Lawyers at major international and domestic firms were among those Tokyo residents left stranded at their offices Friday evening by a massive earthquake that knocked out elevators and transport in the Japanese capital.

The 8.9 magnitude earthquake, which originated Friday afternoon around 80 miles offshore of northeastern Japan, spawned a devastating tsunami that washed away houses and cars in coastal areas near the epicenter. Dramatic television footage showed the tsunami completely inundating the ultra-modern Sendai Airport as well as large swathes of pristine farmland.