Yesterday, a magnitude 8.9 earthquake struck off the northeastern coast of Japan, triggering a deadly series of tsunami waves. The quake hit at 2:46 p.m. eighty miles east of Sendai and was the sixth most powerful quake on record, according to the US Geological Survey. The subsequent tsunami engulfed towns along Japan’s northeastern coast, as the devastating footage below shows. More than 50,000 Japanese troops were immediately dispatched to the coastal region to assist in rescue operations.
Social and economic costs of the disaster are already in the tens of billions. In addition to the massive cleanup of the coastline, many businesses, such as Toyota, have seized domestic operations. All airports in Japan, which has the third largest economy in the world, are also closed. The following clip shows additional helicopter footage of the tsunami.
Regardless of these monetary losses, confirmed casualties are already in the hundreds and will likely climb several thousand. What’s more, the scope of the disaster is still growing, as nuclear plants near the coast are reportedly damaged and possibly discharging radioactive material. An explosion occurred at a nuclear plant in Fukushima, as the video below shows, but whether this explosion included radioactive material is still unknown.