A rising death toll is in the dozens in the magnitude 8.9 earthquake and tsunami that hit the northern part of Japan.

The quake unleashed a 23-foot tsunami that swept boats, cars, buildings and tons of debris miles inland.

Fires triggered by the quake are burning out of control up and down the coast, including one at an oil refinery.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was followed by more than 20 aftershocks.

Dozens of cities and villages along a 1,300-mile stretch of coastline were shaken by violent tremors that reached as far away as Tokyo, hundreds of miles from the epicenter.

The cooling system at a nuclear plant failed but officials say there's no radiation danger.

A tsunami warning was issued for the entire Pacific, including areas as far away as South America, the entire U.S. West Coast, Canada and Alaska.

Japan's earthquake resulted in tsunami warnings as far away as South America, Canada, Alaska and the entire U.S. West Coast.

Tsunami sirens have been sounding and coastal areas are being evacuated in Hawaii, where the first waves are expected to hit about 6 a.m. Pacific time, or 9 a.m. Eastern today.

A geophysicist for the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center says the biggest waves to hit Hawaii could reach more than 6 feet.

Story from the Associated Press