Tsunami warnings were issued for the U.S. state of Hawaii and the U.S. West Coast on early Friday morning, officials said, prompting evacuations along coastal shorelines.
A powerful earthquake has hit the northeastern coast of Japan tonight causing people in Tokyo to flee their homes and triggering a massive tsunami that has virtually swept the city of Sendai away. The initial quake has been estimated at 8.9-magnitude with multiple powerful aftershocks, including a 7.4-magnitude one about 30 minutes later.
AP is reporting that waves as high as 20 feet swept cars, boats and even buildings being carried along by waters and that a large ship swept away by the tsunami rammed directly into a breakwater in Kesennuma city in Miyagi prefecture, according to footage on public broadcaster NHK.
Honolulu Star Advertiser is reporting the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami watch at 7:56 p.m. after the quake struck 231 miles northeast of Tokyo. The watch was upgraded to a more serious warning about 9:30 p.m. “A tsunami has been generated that could cause damage along coastlines of all islands in the state of Hawaii,” the agency said. “Urgent action should be taken to protect lives and property.”
The quake struck right off the coast of Honshu, Japan’s most populous Island bringing transportation to a standstill; areal tape of the tsunami was broadcast world wide by Fox News and other outlets, showing a massive wall of water destroying everything in its path. Tokyo’s Narita Airport appeared devastated.
Raw video shows massive devastation in the tsunami’s wake in northeast Japan’s coastal cities.
Seismologists at Berkley estimate that the quake is the largest in decades to hit Japan. The quake hit during the middle of the Japanese workday. New Zealand civil defense is on alert after suffering its own major temblor just days ago.
WASHINGTON: The US tsunami monitoring center on Friday widened a warning to virtually the entire Pacific coast, including Australia and South America, after a massive earthquake in Japan.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center expanded a previous alert to include the US state of Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, and the entire coast of Central and South America.
The center had earlier said the tsunami would hit Hawaii at around 2:45 am (1245 GMT) and the US West Coast at 7:45 am (1545 GMT).