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Tsunami ravages Federal Way's sister city of Hachinohe, Japan

Federal Way's sister city of Hachinohe, Japan, is dealing with the aftermath of one of the strongest earthquakes in recent history.

A tsunami was triggered March 11 by a magnitude 8.9 earthquake that struck off the northeast coast of Japan. The resulting tsunami has killed hundreds of people, although a total number is unknown at this time. Online footage shows boats and tankers washing ashore in Hachinohe, which is located about 400 miles northeast of Tokyo and faces the Pacific Ocean.

The earthquake is considered one of the five strongest of the past century.

On Friday, Federal Way Mayor Skip Priest sent a letter to Hachinohe Mayor Makoto Kobayashi, expressing the concern of Federal Way’s citizens for the people of its sister city.

“All of us here at the City Of Federal Way send the citizens of Hachinohe our best wishes and deepest sympathies in the aftermath of Friday’s earthquake in Japan," Priest said in a prepared statement. "We sincerely hope that the citizens of Hachinohe are safe and unharmed and that the city and its people recover completely from the earthquake. Our prayers and thoughts are with all of our friends in Hachinohe and with all the citizens of Japan.”

Federal Way and Hachinohe have been sister cities since February 1993. An eight-person delegation from Hachinohe toured Federal Way in November 2010. Delegates from the cities alternate visitations to each country annually.

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