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Our Daily Planet: Huge Earthquake in Japan and Hawaiian Tsunami

Each weekday morning, OurAmazingPlanet takes the pulse of the Earth, reporting on natural phenomena and exploration news from around the globe.

Japan Earthquake: A magnitude 8.9 earthquake rocked Japan today killing possibly 50 people and sending waves as high as 33 feet (10 meters) crashing onto parts of Japan. The earthquake comes a day after a magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck in the same region, and two days after a magnitude 7.3 earthquake struck northern Japan.

Hawaii Tsunami: A 6.5-foot (2 m) tall tsunami is expected to hit Kauai, Hawaii around 8 a.m. EST (3 a.m.), after it passed Midway Island at a height of 8.2 feet (2.5 m), according to the National Weather Service.

West Coast Tsunami: The earthquake in Japan is expected to send waves of up to 3 feet (1 m) crashing onto the West Coast around 11 a.m. EST (8 a.m. PST).

Major Flooding: The worst of the heavy rains may have passed the Mid-Atlantic states, including parts of New Jersey and New York, but flooding is still a risk.

Previously on Our Daily Planet: China's Deadly Earthquake and Great Barrier Reef Recovery

Reach OurAmazingPlanet staff writer Brett Israel at bisrael@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @btisrael.

Brett Israel was a staff writer for Live Science with a focus on environmental issues. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from The University of Georgia, a master’s degree in journalism from New York University, and has studied doctorate-level biochemistry at Emory University.