Just a few hours ago, Japan was hit with an 8.9 magnitude earthquake, one of the largest in the country’s recorded history. It struck the northeast coast at 2:46 pm local time (12:46 am EST). 250 miles away in Tokyo, the BBC’s Roland Buerk reported that being on the street was like “walking across the deck of a ship at sea.” Soon after, the earthquake caused a deadly tsunami that is affecting areas as widespread as Russia and the western coasts of North and South America. Below are some of the many reports from the destruction. (IMPORTANT UPDATE AT BOTTOM)
- CNN has enabled a live online feed with Japanese affiliate NHK. Watch here. BBC News has an incredibly useful ticker running and being updated frequently. They recently reported that the United States should be safe from any serious damage as the tsunami passed through Hawaii without major effect.
- Fox News also quoted them as saying that an entire passenger train is unaccounted for after a 33-foot wave hit near Nobiru Station. It is unknown how many were aboard.
- ABC News is reporting that America maintains large military bases in Japan with “38,000 military personnel, 43,000 dependents and 5,000 Department of Defense civilians.” According to this report, all American military personnel have been accounted for without serious injury and are now organizing for relief efforts in the country.
- The New York Times quoted President Obama as saying “Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to the people of Japan.” BBC News quotes this message from Queen Elizabeth II to the Emperor of Japan: “Prince Philip joins me in extending our heartfelt sympathy to your majesty and the people of Japan. Our prayers and thoughts are with everyone who has been affected by the dreadful disaster.”
- Tons of incredible and terrifying video footage taken by people on the ground is showing up online. Breaking News has linked to this video of swaying Tokyo skyscrapers and this one of a family in Sendai, Japan trying to evacuate their home. There are also breathtaking photos. This gallery from The New York Times is particularly unsettling. The Daily Mail has a collection of a number of disturbing AP photos.
UPDATE: The post originally quoted from a Kyodo news report that 88,000 people were missing. It is now appearing that the number might be much, much smaller and that that number may have in fact come from a typo or mistranslation. Some news outlets are still using 88,000, but we’ve taken that figure out of this post and any other post and will await a more certain tally.
At this point, the world can mostly await the damage reports and prepare relief for the areas affected.
(photo from AP Photo/Kyodo News via The Daily Mail)
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