Coastal residents in Japan were ordered to flee to higher ground on Tuesday after a strong earthquake with a magnitude of 7.4 struck off the coast of Fukushima prefecture.
The Japan Meteorological Agency issued a tsunami warning for waves of up to 3 metres in Fukushima and another prefecture, and a tsunami advisory for much of the rest of northeast Japan's Pacific coast. There were no immediate reports of damage or injury.
Tsunamis of 1.4 metres and 90 centimetres were reported in Sendai and Fukushima about an hour after the 6 am earthquake, and the tsunami warning area was widened later in the morning.
Fukushima prefecture is home to the nuclear power plant that was destroyed by a huge tsunami following an offshore earthquake in 2011.
The Japan Meteorological Agency put the quake at 7.4 magnitude while the United States Geological Survey (USGS) said it was 6.9 magnitude. It struck at a shallow depth of seven miles) shortly before 6.00 am local time on Tuesday (2100 GMT on Monday) in the Pacific off Fukushima.
Nuclear plant back to normal
The operator of the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant has said there were no abnormalities observed at the plant, though a swelling of the tide of up to 1 metre was detected offshore.
Plant operator TEPCO said a pump that supplies cooling water to a spent fuel pool at the nearby Fukushima Dai-ni plant stopped temporarily, but that it was working again. The Tokyo-based utility is investigating the cause.
Residents are fleeing from coastal area in Fuhushima prefecture and local TV is urging people not to go back - it reminded people that people died in 2011 when they returned after believing the tsunami has stabalised.
A few waves have hit the coastline - the highest in Sendai - but no major damage has been reported yet. Officials are warning that the waves could rise further, though.
There have so far been reports of only minor injuries following the magnitude 7.4 quake, which struck just before 6am local time at a depth of 25km.
Some photos from Kyodo, via Reuters, which are being circulated to news agencies. They show a traffic jam and concerned onlookers.
New tsunami warning for Miyagi prefecture
The tide level is still rising along the coast, with waves as high as 1m now reaching the shore.
Residents are being instructed to stay away from the water.
There are warnings that second and subsequent waves can be higher than the initial tsnuami waves.
Residents of Japan’s northern Pacific coast are still being told to leave their homes and seek higher ground via televised tsunami advisories:
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