Friday, March 11, 2011
Northwest Japan was hit with a massive earthquake just a short time ago, forcing thousands of people to evacuate their homes, triggering a 13 foot tsunami that violently swept away cars and other objects in its paths and shutting down phone lines and transportation in many parts of the country.
The quake was originally thought to be a 7.9 magnitude on the Richter scale but was later upgraded to 8.9.
There are an estimated 4 million people in Tokyo without power, and Japan's nuclear plants have been shut down.At least six deaths have been reported, mostly in Fukushima prefecture north of Tokyo, while dozens of injuries were reported in a wide range of areas such as Miyagi Prefecture and central Tokyo, according to the Kyodo Wire.
Tokyo's major airports halted flights and the city's trains have been halted, including the shinkansen bullet train service.
This was the fifth largest recorded earthquake since since 1900, according to the U.S. Geological Service, larger than the 7.9-magnitude Tokyo quake in 1923 or the 6.3 trembler that just hit Christchurch, New Zealand.