Japan continues to uncover the full extent of the devastation from this morning's massive earthquake; meanwhile, tsunami waves head towards the West Coast of the U.S., and South America. The latest news updates are below.
- Hawaii was spared any serious damage from the tsunami waves. Waves were projected to arrive at Northern California around 10:15 EST this morning, and in San Francisco around 11. Coastal residents in Oregon have evacuated. A warning has been issued, but San Francisco's not expecting any major damage. Tsunami warnings remain in effect for the following countries: Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, Honduras, Chile, Ecuador, Colombia and Peru, Russia, Fiji, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.
- The earthquake was the fifth largest in the world since 1900, and Japan's largest in 140 years. Police now say they've found up to 300 bodies in the Japanese city of Sendai, close to the quake's epicenter. Here's an interactive map showing earthquake damage in the region.
- Global corporations are spending the morning trying to assess the extent of damage to their Japanese operations. The stock market experienced a brief sell-off this morning, but has now stabilized. Stock futures in Japan lost 5% of their value today.
- You probably won't be flying into Japan today. Tokyo virtually ground to a halt following the quake this morning: "But for a few minutes after the ground began to rattle, the concern burned into stoic Tokyoites' faces was much bigger: What if this was the 'big one?'"
- President Obama has issued a statement of support, and has a news conference planned for later today. Other global leaders are taking similar steps.
- UPDATE: In a news conference, President Obama said the U.S. will be offering all the assistance necessary to Japan. The Defense Department already has Naval ships heading to the area. The State Department is urging Americans not to travel to Japan unless absolutely necessary, saying aftershocks could continue for "weeks."
- Japanese officials say that the nuclear reactor damaged in the earthquake "remains at a high temperature" because of problems with its coolant system. "Trade Minister Banri Kaieda said that a small radiation leak could occur at the plant."
- And now this: a new, magnitude 6.6, earthquake has "struck the central, mountainous part of the country," causing buildings in Tokyo to start shaking again. No immediate new damage reports.
[Photo via AP]