Friday, March 11, 2011

Japan Earthquake Update: Over 1,000 feared killed as megaquake strikes Japan, triggers tsunami, fires

A powerful earthquake with a magnitude of 8.8 struck a wide area of northeastern and eastern Japan including Tokyo on Friday, triggering dozens of fires and a massive tsunami that swept away houses, cars and ships, with the death toll likely to rise to over 1,000.

The 2:46 p.m. earthquake was the strongest recorded in the quake-prone archipelago by the Japan Meteorological Agency, the governmental agency said, with its magnitude surpassing the 7.9 registered in the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake in Tokyo and its vicinity, which killed more than 100,000 people.

The Defense Ministry said about 1,800 homes in Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture, near the Pacific coast, have been destroyed, raising the possibility that the overall quake death toll will top 1,000. (read more)