Tsunamis strike Japan after enormous earthquakes, casualties reportedMarch 11th, 2011 - 2:03 pm ICT by BNO News
TOKYO (BNO NEWS) — A series of enormous earthquakes struck off the Pacific coast of northeastern Japan on early Friday afternoon, seismologists said, generating large tsunamis that devastated coastlines and prompting tsunami warnings for multiple countries.
The initial 8.9-magnitude earthquake at 2.46 p.m. local time (0546 GMT) was centered about 130 kilometers (80 miles) east of Sendai in Japan, on the nation’s main island of Honshu. It struck about 24.4 kilometers (15.2 miles) deep, making it a shallow earthquake, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).
The USGS estimated that approximately 1.9 million people would have felt severe shaking, which could result in heavy damage. Another 12 million could have felt strong to very strong shaking.
Numerous large aftershocks struck soon after, the largest being a 7.1 on the Richter scale. In all, the aftershocks measured 6.4, 6.4, 6.8 and 7.1. One of the aftershocks, which had a 6.8 magnitude, struck only 67 kilometers (42 miles) northeast of the capital of Tokyo.
The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) immediately issued a tsunami warning, and large tsunamis could be seen hitting northeastern coastlines, submerging roads, scores of cars and buildings. In Tokyo, where people fled from buildings, fires were seen burning and clouds of black smoke were rising above the city’s skyline.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center also issued a tsunami warning for Russia, the Marcus Islands, Northern Marianas, Guam, Wake islands and Taiwan. A tsunami awtch is in effect for Yap, Philippines, Marshall Islands, Belau, Midway Islands, Pohnpei, Chuuk, Kosrae, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Nauru, Johnston Islands, Solomon Islands, Kiribati, and Hawaii.
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