Major Earthquake & Tsunami Hit Japan


A magnitude-8.9 offshore quake struck Japan on Friday, unleashing a seven-meter tsunami. The original quake was then followed for hours by more than 50 aftershocks—many of which were more than magnitude 6.0.

Police said 200 to 300 bodies were found in Sendai, the northeastern coastal city closest to the epicenter. Another 137 were confirmed dead, with 531 people missing. Police also said 627 people were injured.

The tsunami slammed into Japan’s eastern coast, killing hundreds of people as it carried away ships, cars and homes, and triggered widespread fires that burned out of control. It hit Hawaii hours later but didn’t cause major damage. Tsunami warnings were issued all along the Pacific, including Canada, South America, Alaska and the entire US West coast.

Click here for links to some earthquake preparedness resources we’ve complied.

Canadians in Japan

The Department of Foreign Affairs says it is trying to determine whether any Canadians in Japan were affected by the earthquake. Friends and relatives seeking information on Canadian citizens believed to be in affected areas should call 613-943-1055 or 1-800-387-3124 or send an email to

The government is also closely monitoring the potential impact of the tsunami warnings for the wider region. A crisis response site has also been set up.