Japan's north eastern part was struck by an 8.9-magnitude earthquake with tremors being felt in office buildings in Japan. The earthquake also triggered a massive tsunami which has inundated the north eastern coast.

Here is a timeline of some of the most devastating earthquakes which have hit Japan:

September 1923 - The Great Kanto earthquake of magnitude 8.3 with its epicenter near the city of Tokyo and Yokohama claims 142,800 lives. The earthquake is also known as the Great Tokyo Earthquake or the Great Tokyo Fire, resulted in firestorms which burnt about 381,000 of more than 694,000 houses. The earthquake also resulted in tsunami in the Sagami Bay with waves as high as 12m.

March 1927 - The Tango earthquake with 7.6 magnitude claims 3,020 lives and about 98 percent of the houses in Mineyama, the principal town of the district, are destroyed.

March 1933 - Sanriku earthquake with a magnitude of 8.4 claims 3,000 lives. Most of the casualties were caused by a large tsunami with waves reaching heights of 28.7m (94 ft).

June 1948 - Fukui earthquake measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale claims 3,769 lives. About 67,000 houses were destroyed in the Fukui area.

January 1995 - Hyogo earthquake of magnitude 6.9 hits Kobe area claiming 5,500 lives. The earthquake destroyed about 200,000 buildings with 90 percent of the casualties being reported from the southern coast of Honshu between Kobe and Nishinomiya.

March 2011 - An 8.9 magnitude earthquake hits Japan's north eastern part. The earthquake resulted in a tsunami which struck Kamaishi, Miyako and Yamadamachi, The Daily Yomiuri reported. Tsunami warnings have been issued to at least 19 countries. CNN reported that the earthquake is the largest since the 9.0 magnitude earthquake hit Indonesia's Banda Aceh region in December 2004.

Source: USGS (www.usgs.gov)

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