Quake and tsunami devastate Japan, have ripple effects on North America

An 8.9-magnitude quake struck Japan at 2:46 p.m. local time, covering homes and roads in 33-foot waves. Tsunami watches have been issued for the North American West Coast, and Hawaii has already seen seven and eight-foot waves.

Kathryn Watson, Writer

A massive 8.9-magnitude quake struck Japan at 2:46 p.m. local time, sending the country into chaos and signaling tsunami watches for places like California and Oregon.

The tsunami triggered by the quake covered parts of Japan’s coast in 33-foot blocks of waves, killing hundreds. As of 9:51 a.m. Pacific Standard Time, Hawaii had already been struck with seven and eight-foot waves. The waves expected to hit the West Coast are anticipated to be not much higher than one or two feet in height and hit late Friday morning, according to Fox News.

“We will stand with them as they recover,” President Barack Obama told a listening world at a press conference in Washington, D.C., today.

The Japanese government has yet to release a more specific death count, but Japanese officials have found between 200 and 300 bodies so far. The area of Sendai in northeastern Japan is believed to be hit the hardest, but Tokyo has heavily felt the quake’s effects, too. The quake is the biggest Japan has experienced in more 140 years, and is the fifth-largest on record since 1900.

As with recent tumultuous situations in Egypt and elsewhere, Twitter has played a key role in gleaning information about the quake and capturing the thoughts and emotions of those affected.

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