via the New York Times,

TOKYO — An earthquake of 8.9. magnitude struck off the coast of Japan  on Friday, the strongest ever recorded in the country. The quake churned up a devastating tsunami that swept over cities and farmland in the northern part of the country and set off warnings as far away the west coast of the United States and South America.

Fragmentary early reports of the toll indicate that hundreds of people have been killed. Japanese police officials told the Associated Press that 200 to 300 bodies were found in Sendai, a port city in the northeastern part of the country and the closest main city to the epicenter.

Walls of water whisked away houses and cars in northern Japan, where terrified residents fled the coast. Train service was shut down across central and northern Japan, including Tokyo, and air travel was severely disrupted. A ship carrying more than 100 people was swept away by the tsunami, Kyodo News reported.

The government evacuated thousands of residents near a nuclear plant about 170 miles northeast of Tokyo after a backup generator failed, compromising the cooling system, the Associated Press reported. continued

Read the whole piece here.

Our hearts go out to those affected. We are hoping to hear word on what relief efforts are being established and possible ways to help soon. Updates to come.


-One way to help is to give to Redcross Disaster Relief here: or by texting REDCROSS to 90999 for a quick, easy $10 donation.

-Photos of the destruction: (via the National Post)

-[VIDEO] Ogyen Trinley Dorje, 17th Karmapa, offers prayers for victims. View here.

How To Help Japan: Earthquake Relief Options (Huffington Post)

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