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Massive Earthquake Off Japan Coast; Magnitude 8.9

"7.9 quake off Japan rocks Tokyo buildings," AP reports:

A 7.9-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of northern Japan, shaking buildings violently as far away as Tokyo. The highest tsunami warning was issued for the country's northeast coast.

The quake struck at 2:46 p.m. local time off the coast of Sendai north of Tokyo, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. A wave of as high as 6 meters is expected to hit the coast of Miyagi prefecture, the agency said.

An updated report places the quake at a mammoth 8.8 rating. Steve Herman, a Voice of America journalist based in Seoul also has numerous updates on Twitter, including at least one possible tsunami sighting. There's a photo of buildings on fire here.

CNN's Lateef Mungin tweets, "There have been only 5 other earthquakes larger than this one since 1906."

Breaking News on Twitter has numerous updates; more as it comes in will be posted here, and at the Tatler as well, the Pajamas group blog, which will likely have updates throughout the day on Friday.

Update: I revised this post at the Tatler (including the most recent magnitude rating of 8.9); where others are now posting updates as well.

Late Update: The rest of the gang is now starting to post updates at the Tatler; click here to be taken to the top of the homepage there and start scrolling. And Elizabeth Scalia a.k.a the Anchoress notes that Google has launched a person finder for Japan.