Let's press the Matthew chapter 24 button again, folks! There is nothing like true to life, right in your face Bible Prophecy to wake you up in the morning! Wow! And yesterday I heard about another earthquake in South America... again. Enjoy... Happy Friday.
The biggest earthquake to hit Japan since records began almost 150 years ago smashed into the country's northeast coast today, triggering a 32-foot tsunami that swept away boats, cars and homes and killed hundreds of people. Large waves are now rolling into Hawaii, where thousands of people have been evacuated from the islands' coastline, and toward the U.S. West Coast.
The 8.9-magnitude quake's epicenter was 231 miles northeast of Tokyo, the United States Geological Survey reported. But the destruction caused by the natural disaster is expected to spread far beyond Japan, as the Red Cross in Geneva reported the swell moving across the Pacific was higher than some islands.
"We're preparing for the worst and we're praying for the best," John Cummings III, spokesman for the Honolulu Department of Emergency Management, told the Associated Press.
Tsunami warnings have also been issued for the whole of the Pacific Basin, including the Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan and Russia.
So far, authorities in Japan have confirmed 88 deaths caused by the natural disaster. But the final death toll will be far higher. Police in Miyagi Prefecture, the most severely hit area in northeastern Japan, told Kyodo news that between 200 to 300 bodies had been found in the coastal city of Sendai. They are thought to have drowned in the tsunami.
Elsewhere in the prefecture, a ship carrying 100 people was swept away when the tsunami hit, according to reports on NHK television. The vessel's fate is currently unknown.
The monster wave has wrecked chaos along the country's northeastern coast. Towering swells tossed around fishing boats, cars and trucks like toys and sent them crashing into bridges and apartment blocks. The overwhelming power of the wave could be seen in the port of Hachinohe in Miyagi, where two huge cargo vessels were ripped from their moorings and thrown on their sides.
Fires have broken out across the quake zone. Storage tanks exploded at a 220,000 barrel-a-day oil refinery in the city of Chiba, near Tokyo, and flames ripped through the turbine building of the Onagawa nuclear plant in Miyagi Prefecture. A state of emergency was also declared at a nuclear power station in Fukushima after its cooling system failed following the quake.
However, Prime Minister Naoto Kan told a press conference that no radiation leaks had been detected at Japan's nuclear power stations. The International Atomic Energy Agency echoed Kan's assurances in a statement Friday, reporting that "the four Japanese nuclear power plants closest to the quake have been safely shut down."
Sponsored LinksResidents and workers in Tokyo have gathered in parks and open spaces as aftershocks continue to rock the city. There were reports of about 20 people injured in the capital after the roof of a hall collapsed onto a graduation ceremony.
Many residents said they had never experienced such a powerful quake. "I was terrified, and I'm still frightened," Hidekatsu Hata, manager of a noodle restaurant in Tokyo's Akasaka area, told Reuters. "I've never experienced such a big quake before."
Office worker Jeffrey Balanag told the BBC that he was stuck in the Shiodome Sumitomo skyscraper in the center of the capital, because elevators had stopped working. "There's no panic, but we're almost seasick from the constant rolling of the building," he said.
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