Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami

Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami

TOKYO -- 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.

See also Japan Earthquake Photography

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.

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A massive tsunami hits the coastal areas of Iwanuma, Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan
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Houses are swept by a tsunami in Natori City in northeastern Japan
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A massive tsunami sweeps in to engulf a residential area after a powerful earthquake in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture in northeastern Japan
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Sendai Airport is flooded after a tsunami following an earthquake in Sendai, northeastern Japan
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People make their way through a street clogged with debris in Sendai city
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A large number of cars swept by a tsunami following an earthquake are seen in Sendai, northeastern Japan
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A factory facility burns following an earthquake and tsunami in Sendai, northeastern Japan
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A light aircraft and vehicles swept by the tsunami are seen in Natori city, Miyagi prefecture
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A building swept under a bridge following a tsunami and earthquake is seen in Sendai, northeastern Japan
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Fishing boats and vehicles are carried by a tsunami wave at Onahama port in Iwaki city, in Fukushima prefecture, northern Japan
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This aerial shot shows the tsunami tidal waves moving upstream (left side) in the Naka river at Hitachinaka city in Ibaraki prefecture
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An aerial shot shows vehicles ready for shipping being carried by a tsunami wave at Hitachinaka city in Ibaraki prefecture
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Residents check the damage done to a road and house in Sukagawa city, Fukushima prefecture, in northern Japan
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Vehicles are crushed by a collapsed wall at a carpark in Mito city in Ibaraki prefecture
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A whirlpool is seen near Oarai City, Ibaraki Prefecture, northeastern Japan
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Boats are swept by a wave after a tsunami and earthquake in Asahikawa city
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Streets are flooded after a tsunami and earthquake in Kesennuma city, Miyagi Prefecture
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Evacuees stand around Shinjuku Central Park in Tokyo
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A fire burns at a passenger terminal at Sendai Airport after the airport was swamped by a tsunami in northeastern Japan
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Hotel employees squat down in horror at the hotel’s entrance in Tokyo after a strong earthquake hit Japan
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Natural gas storage tanks burn at the Cosmo oil refinery in Ichihara city, Chiba Prefecture, near Tokyo
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Houses are in flame while the Natori river is flooded over the surrounding area by tsunami tidal waves in Natori city, Miyagi Prefecture, northern Japan
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Cars and airplanes swept by a tsunami are pictured among debris at Sendai Airport, northeastern Japan March 11, 2011. 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.
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Buildings are damaged by a tsunami following an earthquake in Iwaki City, northeastern Japan
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People watch the aftermath of tsunami waves covering a port at Kesennuma in Miyagi Prefecture, northern Japan, after strong earthquakes hit the area
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Houses, cars and other debris are washed away by a tsunami in Kesennuma in Miyagi Prefecture, northern Japan
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People take shelter as a ceiling collapses in a bookstore during an earthquake in Sendai, northeastern Japan
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Police, firefighters and Japan Ground Self-Defence Force soldiers search for missing persons at the site of a landslide caused by the earthquake at Komanoyu-Onsen Ryokan, the Komanoyu hot springs hotel, in Kurihara
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A mother reads to her son at a relief center at Kurihara city in Miyagi prefecture
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Hotel employees gather at the hotel’s entrance in Tokyo, Japan while an earthquake hits Friday, March 11, 2011.
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Train passengers wait at Tokyo’s Shinagawa station to get first-hand information on train service which was halted following a very strong earthquake
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Passengers sleep at a lobby as they wait for their transportation at Haneda Airport in Tokyo
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Passengers sleep at a lobby as they wait for their transportation at Haneda Airport in Tokyo
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Evacuees take shelter at an evacuation centre during a blackout after an earthquake and tsunami in Sendai, northeastern Japan
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Tokyo Fire Department rescue workers arrive at Kudan Kaikan in Tokyo as local media said its ceiling was damaged after a strong earthquake and injured people inside the hall
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People wait for buses at a bus terminal near Tokyo railway station as train and bus services are suspended due to a powerful earthquake
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A mother and child crouch on a street in Tokyo while an earthquake hits Japan.
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A woman, carrying a child on her back, walks over tsunami-drifted debris and mud in Rikuzentakada, Iwate Prefecture
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Local residents take shelter in a school in Ichinoseki, Iwate following the quake
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Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan (C) reacts he he feels an earthquake as he attends a committee meeting in the upper house of parliament in Tokyo