Varanasi, Mar 12: Buddhist monks across Uttar Pradesh on Saturday offered special prayers for victims of Friday's 8.9 earthquake-cum-tsunami in northeastern Japan.
"We pray for peace for the souls of those who died in the earthquake and tsunami which came in Japan yesterday. We also pray for world peace. We pray that no other country is hit by tsunami or earthquake. May God help the survivors," said Megin Lama. Monks were also seen praying in Gorakhpur for the survivors.
"We were very upset hearing of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. We are praying everyday for the peace and well-being of the people there. We pray that everybody lives in peace and the pain of survivors becomes less," said Gyaneswar, head of Buddhist monk Committee.
The confirmed death toll stands at almost 300, though local media reports put it to at least over 1,000.
The earthquake was the fifth most powerful to hit the world in the past century. It surpassed the Great Kanto quake of September. 1, 1923, which had a magnitude of 7.9 and killed more than 140,000 people in the Tokyo area.
According to reports, Tokyo also shook vigorously. Tokyo Tower, a landmark structure in the capital, suffered minor damage in the quake.
The quake struck at 2.46 pm local time and alerts were issued across the Pacific, including areas as far away as South America, US West Coast, Canada and Alaska.