Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Update - Wednesday, March 23, 2011



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 (March 23), at least 9,408 people are confirmed dead and 14,716 people are reported to be missing, the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported. There are no new numbers forinjured, but 2,644 were reported injured Monday (March 21). Casualty numbers are likely to increase 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.