A massive earthquake struck just off the coast of Sendai, Japan on Friday, sending a wall of water racing across the island nation. Officials estimate that the ensuing destruction has killed hundreds of people and destroyed billions of dollars in property.
The Japan earthquake measured 8.9 on the Richter Scale, making it the seventh strongest earthquake ever recorded. It also spawned tsunami waves of up to 10 meters in height – and prompted tsunami warnings throughout the Pacific Ocean, including the island of Hawai’i and the West Coast of the continental United States.
The largest recorded earthquake of all-time is the “Great Chilean Earthquake” of 1960, which measured 9.5 on the Richter Scale.
Just over six years ago, an earthquake measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale struck just off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. That earthquake send huge tsunami waves racing across the Indian Ocean. An estimated 250,000 people in 14 countries were killed by the tsunamis, which did more than $12 billion worth of damage.
In addition to the direct physical damage, the quake rattled already unstable global markets. The U.S. stock market – which plunged 228 points yesterday due to continued volatility in the Middle East – is expected to shed additional value when it opens Friday.
There are also concerns regarding the impact the quake may have had on the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Japanese officials have ordered an evacuation of the areas surrounding the facility.
Pic: via Daylife