The death toll from Friday's earthquake and tsunami are now expected to top 10,000. Having seen a relative handful of the flood of images that captured the disaster, that number is not surprising; it might even seem to be an underestimate, given the fact that Sendai, a city of 1 million, was 80 miles from the epicenter and was hit by a 30-foot wave just minutes later (downtown San Francisco is 60 miles in a straight line from the epicenter of 1989's Loma Prieta earthquake; if a 9.0 quake had hit—not in the cards, seismologists say—we wonder whether we'd be talking about San Francisco and San Jose in the past tense).
The best treatment we've seen of the extent of the area shaken, and the severity of the damage therein, comes from The New York Times: Map of the Damage from the Japanese Earthquake. The straight-line distance from the northernmost point on the map where severe damage was recorded, Hachinohe in Aomori Prefecture (population 235,000), is a good 360 miles from Tokyo. Much of the coast between those points was devastated and the interior areas were severely shaken. If you're thinking in California terms, that's the as-the-crow-flies distance from San Francisco to downtown Los Angeles—a long, long swath of destruction.
The Los Angeles Times has produced a timeline map of the shocks that preceded and followed the quake: Shaking before and after Japan's great quake.
The Washington Post has posted a useful overview map of the affected areas: Earthquake in Japan: A wave of destruction.
The San Jose Mercury News has a good piece and graphic on what oceanographers do and do not know about the timing and behavior of tsunamis: Scientists accurately predict path of tsunamis, but still uncertain about impacts.