Japan earthquake: A tsunami hit northeast Japan on Friday, reaching as much as three miles inland. Hundreds are believed to be dead, though the disaster appears nowhere near the scale of Indonesia's 2004 tsunami.
An 8.9-magnitude earthquake rocked northeast Japan on Friday afternoon local time, prompting a tsunami that sent 30-foot waves ashore along the country's northeast coast.
A Bloomberg television report filed about five hours after the earthquake reports that it was one of the most powerful to ever hit Japan. However, it appears to be nowhere near as destructive as the 9.3-magnitude earthquake that shook Indonesia – the second-largest in recorded history – and prompted a tsunami that killed more than 300,000 people in over a dozen countries.
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"[The wave] was mixed with mud, with ships and cars smashing toward wooden houses, dragging those into rice fields, and basically bashing them into pieces," the Bloomberg reporter said.
The initial 8.9 earthquake was followed by aftershocks measuring 7.1, 6.5, and 6.4 in magnitude. Tsunami warnings are in effect for much of the Pacific Rim.