A massive 8.9-magnitude earthquake off Japan’s northeastern coast has at least 19 countries under tsunami alert. The U.S. west coast from Alaska to California is preparing for waves of three to four feet high representing a tremendous amount of energy expected by about 7:00 AM Pacific time.
Here, we see raw footage of the 32-foot tsunami wave that hit Japan’s Sendai airport
Caused by the earthquake that hit at 2:46 PM local time in Japan, the tsunami wave is estimated to hit Hawaii just about any time now.
In the Philippines, Guam and Northern Mariana Islands, evacuation of communities along the eastern coastal areas is underway with the populations being advised to get at least 50 meters above sea level.
USS Essex, USS Blueridge, USS Tortuga have been deployed and are on their way to Japan to help in anticipated relief efforts. U.S. Navy ships in Guam are being told to head out to sea for safety reasons
“Hawaii ordered evacuations from coastal areas due to the threat of a tidal wave set off by Friday’s earthquake in Japan as a tsunami warning was extended to the whole of the Pacific basin, except mainland United States and Canada.” reports Reuters.
Early reports from Japan’s Kyodo news indicate at least 10 people killed and many injured but that number is expected to rise. After a 7.7-magnitude earthquake and 10-foot tsunami hit Indonesia last October hundreds were reported dead later in the week. Early Tsunami warning systems put in place between 2004 and 2008 are hoped to have help minimize casualties.