Because of warning systems, the tsunami wasn't as deadly worldwide as some in the past. Most buildings withstood the shaking. The quake was 700 times more powerful than the one that struck Haiti last year, but the death toll appears to be far lower than the 220,000-plus killed in the Caribbean.
Friday's quake caused a rupture 186 miles long and 93 miles wide in the sea floor 80 miles off the eastern coast of Japan. It happened 15 miles beneath the sea floor.
Image: A clock on the wall of damaged Otsuchicho town hall stopped at 14:46 when the massive earthquake hit the town in Otsuchicho, Iwate Prefecture on March 13, 2011, two days after a strong earthquake and tsunami hit northeastern Japan.