Over 50 Areas Warned of Tsunami Threat

World | March 11, 2011, Friday // 17:23|  views

A map provided by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on 11 March 2011 shows the predicted travel times of the tsunami generated by the 8.9 magnitude earthquake which struck off the Northeastern coast of Japan. Photo by EPA/BGNES

A tsunami warning has now been issued for more than 50 countries and territories by the U.S. National Weather Service after a devastating 8.9-magnitude earthquake struck Japan Friday.

Russia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, the US state of Hawaii, the Philippines, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Australia, Fiji, Mexico, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Honduras, Chile, Ecuador, Colombia and Peru are among the states and areas included.

Some officials feared that the fast-moving waves from a tsunami could be so high that they would wash over entire islands in the Pacific, a spokesman for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies told CNN.

The earthquake has been the strongest in Japan in the last 140 years.

The Japanese authorities have launched a mass evacuation and rescue operation in coastal areas, including the use of military ships. At least 93 people have been killed in the devastating 8.9-magnitude earthquake that hit Japan on Friday, according to the first official death toll from police.

The official Kyodo News Agency reported that about 88 000 people were missing after a tsunami triggered by the quake swept away houses, farmlands and vehicles.

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Tags: tsunami, Japan, warning, earhquake


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