See Update HERE.
Due to a 8.9 magnitude earthquake that struck Japan — the 6th largest recorded earthquake in human history and the largest in Japan’s history — a tsunami warning is in effect across the Pacific Ocean and Pacific coastlines of countries across world — for Japan, Russia, Marcus Island, the Northern Marianas, Guam, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Hawaii, and coastal California.
The first tsunami wave is expected to strike Hawaii at around 8 am (eastern) this morning, and San Francisco at around 8:16 am (west coast time), Santa Barbara at 8:24 am, Santa Monica at 8:39am and La Jolla at 8:48 am.
People living in Pacific coastal areas are advised to stay away from the coast and beaches, and be prepared to move to higher ground.
The tsunami is a result of a massive 8.9 earthquake that struck Japan’s northeast coast. Here’s Wall St. Journal’s report:
TOKYO—The most devastating earthquake to hit Japan in at least 300 years rocked the country on Friday afternoon, triggering a 10-meter [32.8 ft.] tsunami that violently engulfed cars and other objects in its path in northern Japan, forcing tens of thousands of people to evacuate their homes and setting off tsunami warnings for 53 countries around the world.
The quake, one of the five biggest in history with a magnitude of 8.9, caused mass panic around Tokyo, where workers evacuated their buildings and power was cut off at 4.1 million households in Tokyo and neighboring prefectures. The natural disaster could derail the country’s nascent economic recovery and increase Japan’s already massive public debt, which is 200% of gross domestic product.
A tsunami warning issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii included Japan, Russia, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Guam, the Northern Marianas, the Marcus Islands and the Wake Islands, and extended across the Pacific Ocean to include Central and South America. New Zealand also issued a tsunami warning. Austraia said there was no threat of a tsunami on its coast. In Hawaii, a tsunami alert was issued at about 10 p.m. local time.
Near Tokyo Station, the epicenter of the capital city, people were streaming out onto the street, where the only option was to walk—buses and taxis weren’t available and all trains were halted. Cell phone reception was down, causing long lines to snake around pay phones. The country’s ports and airports shut down and car navigation systems indicated that almost every entrypoint to the highway was closed. Children were walking back from school, some with protective head gear. People were huddled around televisions, trying to grasp the extent of the damage in Japan.
“This is the worst quake I’ve ever felt that was based so far away from Tokyo,” said Kiyomi Suzuki, 69 years old, who has lived in the capital city all her life.
At least 29 people died, Associated Press reported, citing government and police, while dozens were injured in a wide range of areas including Miyagi Prefecture and central Tokyo, according to Kyodo News.