Following this morning’s violent 7.3 magnitude earthquake in Japan a tsunami warning was officially transmitted. The epicenter of the quake was about 245km (150 miles) south-east of Kamiashi at a depth of about 36km, according to the US Geological Survey.
The quake was felt in the capital Tokyo and a one-meter tsunami is reported to have reached the city of Ishinomaki in Miyagi, one of 47 Prefectures in Japan.
Miyagi was hit by a devastating earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.
The US-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no threat to the wider Pacific Ocean but that a tsunami could be generated that was destructive for local coastlines.
Warnings of the tsunami height have varied between 50cm and 2m.
The BBC’s Rupert Wingfield Hayes in Tokyo says any such height would represent a far lower risk of devastation than the 10-11 meter tsunami that struck in 2011.
At the moment, he says, the damage appears to be on a limited scale, although even a one-meter tsunami could be a significant event.
Evacuations have been ordered from some of the affected areas.
A presenter on state broadcaster NHK told viewers: “Remember last year’s quake and tsunami. Call on your neighbors and flee to higher ground now!”
Buildings were reported to have swayed violently in Tokyo.
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda cancelled campaigning for the 16 December election to return to his office.
The 9.0 magnitude quake that struck on 11 March 2011 left more than 15,000 people dead and more than 3,200 missing.
That quake triggered a meltdown of fuel rods at the Fukushima nuclear plant, causing radiation leaks and mass evacuations.
The plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power, told Agence France-Press there were no reports of problems there this time.
We will bring you updates on this potential devastating disaster as soon as they become available.