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TOKYO: One of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded hit Japan Friday, unleashing a 10-metre high tsunami that tossed ships inland and sparked fears that destructive waves could hit across the Pacific Ocean.
The devastating 8.9-magnitude quake left many people injured in coastal areas of the main Honshu island and Tokyo, police said, while TV footage showed widespread flooding in the area. Nineteen people were reported dead.
A monster 10-metre (33 feet) wall of water was reported in Sendai city in northeastern Miyagi prefecture, media said after a four-metre wave hit the coast earlier. The government said the quake had caused “tremendous damage”.
Helicopter footage showed massive inundation in northern coastal towns, where floods of black water sent shipping containers, cars and debris crashing through streets. An oil refinery was ablaze near Tokyo.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre issued a widespread warning for territories as far away as South America, New Zealand and Hawaii, where evacuations were ordered.
“An earthquake of this size has the potential to generate a destructive tsunami that can strike coastlines near the epicentre within minutes and more
distant coastlines within hours,” the centre said in a statement.
Swells of up to one metre were reported hitting Russia’s far east, with bigger waves expected later.
TOKYO: One of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded hit Japan Friday, unleashing a 10-metre high tsunami that tossed ships inland and sparked fears that destructive waves could hit across the Pacific Ocean. Read more of this post
>A Connecticut man believed to be the “East Coast Rapist” made a futile attempt to take his own life by hanging himself in his cell after his arrest, law enforcement officials said Saturday.
Aaron Thomas’ suicide attempt came after he was collared in New Haven for 17 rapes and other attacks from Virginia to Rhode Island over 12 years, the officials said.
DNA on a discarded cigarette butt linked Thomas, 39, to the crimes.
Neighbors described Thomas as a peculiar man who was often spotted in his front yard lifting weights and running or riding his bicycle for hours at a time. The unemployed truck driver also had a bad reputation of parking his loud rig on the quiet residential streets.
Police Lt. Julie Johnson said Thomas was charged with first-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor. He was being held on $1 million bond.
“It’s just shocking to me,” said Dashawn Golding, the 15-year-old son of Thomas’ girlfriend. “She’s crying a lot,” he said of his mother.
Before his arrest, billboards depicting sketches of the suspect had been posted in states where the attacks happened – and in Times Square.
U.S. Marshal Joe Faughnan said a tip from Prince William County, Va., directed them to Thomas.
An official told The Hartford Courant that cops tracked Thomas to a courthouse in New Haven, where he had a court date on a larceny charge.
Investigators retrieved a cigarette butt Thomas discarded outside, and it matched the DNA from a Virginia rape, an official said.
The East Coast Rapist is suspected in attacks in Maryland, Rhode Island, Virginia and Connecticut from 1997 to 2009, police said. The attacks were linked by DNA.
After he attempted to hang himself, Thomas was hospitalized and will undergo a psych evaluation, police said.
Thomas is scheduled to appear in court in Connecticut tomorrow.
Public records show Thomas was arrested in September in Woodbridge, Conn., on a larceny charge and that he lived in Maryland and Virginia.
>A third Bridget Jones book has been announced by author Helen Fielding in London. Rumors about the next Bridget Jones – the much-loved antics of a hopelessly single 30-something woman living in London – has been in overdrive for quite some time.
But finally, after ten years since the last novel Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, Fielding has confirmed that she has started to write the sequel.
Fielding read the first three pages of the new diary, to a rapt audience, at swanky London hotspot, Shoreditch House Yesterday.
The English novelist has also confirmed that she’s already in talks with film bosses.
“I will be working on both the book and the film but I don’t know if they’re the same thing yet. It’s not been decided,” the Daily Telegraph quoted her as saying.
She also commented that she loves the idea of visiting Bridget having a mid-thirties baby crisis.
>Fans of “Harry Potter” will be able to experience the magic of the movies’ sets, costumes and props when a new tour opens in Britain next year. The Making of Harry Potter will let fans go on a walking tour through the wizard franchise’s production base in Leavesden, England.
Among the sets, they’ll see Hogwarts headteacher Professor Dumbledore’s office and the Great Hall of the wizarding school, where stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint all filmed scenes. A spokesperson for film studio Warner Bros. says, “We’re incredibly excited.”
The tour will be open to the public next spring.
In the meantime, a world premiere for “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II” is set to be a magical one. The special screening will take place at Trafalgar Square in central London on July 7.