In a massive catastrophe caused by a tsunami that hit Japans Eastern coast, more than a thousand people were killed and boats, cars and homes were swept away. The tsunami was triggered by the largest earthquake recorded till date.
The earthquake measured 8.9 on the Richter scale and released a tsunami of 23 feet. 50 aftershocks measuring 6 and above on the Richter scale and hit the areas surrounding the epicenter of the quake. After the cooling system of a nuclear power plant failed, civilians were made to evacuate areas surrounding it. The extent of the quake was so strong that it even hit Tokyo which is more than a 100 km away from the epicenter.
A few hours later the tsunami hit Hawaii and areas within the Pacific, South America, Canada, Alaska and the entire U.S. West Coast were on high alert.
Kyodo news agency reported the destruction the 3000 homes and loss of many lives in the east coast of northern Honshu Island. The tsunami swept 100 passengers off from a ship, broke a dam that flooded homes and made 2 trains go missing. The National Police Agency confirmed 137 deaths and stated that 531 people were missing. The police in Sendai, Miyagi prefecture said that 200 – 300 bodies had been found on the shore.
According to the defense ministry about 1,800 homes in Minamisoma, Fukushima prefecture, were completely destroyed. The Sendai authorities reported 1,200 houses being tumbled by the tsunami and in Ofunato further north 300 houses were swept away.
Kyodo reported 80 fires around Tokyo and in the Iwate, Miyagi, Akita and Fukushima prefectures, through Japan's Fire and Disaster Management Agency. Prime Minister NATO Kan said, “The earthquake has caused major damage in broad areas in northern Japan.” In Kesennuma, a town with a population 70,000 people in Miyagi, there were uncontrollable fires through the night that showed no signs of extinguishing.