Japan was struck by a massive earthquake this morning just off the coast of Sendai. News outlets report the quake registered a 8.9 on the Richter scale, making this the strongest in the country's recent history. Tsunamis were also triggered, with waves being reported as tall as 7m. Shock waves are currently moving across the Pacific Ocean.
Let's hope that all our friends in Japan are safe and well. Fortunately, their buildings are designed to withstand powerful earthquakes, but damage from aftershocks and the tsunami will be considerable.
Update: Follow Joan Nelson's ongoing posts on the earthquake and tsunami here.
Update: I've decided to post some photos from Japan. The people are still in a state of shock, and the full scale of this catastrophe will be unveiled over the next few days.
(all photos: Reuters/Kyodo)