What appears to be the fifth largest earthquake since 1900 “with a magnitude of 8.9 rocked Japan Friday afternoon“:
. . . forcing tens of thousands of people to evacuate their homes, triggering a 10-meter tsunami that violently swept away cars and other objects in its paths and shutting down phone lines and transportation in most parts of the country. leaving at least five people dead.
The quake was originally reported at a magnitude of 7.9 but was later upgraded to 8.9. That makes it the fifth largest recorded world-wide since 1900, according to the U.S. Geological Service, larger than the 7.9-magnitude Great Kanto Earthquake that devastated Tokyo in 1923 or the 6.8 magnitude quake that hit Kobe in 1995.
The quake 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.
I am watching images of the destruction on TV and it’s just overwhelming. We’re hearing warnings of a possible tsunami in Hawai’i and even here on the California coast. Given that I’m writing this just before 1 AM PST, by the time many of you read this, we’ll have a better picture of the damage — and the reality of the tsunami.