Major earthquake strikes off Japan

Tsunami warning has been issued after quake hits with a depth of 10km off Japan's Fukushima prefecture.

    Traffic jams were prevalent in the area as people evacuated after tsunami advisories were issued [Reuters]
    Traffic jams were prevalent in the area as people evacuated after tsunami advisories were issued [Reuters]

    An earthquake of magnitude 6.9 has struck off the east coast of Japan and a tsunami warning has been issued.

    US Geological Survey said the epicentre of the quake, which was felt in the capital Tokyo, was 67km off the coast of Fukushima prefecture at a depth of about 10km.

    There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries after it struck at 5:59am (2059 GMT).

    A tsunami warning for waves up to three metres high has been issued. Japan Meteorological Agency put out tsunami advisories for much of the nation's northern Pacific coast.

    Public broadcaster NHK warned residents on the coast to get to higher ground as repeated waves were expected to hit.

    Fukushima prefecture is north of Tokyo and home to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, site of one of the world's worst nuclear disasters after a March 2011 earthquake-driven tsunami struck. 

    That disaster left more than 18,000 people dead or missing, and sent three nuclear reactors into meltdown.

    Tokyo Electric Power Co said there were no abnormalities observed at the plant, Japanese NHK said.

    The power company also said there was no damage to its Onagawa nuclear plant.

    The March 11, 2011, quake was magnitude 9, the strongest quake in Japan on record. The massive tsunami it triggered caused the world's worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl a quarter of a century earlier.

    All nuclear plants on the coast threatened by the tsunami were shut down following the Fukushima disaster. Only two reactors are operating in Japan, both in the southwest of the country. Even when in shutdown, nuclear plants need cooling systems operating to keep spent fuel cool.   

    Earthquakes are common in Japan, one of the world's most seismically active areas. Japan accounts for about 20 percent of the world's temblors of magnitude 6 or greater.

    The US Geological Survey initially put Tuesday's quake at a magnitude of 7.3, but later downgraded it to 6.9.

    SOURCE: News Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.