A tsunami advisory is in effect for Japan’s Fukushima and Miyagi Prefectures after a 6.9 magnitude earthquake hit off Honshu just before 6am in Japan this morning.
Japanese authorities have urged residents in those northeast coastal areas to leave straightaway for higher ground and not return until warnings have been lifted. In 2011, an earthquake and tsunami struck the same area, killing over thousands and abolishing parts of the coastline. Fukushima prefecture is also home to the nuclear power plant that was destroyed during the 2011 tsunami.
Image: The Guardian
The tsunami recorded along the coastline ranged from 30cm to 1.4m. Four aftershocks of at least a magnitude of 4.8 were recorded within one hour of the initial quake. Tsunami warnings were immediately issued for waves of 1m to 3m metres, and soon after some were spotted off the coast, according to the Japanese Meteorological Agency.
At the Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant, reactor number three spent fuel pool pump stopped operating at 6.10am as a result of the quake, but has since resumed working as the plant is reported to be safe and “intact”. So far only five people have been reported to have suffered minor injuries in the quake.
Japan accounts for about 20% of the world's earthquakes of magnitude six or greater. Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the Government would devote whatever resources were necessary to respond to the quake. Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said a taskforce had been formed to assist with evacuations and the aftermath.