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Friday, March 11, 2011

Historic Earthquake And Tsunami Slam Japan

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A powerful 23-foot tsunami spawned by the largest earthquake in Japan’s recorded history slammed the eastern coast Friday, sweeping away boats, cars, homes and people as widespread fires burned out of control.

Japanese authorities say 200 to 300 bodies have been found in the northeastern city of Sendai, the closest major city to the epicenter of the 8.9 magnitude earthquake.

The offshore quake was followed by more than a dozen aftershocks, most of them of more than magnitude 6.0. Dozens of cities and villages along a 1,300-mile stretch of coastline were shaken by violent tremors that reached as far away as Tokyo, hundreds of miles (kilometers) from the epicenter.

John Brinsley of Bloomberg News joins us from Tokyo.  We also speak with Ian Miller, assistant professor of modern Japanese history at Harvard University, and Dr. John Ebel, director of the Western Observatory, the geological research lab for Boston College.

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Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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