A magnitude 8.9 earthquake — the biggest in modern Japanese history — slammed the island nation’s eastern coast Friday, unleashing a 23-foot tsunami that swept boats, cars, buildings and tons of debris miles inland and prompting a “nuclear emergency.” According to police, 200 to 300 bodies were found in the northeastern coastal city of Sendai. The death toll was likely to continue climbing given the scale of Friday’s disaster.
The biggest earthquake on record to hit Japan rocked the northeast coast on Friday, triggering a 10-meter tsunami that killed hundreds of people and swept away everything in its path, including houses, ships and cars. The Red Cross in Geneva said the wall of water was higher than some Pacific islands and a tsunami warning was issued for almost the entire Pacific basin, although alerts were lifted for some countries, including Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand.
Japan Times: Killer Tohoku temblor tops scale
An earthquake with a historic magnitude of 8.8 rocked the Tohoku region Friday, triggering tsunami that wiped away cars, ships and buildings all along the east coast. Smoke and flames billow from a Cosmo Oil refinery in Ichihara, Chiba Prefecture, later in the afternoon following a quake-triggered explosion. The massive quake was felt strongest in Miyagi Prefecture, where it came in at 7, the maximum reading on the Japanese seismic intensity scale, the Meteorological Agency said.