Mag.-8.9 quake strikes Japan, tsunami heads for Hawaii

The March 11 earthquake was preceded by a series of large foreshocks, beginning on March 9th with a magnitude-7.2 quake and continuing with a further 3 earthquakes greater than magnitude-6 on the same day.

Credit: 

USGS Earthquake Hazards Program

A powerful magnitude-8.9 earthquake struck near the eastern coast of Honshu, Japan, today at 2:46 p.m. local time. The quake sent a tsunami racing across the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii, making landfall just before 3 a.m. local time. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has more information.

The quake was the result of thrust faulting near the subduction zone interface between the Pacific and North America plates. Callan Bentley's blog at AGU has an informative post detailing the geology of the quake.

For some earthquake and tsunami pictures go here.

Carolyn Gramling

Gramling is the Web editor an a reporter for EARTH.

Friday, March 11, 2011 - 04:30