7.3 magnitude quake registered off central Japanese coastJapan earthquake epicenter located 295 miles east/northeast of Tokyo and 231 miles east of Japan's Honshu Island (Image from earthquake.usgs.gov)
An earthquake of 7.3 magnitude has hit 231 miles (371 kilometers) east of Japan’s Honshu Island, according to the US Geological Survey, with tremors felt in Tokyo. Meteorologists warn that a 1-meter-high tsunami could follow.
The tsunami was due to hit at 17.42 GMT in the Fukushima region, the Japanese Weather Agency predicted. The agency issued a "yellow" warning meaning the tsunami is not expected to exceed a height of 1 meter.
However, Pacific Tsunami Warning Center then said that "based on all available data a destructive pacific-wide tsunami is not expected and there is no tsunami threat to Hawaii.”
Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has ordered the evacuation of workers from near the sea wall at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant following the earthquake, local NHK reports.
People in coastal regions around the Fukushima Prefecture coastline have been advised to move to higher ground.
"Marine threat is in place," the Japan Meteorological Agency said. "Get out of the water and leave the coast immediately."
Besides Fukushima, the tsunami might affect four more prefectures: Iwate, Miyagi, Ibaraki and Chiba.
The quake struck at a depth of 10 kilometers at 3:10am local time, 320 kilometers southeast of Ishinomaki in Miyagi Prefecture, according to the US Geological Survey. Strong tremors could be felt on Japan’s main Honshu Island, as well as on the northern island of Hokkaido.
There were no immediate reports of damage on land from the quake. No abnormalities were reported at the Fukushima Daiichi plant as well.
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