Tsunami Hits Japan; Tsunami Warnings in Effect for Western U.S., Hawaii, and Others

• An earthquake that's being called the highest magnitude ever, 8.9, to hit Japan has triggered a 10-meter tsunami that swept inland at Sendai, where 200 to 300 bodies have been found. Mass evacuations are taking place in Japan, and tsunami alerts are in effect in Australia, Russia, Mexico, Chile, Hawaii, and Peru. Tsunami warnings have been issued for the west coast of the United States. This video gives an idea of the tsunami's terrifying impact. [BBC, Weather, CNN, WSJ]

• Barack Obama has issued this statement [NYT]: Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to the people of Japan, particularly those who have lost loved ones in the earthquake and tsunamis. The United States stands ready to help the Japanese people in this time of great trial. The friendship and alliance between our two nations is unshakable, and only strengthens our resolve to stand with the people of Japan as they overcome this tragedy. We will continue to closely monitor tsunamis around Japan and the Pacific going forward and we are asking all our citizens in the affected region to listen to their state and local officials as I have instructed F.E.M.A. to be ready to assist Hawaii and the rest of the US states and territories that could be affected.

• Waves are predicted to hit the western coast of the United States between 11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. EST Friday. [Forbes]

• It's being reported that at least 60, probably more, died in the earthquake in Japan. (Some reports say 90 and up to 300.) 56 have been reported missing. [Salon]

Google has launched a person-finder app.

• For concerns about a specific U.S. citizen in the tsunami zone outside of Japan, email PacificTsunamiUSC@state.gov.

• Watch more videos here. [The Awl]

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