An 8.9 magnitude- temblor hit the east coast of Japan Friday morning at 2:46 p.m(12:46a.m. ET) killing and injuring hundreds of people.
30-foot walls of water swept across rice fields,spread across entire towns, dragged houses onto highways, and tossed cars and boats. Waves were documented as reaching six miles (10 kilometers) inland in Miyagi Prefecture on Japan's east coast.
The earth shook with such ferocity," said Andy Clark, who said he had gotten used to earthquakes during his 20 years in Japan but never experienced what he felt Friday at the airport outside Tokyo. "I thought things were coming to an end ... it was simply terrifying," reported CNN.
The skies all along the coastline are buzzing with helicopters. They are search teams scouring the wrecked landscape for any signs of life, reports BBC News.
The tsunami rolled across the Pacific at 800km/h (500mph) - as fast as a jetliner - before hitting Hawaii and the US West Coast, but there were no reports of major damage from those regions reports BBC.
Natsuko Komura had been riding her horse when the earthquake struck. She left her horse and fled away in her car, and when she came back she could not find her horse or identify the roads where she had been.
"Words fail me," she said, "because there is nothing here, the things that are supposed to be here, everything is gone, she told BBC reporters.