A ferocious tsunami spawned by one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded slammed Japan's eastern coast Friday, killing hundreds of people as it swept away boats, cars and homes while widespread fires burned out of control. The tsunami roared over embankments, washing anything in its path inland before reversing directions and carrying the cars, homes and other debris out to sea.
The magnitude-8.9 offshore quake unleashed a 23-foot (seven-meter) tsunami and was followed by more than 50 aftershocks for hours, many of them of more than magnitude 6.0.
The quake struck at a depth of six miles (10 kilometers), about 80 miles (125 kilometers) off the eastern coast. The area is 240 miles (380 kilometers) northeast of Tokyo. Several...