Powerful quake hits Japan, Fukushima residents urged to flee tsunami
An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.3 hit northern Japan on Tuesday, the Japan Meteorological Agency said, generating a tsunami that hit the nation’s northern Pacific coast.
The earthquake, which was felt in Tokyo, was centered off the coast of Fukushima prefecture at a depth of about 10 km (6 miles) and struck at 5:59 a.m. (2059 GMT) the agency said.
A 60 cm (2 foot) tsunami had been observed at Fukushima’s Onahama Port and a 90 cm (3 foot) tsunami at Soma soon after, public broadcaster NHK said. The region is the same that was devastated by a tsunami following a massive earthquake in 2011.
A tsunami warning of up to 3 meters (10 feet) has been issued.
One woman suffered cuts to her head from falling dishes, Kyodo news agency reported, citing fire department officials.
Tokyo Electric Power Co, known as Tepco, said on its website that no damage from the quake has been confirmed at any of its power plants, although there have been blackouts in some areas. Tepco’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant caused Japan’s worst nuclear disaster when it was knocked out by the 2011 tsunami.
Tohoku Electric Power Co said there was no damage to its Onagawa nuclear plant, while the Kyodo news agency reported there was no irregularities at the Tokai Daini nuclear plant in Ibaraki Prefecture.
Television footage showed ships moving out to sea from Fukushima harbors as tsunami warning signals wailed.
Earthquakes are common in Japan, one of the world’s most seismically active areas. Japan accounts for about 20 percent of the world’s earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater.
The March 11, 2011, quake was magnitude 9, the strongest quake in Japan on record. The massive tsunami it triggered caused world’s worst nuclea