Our thoughts and prayers goes out to those who have been affected by the disaster in Japan. The country was hit with an 8.9 magnitude earthquake last night followed by a massive 20 foot Tsunami.
The most powerful earthquake to hit Japan in at least 100 years unleashed walls of water Friday that swept across rice fields, pilule engulfing towns, try dragging houses onto highways and tossing cars and boats like toys, apparently killing hundreds and forcing the evaucations of tens of thousands.
Prime Minister Naoto Kan said the “enormously powerful” earthquake has caused “tremendous damage over a wide area.”
The quake, which struck at 2:46 pm local time, sparked fires in at least 80 locations, Japan’s Kyodo News Service reported, and prompted the U.S. National Weather Service to issue tsunami warnings for at least 50 countries and territories.
Police in Miyagi Prefecture say between 200-300 have been found in the coastal city of Sendai alone, Japan’s Kyodo News Agency reported late Friday. The death toll is likely to rise as there are few casualty counts yet from the worst-hit areas.
Kyodo, citing Japan’s defense forces, said 60,000 to 70,000 people were being evacuated to shelters in the Sendai area.
President Barack Obama, while offering his condolences, said the United States was standing by to help “in this time of great trial.”
Images from Japanese media and CNN iReporters show smoke pouring from buildings and water rushing across fields carrying away entire structures.
“I wasn’t scared when it started … but it just kept going and going,” said Michelle Roberts, who lives in central Tokyo. “I won’t lie, it was quite scary. But we are all OK. We live on the third floor, so most everything shook and shifted.”
The quake toppled cars off bridges and into waters underneath. Waves of debris flowed like lava across farmland, pushing boats, houses and trailers. About 4 million homes had no power in Tokyo and surrounding areas. Read More
A Tsunami Warning has been issued for Alaska, Oregan and parts of California.