Scores dead after massive Tsunami strikes Japan

The most powerful earthquake to hit Japan in recorded history struck off the island nation’s shore on Friday, collapsing buildings, touching off widespread fires and unleashing walls of water up to 30 feet high.

The waves swept across rice fields, engulfed towns, dragged houses onto highways, and tossed cars and boats like toys. It reaching as far as about six miles (10 kilometers) inland in Miyagi Prefecture on Japan’s east coast.

Hundreds of people were dead and hundreds more missing, Japanese media reported, citing local and national police. Tens of thousands of people were displaced, according to Japan’s Kyodo News agency.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan said the “enormously powerful” earthquake had caused “tremendous damage over a wide area.”

The 8.9-magnitude quake prompted the U.S. National Weather Service to issue tsunami warnings for at least 50 countries and territories, although initial reports as the waves reached locations outside of Japan indicated no damage.

But Japanese government officials said large tsunami waves are still a risk to coastal Japan, and urged residents in coastal areas to move to higher ground.

The epicenter was offshore of Miyagi Prefecture, about 230 miles (370 kilometers) from Tokyo, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

Source: CNN

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