BREAKING: 8.9 Earthquake Hits Japan, Followed by Tsunami

  • Share
  • Read Later

Japan was struck by a 8.9 earthquake off the northeastern coast of the island on Friday afternoon at 2:46 P.M. local time. Initially reported as a weaker earthquake, buildings in Tokyo shook for several minutes.

(More on TIME.comSee pictures of the earthquake damage.)

The quake struck right off of Honshu, Japan’s most populous island, approximately 200 miles away from Tokyo. A tsunami warning has been issued, with warnings that waves of up to 20 feet high could strike Japan’s shores.

Several buildings in Japan are reported to be on fire. All transportation systems, including airports, have been closed in Tokyo.

(More on TIME.comSee the detailed report over the earthquake.)

Warnings and watches have been issued for a wide area including Japan, Russia, Guam, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, and even parts of the U.S. Reports say that a tsunami 13 foot high has already hit Japan. The Miyagi prefecture, closest to the epicenter, is expected to see the worst of the damage.

In Taiwan, the tsunami is expected to arrive at 9:30 GMT. While the U.S. has released a list of possible tsunami arrival times for the West Coast, it does not reflect that a wave is imminent.

(More on NewsFeedSee how countries are preparing for a possible tsunami.)

So far, news reports say that the earthquake has left dozens dead, while Japanese media is reporting hundreds of bodies washing up on shore. The complete death toll and number of casualties are not yet clear. Al Jazeera, Japan’s NHK TV, and the BBC currently has live footage of the event.

The earthquake comes at the heels of another 7.2 earthquake that struck earlier this week. It is the biggest earthquake to hit the country in almost 300 years.

0 comments