☛ The New York Times: “The waves of the tsunami hit residences in Natori”, Kyodo News, via Associated Press, March 11, 2011
TOKYO — An 8.9-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Japan on Friday, the strongest ever recorded in the country and one of the largest anywhere in the last century. 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 as the West Coast of the United States and South America. (The New York Times: “Huge Quake and Tsunami Hit Japany” Martin Fackler and Kevin Drew, March 11, 2011
Below is a map of tsunami warnings issued by the Japan Meteorological Agency:
The quake prompted the U.S. National Weather Service to issue tsunami warnings for at least 50 countries and territories, although initial reports as the waves reached locations outside of Japan indicated no damage. (CNN: “Widespread destruction from Japan earthquake, tsunamis” by the CNN Wire Staff, March 11, 2011)
Below is a map of the distribution of energy in the ocean after the earthquake (issued by the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center):
More maps over at Mother Jones. More hi-res photos over at The Atlantic “In Focus” blog (run by Alan Taylor who used to run the “Big Picture” blog over at Boston.com). Also at The Atlantic: senior editor Alexis Madrigal as a rich collection of resources about “How to Follow the Japanese Earthquake on the Web”.
[UPDATE March 14, 2011] The magnitude of the Sendai earthquake which hit Japan on March 11, 2011 was revised by the seismologists at the US Geological Survey in Menlo Park, California. It is now believe to be a 9.0 earthquake:
Seismologists at the US Geological Survey in Menlo Park, California, have just revised their calculations regarding the magnitude of today’s quake. They now say it was magnitude 9.0. Already one of the top 10 recorded earthquakes in history, the revision suggests the quake was even more powerful than first thought. Harold Tobin of the University of Wisconsin-Madison told New Scientist that this figure will probably change again. This is typical in the hours after a large seismic event, as more information becomes available. (NewScientist: “Japan’s megaquake: what we know”, March 11, 2011)