<a href="http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/gallery/2011/03/11/magnitude-8-9-quake-tsunami-hits-japan/">» PHOTOS: Disaster In Japan</a>

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Scientists say the massive earthquake that struck off the coast of Japan ranks as the fifth largest jolt in the world since 1900.

The magnitude-8.9 “megathrust” quake is similar to what happened during the 2004 Sumatra quake and the one last year in Chile. In all these cases, one tectonic plate is shoved beneath another.

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Such earthquakes are responsible for the most powerful shifts in the Earth’s crust.

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More than 80 aftershocks greater than magnitude-5 have been felt since the Japanese quake — a number that scientists say is normal for a quake this size.

U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Lucy Jones said a friend who was in Tokyo for a tsunami planning meeting noted the shaking after the initial shock lasted for about five minutes.

» PHOTOS: Disaster In Japan
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