The magnitude 8.9 earthquake that hit Japan last night has done a vast amount of damage. I'm seeing lots of information scattered around the web, and figured a post listing them might help.
First, if you need info about the quake, CNET has a long list of links for finding lost loved ones, information on the quake in general, and more.
Second, our own Discover Magazine has an excellent article with the science behind what happened. The article notes that science and engineering prevented this disaster from being a lot worse.
There are many charitable, non-profit organizations that may or will be providing aid and relief. I asked on Twitter which ones people liked, and here are a few. I do not necessarily endorse these groups, but provide this for your information.
Before you donate, please watch this video of the tsunami crashing through Japan:
Yes, those are buildings on fire as they are being swept along with the water. That is one of the most terrifying, horrifying things I have ever seen.
Discovery News has more video of the tsunami and damage from the quake.
My co-blogger at Discover Magazine, Sean Carroll, has some info and thoughts on this as well.
Here is a false-color map of the tsunami height which will give you an idea of the far-reaching nature of this event.
I will try to add more links to this as more information becomes available.