Japan: 8.9 Earthquake Spawns Deadly Tsunami, Evacuation Near Nuclear Reactor, and Fire at Oil Refinery

Image from NHK television. Following an earthquake and tsunami, flames rise from the 220,000 barrel-a-day oil refinery in Ichikawa, near Tokyo Friday, March 11, 2011, amounting to a shut down of 20 percent of the country's refining capacity."

Japan was struck by a magnitude 8.9 earthquake off its northeastern coast Friday, unleashing a 13-foot tsunami that washed away cars and tore away buildings along the coast near the epicenter.

Residents near a Tokyo Electric Power Co. nuclear reactor were ordered to evacuate because of a possible radiation leak as Japan’s strongest earthquake in a century shut power plants and oil refineries.

The tsunami waves slammed Japan’s eastern coast, killing hundreds of people as it swept away boats, cars and homes while widespread fires burned out of control.

Tsunami warnings blanketed the entire Pacific, as far away as South America, Canada, Alaska and the entire U.S. West Coast.

Raw video of the tsunami wave hitting an airport


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