Japan braced Tuesday for one of its worst storms in years as typhoon Neoguri barrelled towards the southern Okinawa island chain, with the national weather agency issuing its highest alert and nearly half-a-million people urged to take shelter.
Small tsunami waves hit northern Japan early Thursday following a powerful 8.2-magnitude earthquake thousands of kilometres away across the Pacific Ocean in Chile after officials issued an evacuation advisory for certain areas.
Japan on Tuesday marks the third anniversary of the quake-tsunami disaster which swept away 18,000 victims, destroyed coastal communities, and sparked a nuclear emergency that forced a re-think on atomic power.
The Philippines launched an $8.17 billion plan on Wednesday to rebuild the lives of millions made homeless by Super Typhoon Haiyan and strengthen the disaster-prone nation's defences against future tempests.
In the dark months after a catastrophic tsunami smashed into Japan, killing almost 19,000 people and sparking a nuclear disaster, hopes for a rapid recovery and a national rebirth were frustrated by political paralysis.
A Japanese city devastated by the 2011 tsunami has received anonymous gifts of gold worth more than $250,000 in a phenomenon dubbed a "goodwill gold rush" ahead of the second anniversary of the disaster.