A massive 8.9-magnitude earthquake struck Japan late Thursday night Kansas City time- prompting tsunami warnings for Hawaii- Alaska and the West coasts of the United States and Canada.
A tsunami is expected to hit areas around Crescent City California as early as 9:23 a.m. Kansas City time.
A live broadcast of KTVU-TV2 in the San Francisco-Oakland area can be found here (you can enter this URL directly into your Windows Media player).
It was 2:46 p.m. Friday afternoon when the quake struck northeastern Japan.
So far- Japan's NHK TV Web site is reporting 375 dead with "more than 500 people missing."
American news media was reporting around 8 a.m. Kansas City time that "200-300 bodies were found in Sendai" which was the closest city to the quake's epicenter.
This report was also confirmed on the Web site THE JAPAN TIMES.
There is also a serious concern with a nuclear power plant in the quake area.
Employees at the plant have been unable to generate enough electricty to activate the reactor's cooling system- and residents have been evacuated from an area of 3 kilometers (about 2 miles) around that nuclear plant.
A release of pressure at the plant threatened to send radioactive particles into the air- and it has not yet been assured there would not be a reactor meltdown at that plant.
Fires are seen burning out of control in many areas hit by the quake- including at least one major fire in Tokyo- which is said to have escaped major damage.
Local tsunamis up to 30 feet high have washed cars and buildings away.
Hawaii is under a Tsunami Warning- and you can see a live Web broadcast of KITV-4 Honolulu HERE.
As of 7:45 a.m. Kansas City time and nearly 10 minutes after the tsunami was expected to hit the island chain- water levels have risen to just slightly above-normal in all points monitored by the news media and officials in Hawaii.
The quake is the strongest recorded in 140 years in Japan- and thus far it's the 5th-strongest earthquake ever recorded worldwide.
More information is posted on this blog as received as live Web broadcasts from the affected areas are being received here at CSW.
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