Small Tsunami Hits Japan After 6.9 Magnitude Quake Strikes

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

Tsunami Alert Raised as Quake Shakes Indonesia

A magnitude 7.3 earthquake struck off the west coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra, the U.S. Geological Survey reported, but witnesses reported only minor shaking on land.

The quake hit at 12:37 a.m. Wednesday (1:37 p.m. Tuesday ET), according to the USGS. It was centered in the northern Indian Ocean, more than 400 km (250 miles) off northern Sumatra and more than 29 km (18 miles) beneath the surface.

Indonesian authorities issued a tsunami warning for the area, but the Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no threat of a massive wave like the one that devastated the region in 2004. There were no immediate reports of damage, and hotel clerks contacted by CNN reported only mild shaking.

In December 2004, Indonesia and a number of other countries were hard hit by a tsunami generated by a 9.1-magnitude earthquake off northern Sumatra. The tsunami and earthquake killed more than 280,000 people in 14 countries – mainly India, Indonesia, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Thailand. The Indonesian region of Banda Aceh was hard-hit: About 150,000 died there.

 

Source: CNN

Image: RTE News