On Friday afternoon the 11th of March 2011, a devastating earthquake occurred outside the eastern coast of Japan.

It was the most powerful earthquake ever recorded to have hit Japan, and the fourth most powerful earthquake in the world since modern record-keeping began in 1900. The 9.0 magnitude earthquake triggered powerful tsunami waves that reached heights of up to 40.5 meters in Miyako in Tohoku’s Iwate prefecture, and in the Sendai area the wave traveled up to 10 km inland.

The earthquake moved Honshu (the main island of Japan) 2.4 m east, and generated sound waves detected by the low-orbiting GOCE satellite. SAFEY Emergency System, at this time had a beta version of the SAFEY system and provided alerts to three travelers in Tokyo metropolitan area. They received the red alert of the tsunami warning at 14:49 JST, 47 minutes before the wave hit hit the shoreline.