Major earthquake, tsunami strike Japan

In this handout image provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, model runs from the Center for Tsunami Research at the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory show the expected wave heights of the tsunami as it travels across the Pacific basin

UPDATE (2:15 p.m. EST): CBS News has video of the earthquake striking the Japanese Parliament while in session.

UPDATE (12:15 p.m. EST): The Guardian is reporting that at least 300 people have been killed in Sendai, which alone eclipses the official death toll of 137. The Washington Post says that the U.S. is sending ships toward Japan for humanitarian assistance. TIME’s Emily Rauhala has a good story about how Japan’s extensive disaster preparation measures may have prevented the death toll from rising even higher.

UPDATE (11:20 a.m. EST): Residents of Oregon’s Pacific coast are evacuating their homes. the Christian Science Monitor says. However, based upon the intensity of the waves hitting Hawaii, White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley suggests that the western U.S. is out of danger. Elsewhere, Japan has updated its death toll to 137, with 531 reported missing. From YouTube comes this video of ‘quake-proof’ Tokyo skyscrapers swaying, as they were designed to do.

UPDATE (10:50 a.m. EST): The AFP says that at least 116 people are dead and missing after the earthquake, which is reportedly the seventh-strongest in history. Reuters reports that at least eight strong aftershocks have hit Japan.

UPDATE (10:20 a.m. EST): YouTube has launched a CitizenTube channel for videos of the earthquake and its aftermath. Additionally, the BBC reports that an entire passenger train has gone missing from the coastal area of Miyagi. On a positive note, reports from Hawaii say that the waves that have hit the islands so far have been smaller than expected — but officials have warned that more and higher waves are expected for several hours.

UPDATE (10 a.m. EST): The Wall Street Journal‘s Japan bureau has video and a live-blog of the disaster on the Japanese mainland. The AP reports that almost 3,000 people have been evacuated from the vicinity of Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant after the earthquake caused problems with the plant’s cooling system.

UPDATE (9:40 a.m. EST): Google has launched a microsite for tsunami crisis response. The AP has video of the tsunami striking Japan’s main Sendai airport.

UPDATE (9 a.m. EST): The first tsunami waves have begun to hit Hawaii. Residents on the islands have been advised to seek higher ground in advance of the expected 6-8 foot waves. Honolulu mayor Peter Carlisle told CNN that the city was not certain how far inland the tsunami would hit. The National Weather Service has warned that the tsunami could reach the Pacific coast of the United States by 10 a.m. PST. Read the full story at CNN.

ORIGINAL REPORT: A massive 8.9 magnitude quake hit northeast Japan Friday, causing many injuries, fires and a 13-foot tsunami along parts of the country’s coastline, NHK television and witnesses reported.

There were several strong aftershocks and a warning of a 10-meter tsunami following the quake, which also caused buildings to shake violently in the capital Tokyo, according to Reuters.

The earthquake created tsunami warnings around the Pacific, stretching from Russia to Hawaii.

TV pictures showed a vast wall of water carrying buildings and debris across a large swathe of coastal farmland.

Public broadcaster NHK showed flames and black smoke billowing from a building in Odaiba, a Tokyo suburb, and bullet trains to the north of the country were halted.

Black smoke was also pouring out of an industrial area in Yokohama’s Isogo area. TV footage showed boats, cars and trucks floating in water after a small tsunami hit the town of Kamaichi in northern Japan. An overpass, location unknown, appeared to have collapsed into the water.

Kyodo news agency said there were reports of fires in the city of Sendai in the northeast.

"The building shook for what seemed a long time and many people in the newsroom grabbed their helmets and some got under their desks," Reuters correspondent Linda Sieg said in Tokyo. "It was probably the worst I have felt since I came to Japan more than 20 years ago."

Passengers on a subway line in Tokyo screamed and grabbed other passengers’ hands. The shaking was so bad it was hard to stand, said Reuters reporter Mariko Katsumura.

Hundreds of office workers and shoppers spilled into Hitotsugi street, a shopping street in Akasaka in downtown Tokyo.

Household goods ranging from toilet paper to clingfilm were flung into the street from outdoor shelves in front of a drugstore.

Crowds gathered in front of televisions in a shop next to the drugstore for details. After the shaking from the first quake subsided, crowds were watching and pointing to construction cranes on an office building up the street with voices saying, "They’re still shaking!," "Are they going to fall?"

Asagi Machida, 27, a web designer in Tokyo, sprinted from a coffee shop when the quake hit.

"The images from the New Zealand earthquake are still fresh in my mind so I was really scared. I couldn’t believe such a big earthquake was happening in Tokyo."

This is a breaking news update. For developments throughout the night, visit Reuters.com


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Two young children killed in deadly Queens fire

Two 4-year-old children died after a blaze at their Far Rockaway home on Saturday night. The Queens fire injured three others, including a third sibling.

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Television

'Orphan Black' recap: Episode 1, ‘Nature Under Constraint…

Welcome to “Orphan Black” Season 2! Hopefully Tatiana Maslany can help Tatiana Maslany get through this, with the help of Tatiana Maslany, while avoiding the…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

NBA

Deron Williams leads Nets over Raptors in Game…

The Nets traveled to a raucous Air Canada Centre but came out with an important Game 1 victory over the Raptors.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.