WESTON (CBS) – On Friday afternoon, seismologists were monitoring aftershocks all over the world from the Japan earthquake.

Scientists at the Weston Observatory say they had already counted more than 40 aftershocks that measured greater than a 5.5 magnitude.

Weston Observatory’s Mike Hagerty speaks with WBZ-TV:

To put that into perspective, scientists say even a single 5.5 magnitude aftershock could be devastating if it hit New England.

Read: Complete Quake Coverage From CBS News

Dr Michael Haggerty says Japan can expect a number of powerful aftershocks in the days and weeks to come. “This event would be about the fifth largest we’ve seen in the past 100 years,” Dr. Haggerty also noted that smaller aftershocks from Friday’s 8.9 magnitude quake will continue for weeks, months, and possibly even years.

WBZ-TV’s Alana Gomez reports

The force of the earthquake caused significant damage, but it was the 23-foot tsunami that followed, which left an enormous wake of destruction.

Geologists told WBZ-TV that the initial quake produced the perfect recipe for a monster tsunami. The epicenter struck in a shallow area of the ocean, not very far from shore.

The quake caused a thrust motion, which lifts up the ocean floor and sends out powerful wave surges.

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