Japan's Enormous Quake Now Upgraded To 9.0

By Mary Collins
By Scott Sarvay
By Maureen Mespell

March 11, 2011 Updated Nov 4, 2013 at 12:25 PM EDT

TOKYO (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Japan was rocked with a devastating earthquake and tsunami Friday morning.

The 9.0 quake shook dozens of cities and villages along a 1,300 mile stretch of Japan’s east coast.

The quake triggered a 30 foot tsunami and there are reports of between two and 300 bodies have been found in Sendai.

The tsunami reached as far away as the U.S. west coast.

So far 151 deaths have been officially confirmed, but that's expected to rise.

Hundreds of miles from the epicenter in Tokyo, the quake was strong enough to knock out power and brought public transport to a standstill.

Each day in Tokyo roughly 10 million travelers use the train system, many of the commuters are now left stranded unable to reach their home.

The massive quake triggered problems with a cooling system at a nuclear power plant, officials said, prompting an "emergency," but the officials maintained that no radiation had leaked. A fire was reportedly burning in a turbine building at the plant.

Waves of muddy waters swept over farmland near the city of Sendai, carrying buildings, some on fire, inland as cars attempted to drive away. Sendai airport, north of Tokyo, was inundated with cars, trucks, buses and thick mud deposited over its runways. Fires spread through a section of the city, public broadcaster NHK reported.

A large fire erupted at the Cosmo oil refinery in Ichihara city in Chiba prefecture near Tokyo and was burning out of control.

The tsunami roared over embankments, washing cars, houses and farm equipment inland before reversing directions and carrying them out to sea. Flames shot from some of the houses, probably because of burst gas pipes.

The quake struck at 2:46 p.m. local time (12:46 a.m. ET) and powerful aftershocks continue to be reported.

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