Japan

Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Update Wednesday, April 13, 2011

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A powerful 9.0-magnitude earthquake hit Japan on March 11 at 1446 local time (0546 GMT), unleashing massive tsunami waves that crashed into Japan’s northeastern coast of Honshu, the largest and main island of Japan, resulting in widespread damage and destruction. According to the Government of Japan (GoJ), as of Wednesday (April 13), 13,392 people are confirmed dead and 15,133 people are reported to be missing. The highest number of deaths reported are in Miyagi prefecture (8,190), followed by Iwate (3,867) and Fukushima (1,272). (NPA, NHK, Reuters, April 13) Earlier estimates from the UN of the number of people injured was at 2,869. Casualty numbers are likely to increase as officials in some areas have not been able to complete their tally of the missing, according to NHK, and as emergency teams continue to reach and assess affected areas. The earthquake sparked widespread tsunami warnings across the Pacific. According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), the shallow quake struck at a depth of six miles (10 km) (20 km deep according to Japan’s Meteorological Agency), around 80 miles (125 km) off the eastern coast of Japan, and 240 miles (380 km) northeast of Tokyo.