By RFE RL
(RFE/RL) — A massive earthquake has struck off the northeast coast of Japan.
The U.S. Geological Survey says the earthquake had a magnitude of 8.9, upgrading earlier assessments.
The quake triggered a 4-meter tsunami that washed away cars and even buildings along the coast near the epicenter.
Other state media reported a tsunami as high as 10 meters, while televised images showed homes washed away in Sendai, Miyagi prefecture.
Kyodo news agency said many people were reported injured in northern Japan.
Several buildings were on fire in Tokyo.
A tsunami warning or a tsunami alert has been issued for countries on the Pacific rim.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake struck at a depth of 24 kilometers, off Honshu on Japan’s eastern coast.