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Tsunamis Feared as Earthquake Hits Japan

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images).

An 8.9 magnitude earthquake struck Japan at 2:46 p.m. local time. This is the largest earthquake to hit Japan in over 100 years. Local media in Tokyo is reporting at least 50 casualties with more feared.

The earthquake caused walls of water to sweep across fields, towns and highways, taking out houses, cars and boats as it went.

More than 30 aftershocks followed, with the strongest measuring 7.1. The aftershocks were felt for hours after the initial quake, who’s epicenter was 231 miles away from Tokyo in the middle of the ocean.

The National Weather Service issued warnings for more than 50 countries and territories.

The wide-ranging list includes Russia and Indonesia, Central American countries like Guatemala, El Salvador and Costa Rica and the U.S. state of Hawaii, where warning sirens were sounded in the morning. A tsunami warning was also issued for areas along the United States and Canadian west coasts.

For more, and the latest on this tragedy, check out CNN.com’s live blog.

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