magnitude-8.9 earthquake hit northeastern Japan Friday, generating
a tsunami as high as 10 metres that hit the coast of Miyagi
prefecture, officials said.
At least six people were killed, 20 injured and many were missing,
including a number of children who were sucked into the sea, the
public broadcaster NHK reported.
The six deaths were reported at a welfare facility that collapsed
in Minami Soma in Fukushima prefecture, and the Kyodo News agency
said eight people were missing in a landslide in Fukushima
Waves swamped buildings and swept away cars, boats, crops and even
buildings. People gathered on the roofs of inundated buildings and
houses. Women waved white handkerchiefs from windows, seeking
NHK showed footage of submerged vehicles in Kamaishi, Iwate
prefecture, as a 4.2-metre tsunami hit the city's coast and of
many houses in Sendai, Miyagi prefecture, being washed away by
High tsunami waves also hit Hiroo on Hokkaido, Japan's northern
The agency warned more waves up to 10 metres high would hit the
coast of eastern Japan.
A tsunami advisory was issued in wide swathes of the eastern coast
and around the Pacific.
The quake was earlier reported at magnitude 7.9 by Japan's
Meteorological Agency. The US Geological Survey upgraded it to 8.9
on the Richter scale.
The quake, which hit at 2.45 p.m. (0545 GMT) at a depth of 24.4
km, shook buildings in Tokyo violently and some caught fire.
The US Geological Survey said the initial quake was followed by at
least eight large aftershocks, the strongest measuring magnitude
7.1 and striking 40 minutes after the first tremor.
Media reported extensive damage to buildings in and around Tokyo
and the collapse of roofs on Tokyo buildings.
NHK showed footage of fire at petrochemical complexes in Ichihara,
Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo.
Narita International Airport and airports in Senda, Iwate Hanamaki,
Aomori and Yamagata were closed, the Jiji Press agency said. NHK
showed footage of the Sendai Airport submerged.
Nuclear power stations on the Pacific coast in Miyagi and
Fukushima prefectures shut down operations automatically after the
More than 4.5 million households experienced power outages in the
metropolitan area, Tokyo Electric Power Co said. Almost all the
households in eastern Japan experienced power failures, NHK said.
Japanese train service, including bullet trains, were suspended in
northeastern and central Japan.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii issued tsunami
warnings for Japan, Russia, Marcus Island and the Northern
Marianas and tsunami watches for Taiwan, the Philippines,
Indonesia, Hawaii, Guam and other Pacific islands.
The centre forecast arrival times for Russia's Urup Island at 0714
GMT, initial times for Taiwan at 0932 GMT, the Philippines at 0955
GMT and Indonesia at 1049 GMT.