Devastation as tsunami hits Japan

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A 30FT-HIGH tsunami has hit Japan after a huge eathquake off the coast.

Japan was struck by an earthquake measuring 8.9 on the Richter scale off its north-eastern coast at 5.45am today, triggering a tsunami that washed away cars and tore away buildings along the coast near the epicentre.

The Tsunami Warning Centre in Hawaii issued an alert to include all of the Pacific Ocean, as far apart as Australia and New Zealand, Mexico and Central and South America, the Philippines and Taiwan, off the Chinese mainland.

In various locations along Japan’s coast, TV footage showed severe flooding, with cars, boats and even buildings being carried along by waters.

Japan’s prime minister said the earthquake caused “major damage” in the north-east of the country.

The quake was followed by a series of aftershocks, including one measuring 7.4 about 30 minutes later.

In central Tokyo, 240 miles away from the epicentre, large buildings shook violently and workers poured into the street for safety.

TV footage showed a large building on fire and bellowing smoke in the Odaiba district of Tokyo.

l DO you know anyone affected by the disaster, if so contact the Mail on (01429) 239381.