At around 2:30 pm local time Friday (March 11), Sendai, Japan was hit by an 8.9 magnitude earthquake, the fifth-largest earthquake to hit anywhere in the world since 1900, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The earthquake was followed by numerous aftershocks and a massive tsunami.

Now Hawaii and the coasts of California and Oregon are on tsunami alert as well, though the waves expected to hit there are considerably smaller than the one that hit Japan, which was 23-feet high. CNN is saying hundreds of people have been killed.

President Obama issued a statement:

Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to the people of Japan,
particularly those who have lost loved ones in the earthquake and
tsunamis. The United States stands ready to help the Japanese people in
this time of great trial. The friendship and alliance between our two
nations is unshakable, and only strengthens our resolve to stand with
the people of Japan as they overcome this tragedy. We will continue to
closely monitor tsunamis around Japan and the Pacific going forward and
we are asking all our citizens in the affected region to listen to their
state and local officials as I have instructed F.E.M.A. to be ready to
assist Hawaii and the rest of the US states and territories that could
be affected.

And of course many celebrities are tweeting about the devastation (including Jimmy Kimmel, who is actually on an island in the South Pacific).

Barack Obama: Sending condolences to the people of Japan, particularly those who lost loved ones in the earthquake & tsunamis. U.S. stands ready to help.”

Alyssa Milano: Alyssa has
been tweeting almost constantly since she heard the news, reporting on
various things like Google People Finder and the subsequent devastation
following the initial earthquake and tsunami.

Ben Stiller: “Sending good thoughts and prayers to people of Japan.”

Taylor Swift: “I’m sending my thoughts and prayers and love to those in Japan who are hurting.”

Anderson Cooper: “Watching japan quake coverage on cnn right now. Terrible”

Lea Michele: So devastating to hear about the huge earthquake & tsunami Japan. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone there.

Kim Kardashian: “Just heard about the huge earthquake and tsunami in Japan. My prayers are with everyone in Japan!”

Pauley Perrette: “HUGE EARTHQUAKES in #Japan just hit & now Japan & #Hawaii are on #Tsunami alerts. Thoughts & Prayers.

Paris Hilton: “The
images on the news are breaking my heart. I am so worried for everyone
in Japan. My thoughts are with you Japan. God bless you all.” “Pray for japan… I’m worried about my friends from smap smap, verbal, kage son, and all my friends I care about . I can’t reach any of them in japan”

Slash: “My thoughts & prayers go out to the people in Japan dealing w/the earthquake, Tsunamis & aftershocks. I hope the worst is over.”

Ann Curry: “Current TSUNAMI warning: about 3am local time HAWAII,7am local-Pt conception, CALIFORNIA and OR-WA border. Take this seriously.” and “No significant impact reported so far in Hawaii. Prayers answers?”

Ne-yo: “GOD
BLESS JAPAN. My prayers go out to the people of japan hit by that
terrible earthquake and tsunami, as well as the people of hawaii”

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."