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

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.