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Last Updated: Friday March 11 2011 17:29 GMT

Japan Earthquake: A Newsround special

Cars and debris swept away by tsunami tidal waves in Kesennuma in Miyagi Prefecture, in northern Japan, after strong earthquakes hit the area

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Japan has been hit by the biggest earthquake in its history.

The 8.9 magnitude earthquake caused widespread devastation across the country and triggered a huge tsunami. Lots of people have died.

Several countries around the Pacific were put on tsunami alert, including Australia, New Zealand and countries in central and South America.

Watch this special edition of Newsround to find out more about what happened, including...

  • 10-year-old Isabel tells us what it was like being in school in Japan's capital, Tokyo, when the earthquake hit
  • And we speak to an earthquakes expert about why there have been so many powerful quakes in recent years