- Japan Meteorological Agency reports earthquake that hit Ishikawa Prefecture and neighboring prefectures
- TV networks warn people to flee to higher ground or rooftops of nearby buildings
A devastating earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.6 struck central Japan today, triggering a tsunami warning and urging residents to evacuate.
The Japan Meteorological Agency announced that a large earthquake struck off the coast of Ishikawa Prefecture and nearby areas just after 4pm local time (7am UK time).
A major tsunami warning was issued for Ishikawa Prefecture, and a low-level tsunami warning or advisory was also issued for the rest of Honshu’s west coast.
Due to the largest earthquake, broadcast stations switched to special programs and urgently called on affected residents to evacuate to higher ground.
Japan’s public broadcaster NHK Television warned that the torrent could reach a height of up to 5 meters and urged people to seek refuge on higher ground or on top of nearby buildings.
“We realize that your home, your belongings are all precious to you, but your life is more important than anything. Run as high as you can,” the NHK presenter said. told the audience.
The network said the warning continued to be broadcast for nearly an hour after the first warning, so the tsunami could return. Tsunami waves about 3 feet (1 meter) high hit some parts of the coast along the Sea of Japan, and even larger waves are expected.
NHK reported that strong waves hit the coast of Wajima City, Ishikawa Prefecture. Hokuriku Electric Power was inspecting its nuclear power plant for any abnormalities.
The Japanese government is scheduled to hold a press conference the same day, but reports on damage were not immediately available.
A tsunami of about 10 feet (3 meters) was expected to hit Niigata and other prefectures on Japan’s west coast.
According to NHK, smaller tsunamis have already been confirmed to have reached the coastline.
This area contains a nuclear power plant. The operating company, Tokyo Electric Power Company, said it was checking to see if there were any problems, but there were no immediate reports of any abnormalities.
A Kansai Electric Power spokeswoman said there were no abnormalities at the nuclear power plant, but the company was closely monitoring the situation.
In Seoul, South Korea’s Meteorological Administration announced that sea levels could rise in some areas of Gangwon Province on the east coast after the earthquake.
On March 11, 2011, a huge earthquake and tsunami struck the northeastern region of Japan, devastating towns and causing a nuclear meltdown in Fukushima.