at this time throughout the entire Pacific Rim (5:45AM EST).
A 4.6 quake was registered near Hilo, Hawaii, the port city where Penn resides, just a few hours later, specifically on the south flank of Kilauea Volcano. The Hilo International Airport (ITO) in Hilo, Hawaii has been shutdown for the time-being. Highways and coastal or low lying areas have all been evacuated.
As of this time (5:45AM EST) they are anticipating multiple waves of around 2-3 meters high to hit the coasts in Hawaii imminently. For more on the situation in Hawaii view this live stream. They do not yet know the magnitude of what to expect. Penn's whereabouts this time around have not yet been confirmed.
According to MMA Weekly, "Jewels, Shooto, Pancrase, Heat, and Tribelate all had events scheduled in the coming days" throughout Japan and they also report that they were "unable to find out whether or not Akiyama was in Japan at the time of the earthquake or if he had already left for the United States" read more info on this here.
Of course I cannot speak for MMA Mania, but on behalf of other fans, I would like to send out our hopes and positive thoughts and prayers to be with all of the natives of Hawaii and their families in hopes that the damage to the islands, if any, will be minimal. As well, as our hearts going out to those affected in Japan and the surrounding areas that have been affected by this natural disaster.
Japan and areas all throughout the Pacific Rim are currently being devastated physically, emotionally and economically in a gravely tragic way. They are being tremendously affected not only by the effects of the earthquakes, but by the ensuing fires and tsunami damage as well.
So far no word can be found yet as to any MMA related entities or persons affected by this tragedy, let's hope none have been or will be involved.
B.J. discussing Hilo’s long history with Tsunami’s on BJPenn.com (video) while the storm warning blares in the background below from just last year, Feb. 2010, after the infamously tragic Chile quake.: