Breaking News: A major earthquake has just rocked northeastern Japan and authorities have issued a warning of a possible tsunami.
The Japan Meteorological Agency said the earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.3 violently hit in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Miyagi prefecture at 5:18 p.m. (0818 GMT) Friday.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no risk of a wider tsunami in along Japan’s coast, but a warning was issued for the coast of Miyagi, which was devastated by the much larger quake and following tsunami in March 2011.
National broadcaster NHK television broke off regular programming to warn that a forceful quake was due to hit shortly before the earthquake struck. Afterward, the announcer repeatedly urged all near the northeast coast to flee to higher ground.
Friday’s quake was centered approximately 150 miles east of Sendai, the capital city of Miyagi.
Randy Baldwin, of the U.S. Geological Survey said: “this may be considered an aftershock itself,” from the 2011 temblor, as the tectonic plates under the region are still settling into place.
The earlier warning said the tsunami in northeastern Japan could be as high as 2 yards, but reports on Japanese television warned of a wave only about half that high.
Buildings in Tokyo swayed for at least several minutes as the quake struck.
The magnitude-9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami that slammed into northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011, killed or left missing some 19,000 people, devastating much of the coast. All but two of Japan’s nuclear plants were shut down for checks after the earthquake and tsunami caused meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant in the worst nuclear disaster since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.
Immediately following Friday’s quake, there were no problems at any of the nuclear plants operated by Fukushima Dai-Ichi operator Tokyo Electric Power Co., said a TEPCO spokesman, Takeo Iwamoto.
It shook buildings as far as Tokyo and led to a tsunami warning for coastal areas of the northeast.
Again this tremendously strong earthquake centered off the coast of northeastern Japan. A tsunami warning for coastal areas of the northeast, public broadcaster NHK said on Friday.
The earthquake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.3, the US Geological Survey said. That was revised from an earlier estimate of 7.4.
A warning for a one meter tsunami was issued for the coast of Miyagi Prefecture in northeastern Japan, which was hit by a devastating earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011.
Japanesse offical say they expect that their coast will be hit with a tsunami. Warnings have been issued. been issued.
While we were in the process of publishing this article a 6.2 magnitude quake has just shaken approximately 218km SE of Ofunato, Japan.
No reports as of yet detailing damage or loss of life. However, officials are expecting a tsunami.