Earthquake, Tsunami Rock Japan; West Coast Next?
A magnitude 8.9 earthquake struck offshore of Japan overnight and it was followed for hours by more than 50 aftershocks, many of them measured more than magnitude 6.0 on the Richter Scale. Much of the damage, though, was caused by a massive Tsunami which brought waves of more than 23 feet high ashore.
While there is a Tsunami warning here in the Bay Area, it’s anticipated that the surge will only be 1-3 feet, far less than the waves that hit Japan overnight. Evacuation orders have been issued along the entire West Coast, from Northern California up to Alaska.
From the Associated Press:
A ferocious tsunami spawned by one of the largest earthquakes on record slammed Japan’s eastern coast Friday, killing hundreds of people as it swept away ships, cars and homes while widespread fires burned out of control.
Hours later, the tsunami hit Hawaii but did not cause major damage. Warnings blanketed the Pacific, putting areas on alert as far away as South America, Canada, Alaska and the entire U.S. West coast. In northeastern Japan, the area around a nuclear power plant was evacuated after the reactor’s cooling system failed.
Police said 200 to 300 bodies were found in the northeastern coastal city of Sendai, the city in Miyagi prefecture, or state, closest to the epicenter. Another 110 were confirmed killed, with 350 people missing. Police also said 544 people were injured.