Massive earthquake hits Japan, triggering tsunami (video)

At 2:46pm on Friday afternoon, the strongest earthquake in 100 years rocked Japan, hitting roughly 240 miles north-east of the capital city of Tokyo. The 8.9 magnitude quake triggered a massive tsunami, with walls of water rushing onto the island nation, sweeping across rice fields, swallowing whole towns, and picking up cars, boats and houses as if they were toys.

The waves hit Hawaii hours later, but so far, have caused no serious damage. Alerts were issued in South America, Canada, Alaska, and most of the west coast of the United States.

While no numbers are concrete at this point, the Japanese media said hundreds of people were dead with hundreds more missing. According to Japan's defense forces, 60,000 to 70,000 people are currently being evacuated to the Sendai region.

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


Footage of the 8.9 magnitude earthquake as it hit, as captured by citizens.



A store in Tokyo (240 miles south-west of quake's epicenter) as the earthquake hit.


Footage from the Associate Press of a tsunami engulfing farms and homes alongside the river in Sendai City.


The tsunami engulfs a port in northern Iwate prefecture, warning of waves as high as six feet.


Waves of the earthquake-triggered tsunami sweeping through cities in Japan.