A small tsunami hit Japan’s northeastern coastline on Wednesday, officials said, after a strong earthquake rocked the region almost exactly a year on from the country’s worst post-war natural disaster.
A 6.9-magnitude quake struck 26.6 kilometres (16 miles) below the seabed off the northern island of Hokkaido in the Pacific at 6:08 pm local time (0908 GMT), the US Geological Survey said. It was followed by a 20 centimetre (eight inch) tsunami which had prompted local authorities to issue an evacuation warning for coastal residents before it hit land.
The waves hit several locations in Hokkaido as well as Aomori prefecture, which was one of the areas in Japan’s northeast devastated by last year’s disaster. The Japanese meteorological agency had initially said a tsunami could be as high as 50 centimetres, but US monitors said there was no Pacific-wide tsunami threat. The initial quake was followed by several powerful aftershocks in the same vicinity, including one with a magnitude of 6.1, but there was no tsunami warning.
The quakes come after a 9.0-magnitude earthquake triggered a monster wave on March 11 last year that killed more than 19,000 people and crippled Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant. The tsunami swamped cooling systems at the Fukushima site and sent three reactors into meltdown, spewing radiation into the environment and sparking the world’s worst atomic accident in a generation.
There were no immediate reports of damage at nuclear facilities in the area affected by Wednesday’s quake.
Source: Yahoo News
Image: News Whip