This is incredible: The world's most powerful earthquake triggered tidal waves that have killed 12,300 or more people. Mother Nature swoops in and takes life just like that.
A story in the Washington Post, gives a first-person account. It struck without warning with clear blue skies.
The AP gives some context on the history of tidal waves (tsunami).
Update from the Red Cross, where you can also donate. Turns out that the quake was the largest to hit the planet since 1964.