Tsunami and 8.9 Earth quake shock Japan

Japan's northern Pacific coast have been swamped by a devastating tsunami, engulfing entire towns following a major 8.9 offshore quake. The meteorological agency issued its top-level evacuation alerts for the entire Japanese coast, warning of a tsunami of up to six metres. Towns and farms around Sendai city in northern Japan are being engulfed by a tsunami, and a four-metre wave has swamped parts of Kamaishi on the Pacific coast. Residents have been ordered to rush to high ground and stay away from the coast as tsunami can strike in several waves. Japanese television is broadcasting pictures of a wall of water kilometres wide moving its way across the countryside, engulfing everything in its path. More waves can be seen approaching the coast. "An earthquake of this size has the potential to generate a destructive tsunami that can strike coastlines near the epicentre within minutes and more distant coastlines within hours," the agency said.
It also put the territories of Guam, Taiwan, the Philippines, the Marshall Islands, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Nauru, Micronesia and Hawaii under a lower tsunami watch. The US tsunami monitoring centre has widened a warning to virtually the entire Pacific coast, including Australia and South America. But the Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre says there is no tsunami threat to Australia. The quake, already considered one of the worst in Japan's history, struck about 382 kilometres north-east of Tokyo at a depth of 24 kilometres, the US Geological Survey said.