A tsunami hit northern Japan on Friday morning, following on the heels of an 8.9 earthquake. Video footage showed waves estimated at 7-10 meters high hitting the city of Sendai, which has a population of one million.
At least 1,700 people were killed in the disaster, and thousands more remain missing. Several people are known to have been buried in a landslide caused by the earthquake, and others were injured when a roof caved in during a graduation ceremony in Tokyo.
Japan has issued top-level evacuation alerts for the entire coast, and its meteorological agency warned that second and third tsunami waves could be on their way. Residents have been told to immediately evacuate to higher ground, or if that is not possible, to the rooftops of strong buildings.
At the same time, aftershocks of the earthquake continue to rock the country. The earthquake was centered 373 miles from Tokyo, at a depth of 24 kilometers.
The disaster caused a drop in Asian stock markets.
Other countries in the Pacific faced tsunami warnings as well. The United States Pacific Tsunami Warning Center extended its warning to cover countries including Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand, and even Chile. New Zealand and Indonesia issued their own warnings as well.
The fate of 25 Israelis believed to be in the tsunami zone, according to Israeli diplomats, remains unknown. Magen Dovid Adom is standing in readiness in the event they are needed.