Tsunmai warning issued after massive 7.2-magnitude earthquake strikes off the coast of Japan


Tsunmai warning issued after massive 7.2-magnitude earthquake strikes off the coast of Japan

  • Japan public broadcaster NHK warned residents a tsunami of one metre high
  • The quake hit at 6:09 pm (0909 GMT) in Pacific waters off Miyagi region 
  • ‘It is dangerous in the sea or near the coast’, the subsequent warning stated

Japan on Saturday experienced a strong earthquake that shook buildings in the capital, Tokyo, and caused a tsunami advisory for the country’s northeast coast.  

The magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck near the east coast of Honshu, the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences said.

Japan public broadcaster NHK warned residents a tsunami of one metre was expected for Miyagi Prefecture.

The quake hit at 6:09 pm (0909 GMT) in Pacific waters off Miyagi region with a depth of 60 kilometres (37 miles), the JMA said, issuing an advisory for tsunami waves of around one metre. 

Tohoku Electric Power Co has halted the Onagawa nuclear plant and is checking for any irregularities, NHK said. 

There were no immediate reports of damage. 

Some residents of coastal communities said they had fled to higher ground after the advisory was issued Saturday evening.

‘I recalled that day 10 years ago,’ a man in Ishinomaki city told national broadcaster NHK as he fled to a park on a hill. ‘Because of our experience of that day, I moved quickly. My heart is pounding hard,’ he said. 

A magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck near the east coast of Honshu, Japan on Saturday, the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences said

Miyagi prefecture was heavily damaged during the huge earthquake and tsunami of 2011, which saw waves over 40 meters high and killed over 15,000 people.

Public broadcaster NHK showed footage from inside its Sendai bureau showing a plaque suspended from the ceiling shaking for about 30 seconds following the tremor. It did not report any items falling from shelves or any immediate damage.

The quake could be felt in Tokyo about 400 km south of the epicentre.

Miyagi Prefecture was having power outages in some areas, according to the website of the Tohoku Electric Power Network.

NHK said service on the Tohoku shinkansen bullet train had been halted.

‘It was a really bad, long shaking from side-to-side. It was even longer than the quake last month, but at least the building here is all right,’ Shizue Onodera told NHK from the shop where she works in the city of Ishinomaki.

‘Lots of bottles smashed on the floor,’ she said. ‘The electricity is on.’ 

NHK footage from inside its Sendai bureau showing a plaque suspended from the ceiling shaking for about 30 seconds following the tremor. It did not report any items falling from shelves or any immediate damage. 

NHK warned the public against coming anywhere near the shore. 

The warning stated: ‘It is dangerous in the sea or near the coast. Those who are in the sea should immediately get out of the sea and leave the coast.

‘The tide will continue to be fast, so please do not enter the sea or approach the coast until the warning is cleared.’

The warning also said that it was expected that there would be ‘slight sea fluctuation’, and that in some places the tsunami may be higher than ‘expected tsunami height.’ 

Last month, the region was also shaken by another strong quake that injured dozens.

Japan sits on the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’, an arc of intense seismic activity that stretches through Southeast Asia and across the Pacific basin.

The country is regularly hit by quakes and has strict construction regulations intended to ensure buildings can withstand strong tremors. 

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