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Japan Earthquake Alters Coast Line, Changes Earth's Axis

Swirls of waves approach to a coast in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, northern Japan, March 11, 2011 after a powerful tsunami spawned by the largest earthquake in country's recorded history slammed the eastern coast

The massive earthquake that hit Japan on Friday was so powerful that it changed the shape of the country's coastline and shifted the earth's axis.

Geophysicist Kenneth Hudnut, who works for the U.S. Geological Survey, told CNN that the quake moved part of Japan's land mass by nearly 2.5 meters.

Experts say that the huge shake, caused by a shift in the tectonic plates deep underwater, also threw the earth off its axis point by at least 8 centimeters.

Thousands of people were unaccounted for in Japan on Saturday, a day after the 8.9 earthquake shook the country and giant tsunami waves crashed 10 kilometers inland in the northeast.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.