The quake has killed at least 22 people, and it triggered a series of massive tsunamis along the coast.  There were also tsunami warnings for at least 15 other countries, including Taiwan, Russia, and the state of Hawaii.

News footage of the tsunami showed HUGE walls of water, debris, mud, boats, and houses washing over farms and properties, and flooding coastal cities.  Reports said that in some cases the tsunami waves were 33 FEET HIGH.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, it's the fifth-strongest earthquake in the world since 1900, and the worst to hit Japan in 140 years.  The largest recorded quake took place in Chile on May 22nd, 1960, with a magnitude of 9.5.

The one that hit Chile last year was an 8.8.  And the earthquake in the Indian Ocean back in 2004 was a 9.1-magnitude quake.

This one was felt as far away as Beijing.  Here are the five most powerful quakes ever recorded:

1.)  A magnitude 9.5 hit Chile on May 22, 1960

2.)  A magnitude 9.2 hit Prince William Sound, Alaska on March 28, 1964

3.)  A magnitude 9.1 hit the Sumatra-Andaman Islands on December 26, 2004

4.)  A magnitude 9.0 hit Kamchatka, which is in Russia, on November 4, 1952

5.)  And today's Japan earthquake was an 8.9 magnitude.

Forget about California's quakes. That big Northridge earthquake that hit L.A. back in 1994 was only a 6.7 magnitude.  You can check out some insane videos of the Japan quake and the tsunami damage on CNN, here.

Here's more footage of the tsunami:

Check out the cars trying to escape in this video at :39…only the wave is running PARALLEL to the road: