An earthquake measuring between 8.4 and 8.9 on the Richter Scale has struck at a shallow depth off the coast of northern Japan and tsunami warnings have been posted for Russia, the Marcus Islands, the Northern Marianas and coastal Japan. Guam, Taiwan, New Guinea, Indonesia, the Phillippines and Hawaii are also under tsunami warnings. It is becoming clear that the tsunami has caused an enormous disaster in Japan. So far, there are reports of injuries but no casualty reports. The tsunami has penetrated the Japanese countryside to a distance of many miles in populated areas. Fires are being reported in many areas, including Tokyo. Tsunami waves are expected to hit the US west coast beginning at around 7:30 Sunday morning. Wave heights have not yet been calculated as of 12:00 midnight Pacific time.
As of 12:15 Pacific time, New Zealand, Mexico, Peru and Chile have also been issued tsunami warnings.
The quake comes less than a day after a 7.9 quake in the same area. Earthquakes of 5.0 or more have been affecting the entire eastern Pacific region for approximately three weeks. The tsunami is expected to strike Taiwan and the Phillippines within hours. The tsunami is expected to be within 18 and 30 feet, which makes it extremely dangerous.
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