Hundreds dead in tsunami after 8.9 Japan earthquake

Light planes and vehicles sit among the debris after they were swept by a tsumani that struck Sendai airport in northern Japan on Friday March 11, 2011. A magnitude 8.9 earthquake slammed Japan's eastern coast Friday, unleashing a 13-foot (4-meter) tsunami that swept boats, cars, buildings and tons of debris miles inland. (AP Photo)
TOKYO, March 11 (AP): A ferocious tsunami spawned by one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded slammed Japan's eastern coast Friday, killing hundreds of people as it swept away boats, cars and homes while widespread fires burned out of control. Hours later, the tsunami hit Hawaii and warnings blanketed the Pacific, putting areas on alert as far away as South America, Canada, Alaska and the entire U.S. West Coast. In Japan, the area around a nuclear power plant in the northeast was evacuated after the reactor's cooling system failed.
Police said 200 to 300 bodies were found in the northeastern coastal city of Sendai, the city in Miyagi prefecture (state) closest to the quake's epicenter. Another 110 were confirmed killed, with 350 people missing. Police also said 544 people were injured. The magnitude-8.9 offshore quake unleashed a 23-foot (seven-meter) tsunami and was followed by more than 50 aftershocks for hours, many of them of more than magnitude 6.0. Dozens of cities and villages along a 1,300-mile (2,100-kilometer) stretch of coastline were shaken by violent tremors that reached as far away as Tokyo, hundreds of miles (kilometers) from the epicenter.
A large section of Kesennuma, a town of 70,000 people in Miyagi, burned furiously into the night with no apparent hope of the flames being extinguished, public broadcaster NHK said. A witness told the broadcaster that the fire began after the tsunami knocked over several cars, causing them to leak oil and gas. The fire started hours later and rescuers have yet to arrive, according to NHK. "The earthquake has caused major damage in broad areas in northern Japan," Prime Minister Naoto Kan said at a news conference. The government ordered thousands of residents near a nuclear power plant in Onahama city to move back at least two miles (three kilometers) from the plant. The reactor was not leaking radiation but its core remained hot even after a shutdown. The plant is 170 miles (270 kilometers) northeast of Tokyo. Trouble was reported at two other nuclear plants as well, but there was no radiation leak at either.
Japan's coast guard said it was searching for 80 dock workers working on a ship that was swept away from a shipyard in Miyagi. Even for a country used to earthquakes, this one was of horrific proportions because of the tsunami that crashed ashore, swallowing everything in its path as it surged several miles (kilometers) inland before retreating.
The apocalyptic images of surging water and uncontrolled conflagrations broadcast by Japanese TV networks resembled scenes from a Hollywood disaster movie.
Large fishing boats and other sea vessels rode high waves into the cities, slamming against overpasses or scraping under them and snapping power lines along the way. Upturned and partially submerged vehicles were seen bobbing in the water. Ships anchored in ports crashed against each other. The tsunami roared over embankments, washing anything in its path inland before reversing directions and carrying the cars, homes and other debris out to sea. Flames shot from some of the houses, probably because of burst gas pipes.
Waves of muddy waters flowed over farmland near Sendai, carrying buildings, some on fire, inland as cars attempted to drive away. Sendai airport was inundated with cars, trucks, buses and thick mud deposited over its runways.
Could Japan events be so close to Nagaland?
Dimapur, March 11 (MExN): Severe winds and rainstorm swept through North East India, including Dimapur, Kohima and Wokha today. Many residents of these towns believed the sudden storms were linked to the impact of the 8.9 earthquake and Tsunami that shook Japan today.
In Dimapur, thick sand clouds and litter lashed buildings and people around 4 p.m. as winds travelling close to 120 kmh swept in early evening. Dark clouds and rain seemed apparent but there was no shower in the city, except for light drizzles. The storm lasted for about half an hour in Dimapur. Similarly, heavy rain accompanied by a thunder squall lashed Kohima this evening at around 5:20 PM. The sudden rain has sent a sight of relief as many have been facing scarcity of water in the state capital. People were seen collecting rain water in their respective houses and buildings. High wind and slight rain was reported also from Wokha. Citizens from Wokha informed The Morung Express that school staffers, parents and schoolchildren were still huddled in school buildings for the storm to pass.
Meanwhile, hundreds of people are reported dead or injured after one of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded struck Japan, triggering a devastating tsunami along parts of Japan's northeastern coastline. Millions are reported to be without electricity, airports are closed and public transport in Tokyo and other cities has come to a halt as Japan reels amid the twin devastations. The event happens just two days after warnings that the movement of the moon could trigger unpredictable events on Earth. Astrologers had also predicted that on March 19, the so-called 'supermoon' will be closer to Earth than at any time since 1992, just 221,567 miles away, and that its gravitational pull will bring chaos to Earth. Coming just three weeks after the quake which devastated Christchurch in New Zealand killing hundreds. A Tsunami Alert has been issued for New Zealand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Hawaii, United States west coast and others.