TOKYO: A magnitude-8.9 earthquake hit northeastern Japan Friday, generating a tsunami as high as 10 metres that hit the coast of Miyagi prefecture, officials said.
At least six people were killed, 20 injured and many were missing, including a number of children who were sucked into the sea, the public broadcaster NHK reported.
The six deaths were reported at a welfare facility that collapsed in Minami Soma in Fukushima prefecture, and the Kyodo News agency said eight people were missing in a landslide in Fukushima prefecture.
Waves swamped buildings and swept away cars, boats, crops and even buildings. People gathered on the roofs of inundated buildings and houses. Women waved white handkerchiefs from windows, seeking help.
NHK showed footage of submerged vehicles in Kamaishi, Iwate prefecture, as a 4.2-metre tsunami hit the city's coast and of many houses in Sendai, Miyagi prefecture, being washed away by quake-generated waves.
High tsunami waves also hit Hiroo on Hokkaido, Japan's northern island.
The agency warned more waves up to 10 metres high would hit the coast of eastern Japan.
A tsunami advisory was issued in wide swathes of the eastern coast and around the Pacific.
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