At 2:46 p.m. Tokyo time on Friday, a 8.9 magnitude earthquake occurred 80 miles off the coast of Japan, triggering at least 19 aftershocks and a 30-foot tsunami. Local news footage posted by the Associated Press shows buildings being washed away, and there are widespread blackouts and fires along Japan's eastern coast. It's believed that at least 15 people are dead and many more are injured.
Tsunami warnings have been issued for the west coast of the United States. Authorities in Hawaii and Guam have ordered that coastal areas be evacuated.
Update: The Honolulu Star is reporting the tsunami has hit all Hawaiian islands but, according Gerard Fryer, a scientist with the Tsunami Warning Center, "At this point it's not going to be a major damaging event." But isolated damage should be expected. Exhale, we hope, for now.
Update, 11am: Here's CNN's liveblog about Japan. As far as the U.S goes, "Surges could reach three to seven feet along the California, Oregon and Washington coasts. Southern California is expected to be hit by three-foot waves, the authorities said."
Here's footage of Japanese skyscrapers swaying in the quake, which they're designed to do.
Elsewhere in the Gawker Network
The Unbelievably Terrifying Japanese Tsunami [Gawker]
How To Make A 72-Hour Emergency Kit [Lifehacker]
Boat Caught In Huge Whirlpool After Japan's Earthquake [Jalopnik]
Tsunami Wave Hits Japanese Airport [Jalponik]
Japan's Gaming Greats React To Earthquake Crisis [Kotaku]