TOKYO -- One of the largest earthquakes in a century hit Japan Friday, creating a tsunami that put the entire Pacific on alert and killing hundreds, according to the Associated Press.
The quake carried away homes and cars and caused widespread fires and major damage to highways, buildings and farmland, said the New York Times.
The official death toll in Japan has been placed at 300, but is expected to rise due to the number of missing persons, reported the New York Times.
A geological survey scientist told the Associated Press that the energy of the quake is almost equal to one month's worth of energy consumption in the U.S.
President Obama promised U.S. assistance to Japan, said the Associated Press.