This is just awful.
The strongest earthquake to hit Japan in at least 300 years rocked the country on Friday afternoon, triggering a 10-meter tsunami that violently engulfed cars and other objects in its path in northern Japan, forcing tens of thousands of people to evacuate their homes and setting off tsunami warnings for 53 countries around the world.Hawaii is under tsunami warning and it's expected to hit right about now.
Police raised the death toll to 60, with 39 missing while dozens were injured in a wide range of areas including Miyagi Prefecture and central Tokyo, according to Kyodo News and the Associated Press.
The quake, one of the five biggest in history with a magnitude of 8.9, caused mass panic around Tokyo, where workers evacuated their buildings and power was cut off in 4.1 million households in Tokyo and neighboring prefectures. The natural disaster could derail the country's nascent economic recovery and increase Japan's already massive public debt, which is 200% of gross domestic product.
The government issued an official emergency at one of the country's nuclear plants after the quake shut down its reactors and caused problems with the cooling system. Officials said there are currently no reports of radiation leakage.
A tsunami warning issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii included Japan, Russia, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Guam, the Northern Marianas, the Marcus Islands and the Wake Islands, and extended across the Pacific Ocean to include Central and South America. New Zealand also issued a tsunami warning. Australia said there was no threat of a tsunami on its coast. In Hawaii, a tsunami alert was issued at about 10 p.m. local time.
Hawaiians were bracing for tsunami wave heights of up to 6 feet high Friday morning after the devastating 8.9 earthquake near Japan.The video footage out of Japan is just unbelievable.
The possible tsunami was expected to hit Hawaii at about 3 a.m. local time, or 5 a.m. Pacific time. Maximum wave heights of up to 6 feet could approach Hilo, on the northern edge of the island of Hawaii, and Haleiwa Harbor, on the northern edge of the island of Oahu, officials said.
Some coverage from overnight here.