Friday, March 11, 2011

Northeast Japan Hit by magnitude 8.8 earthquake, tsunami

An earthquake with a magnitude of at least 8.8 struck off the eastern seacoast of Japan near the Tohoku region Friday afternoon at 2:46 PM, triggering several tsunami including one ten feet in height near the city of Sendai in Miyagi prefecture. Tsunami warnings have also been issued for several areas of the Asia-Pacific region, including Indonesia, the Philippines, and Hawaii.

As of Friday night, 60 people had been confirmed dead, with the toll expected to climb from those reported missing. Homes and buildings also shook violently in the Tokyo metropolis, where trains were widely stopped through Friday night, leaving thousands stranded.

Following the quake, a nuclear power plant in Fukushima prefecture was also shut down due to mechanical failure, prompting an evacuation.

CNN has launched a live blog following the earthquake.

For those searching for someone or wishing to report information regarding their own safety or whereabouts, the Google Person Finder has a bilingual service available here.

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