A magnitude 8.9 earthquake struck off the northeast coast of Japan on Friday, shaking office buildings in Tokyo and setting off a devastating tsunami that swept away cars and boats in northeastern Japan.
In various locations, TV video showed massive damage from the tsunami, with dozens of cars, boats and even buildings being carried along by waters. A large ship swept away by the tsunami rammed directly into a breakwater in Kesennuma city in Miyagi prefecture. Waves could be seen splashing into city streets and over bridges.
All trains in Tokyo were stopped, and black plumes of smoke rose over the skyline. Office workers rushed out of their buildings. Subways were halted, trapping commuters underground. In the world's third-largest economy, all airports were closed.
"The train was rocking sharply back and forth," said Anthony Weiss, a 29-year-old from Florida studying Japanese in Tokyo, who was on a train when the quake hit. "People covered their heads with their bags as dust and small debris fell. Something sprung a leak, as there was a lot of water on the platform.
Late word is that a tsunami watch has now been extended to the west coast of the U.S.
Anticipated wave for the Hawaii warning is about nine feet now. If that materializes at roughly 3 a.m. Hawaii time, the watch for a possible wave impact on the west coast could be upgraded to a watch, with anticipated impact in the 8am Pacific Time range.
Isles now under tsunami warning after 8.9 quake strikes off Japan
By Star-Advertiser Staff
POSTED: 08:16 p.m. HST, Mar 10, 2011
A tsunami warning has been issued for Hawaii as a result of a 8.9-magnitude earthquake near the east coast of Honshu, Japan.
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 warning center said wave heights cannot be predicted, but the first wave may not be the largest.
Warning center geophysicst Victor Sardina later said 12- to 14-foot waves could hit Hilo and Haleiwa.
The earliest that hazardous waves could hit Hawaii is 2:59 a.m., said the agency, based in Ewa Beach.
Civil defense sirens sounded just after 10 p.m.
People were lining up to get gas around Oahu. Police dispatch reported arguing over gas in Ewa Beach and lines to get gas and pull into the store on Fort Weaver Road.
About an hour after the quake struck, Jake Chang, of Papakolea, was at the Aloha gas station on Vineyard Boulevard filling up his truck and a plastic gas container to power his generator. "I was watching TV", he said. "I saw the footage of Japan. It was unreal."
The U.S. Geological Survey has recorded a half-dozen significant aftershocks measuring between 6.3 and 7.1 in magnitude since the initial quake.
The warning center said all shores are at risk in Hawaii no matter which direction they face.
Last edited by Sidewinder; 03-11-2011 at 12:12 AM.
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I'm guessing the relative quite on the message boards in many places around the world concerning the massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan is the fact that people like myself are still in shock and awe and left speechless after having seen the massive destruction and obvious loss of life being shown around the world by the mass medias. The earthquake at Christchurch was no doubt bad but this event in Japan eclipses everything we've seen in most of our lifetimes and in terms of the multitude of media transmissions almost instantly broadcast around the world and from so many different perspectives. Let it be known that the relative silence on the message boards ect (except perhaps twitter and facebook) is not due to lack of concern but to the shock that so many people are now feeling that has left us all with a loss for words. Sometimes this silence can speak louder than words in terms of what people are feeling and wanting to express but just dont know how, and this is one of these times. Our prayers and thoughts go out to the people of Japan as well as those who happened to be visiting at the time and to all those who have committed themselves to the search and rescue operations coming in from all over the planet as the task ahead will be exceptionally daunting and the psychological and emotional impacts will no doubt be extreme for everyone.