A powerful earthquake shook northeastern Japan on Friday, causing buildings to sway in Tokyo and triggering a tsunami alert.
The quake caused glass to fall out of the windows of some older buildings in central Tokyo and construction cranes on building sites to teeter violently. Streets in the financial district of Otemachi and the government district of Kasumigaseki were filled with people evacuated from office buildings, unable to reach family on cell phones, and unable to return home because subway services stopped.
Government media firm NHK broadcast live images of a tsunami hitting Miyagi prefecture in Sendai area, with the onrushing water engulfing farmland areas. It was not was clear whether there were any fatalities associated with the destructive wave.
Kyodo reported that a 10-meter tsunami was observed at Sendai port, in Sendai, at around 3:55 local time.
The magnitude 8.9 temblor struck at 2:46 p.m. local time and was centered near the east coast of Honshu, about 231 miles northeast of Tokyo, according a revised reading put out by the U.S. Geological Survey.
At least six aftershock of magnitude 6 or above were recorded following the major temblor, according to the U.S.G.S.
The quake was the strongest recorded on the Japan’s earthquake scale since 1995, according NHK. Data from the U.S. Geological Survey showed the quake is the strongest to hit the country according to records dating back to 1891.
A tsunami warning was issued for Japan, Russia, and the Mariana Islands, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said`
The agency also put the territories of Guam, Taiwan, the Philippines, the Marshall Islands, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Nauru, Micronesia and Hawaii under a lower tsunami watch.
The agency said areas along the Japan’s coastline near the epicenter may been affected by a destructive tsunami.