NHK, via Associated Press
Houses were washed away by tsunami in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture in eastern Japan, after Japan was struck by a magnitude 8.9 earthquake off the northeastern coast.
Kyodo News, via Associated Press
An area flooded by the tsunami in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture in Japan, after an earthquake struck off the northeastern coast.
At least 30 people were injured in the cities of Tokyo and Osaki, the Kyodo news service reported.
The wave drew a line of white fury across the ocean, heading toward the shoreline. Cars and trucks were still moving on highways as the water rushed toward them. The floodwaters, thick with floating debris shoved inland, pushed aside heavy trucks as if they were children’s toys, in some places carrying blazing buildings towards factories, fields, highways, bridges and homes. The spectacle was all the remarkable for being carried live on television, even as the waves engulfed flat farmland that offered no resistance.
The force of the waves washed away cars on coastal roads and crashed into buildings along the shore, The Associate Press reported. Television footage showed a tsunami wave bearing down on the Japanese coastline near the community of Sendai.
NHK television transmitted aerial images of huge billow of flame rising from an oil refinery and flood waters engulfing Sendai airport, where survivors clustered on the roof of the airport building. The runway was partially submerged. The refinery fire sent a plume of thick black smoke from blazing cylindrical storage tanks. A television commentator called the blaze an “inferno.”
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