Friday, 7 December 2012

Powerful 7.3 Quake Strikes Tokyo

Tsunami warning issued in southeastern Japan as powerful 7.3 quake strikes Tokyo

Tsunami warnings lifted by meteorological agency; 5 people taken to hospital in Miyagi prefecture with injuries, none serious -

Update: Miyagi prefecture hit by a tsunami of 1 meter in height; Japan's national broadcaster NHK reports - 

TOKYO (Reuters) - A strong earthquake centered off the coast of northeastern Japan shook buildings as far as Tokyo and led to a tsunami warning for coastal areas of the northeast, public broadcaster NHK said on Friday.

The earthquake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.3, the U.S. Geological Survey said, adding that there was no risk of a widespread tsunami. That was revised from an earlier estimate of 7.4.

A warning for a one-meter tsunami was issued for the coast of Miyagi Prefecture in northeastern Japan, which was hit by a devastating earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

That quake triggered fuel-rod meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear plant, causing radiation leakage, contamination of food and water and mass evacuations in the world's worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl in 1986.

The government declared in December that the disaster was under control, but much of the area is still free of population.

Tokyo Electric Power Co, the operator of the Fukushima nuclear plant, reported no irregularities at its nuclear plants after the latest quake.

(Reporting by Leika Kihara and Tomasz Janowski; Writing by Nick Macfie; Editing by Edmund Klamann and Ken Wills)

Japan earthquake tsunami warning issued

A tsunami warning has been issued after a 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck off Japan's eastern coast.
The epicentre of the quake was about 245km (150 miles) south-east of Kamiashi at a depth of about 36km, the US Geological Survey said.
The quake was felt in the capital Tokyo, media report.
The tsunami warning was issued for the coast of Miyagi Prefecture, which was hit by a devastating earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.
The US-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no threat to the wider Pacific Ocean but that a tsunami could be generated that was destructive for local coastlines.
Warnings of the tsunami height varied between 50cm and 2m.
Evacuations have been ordered from some of the affected areas.
A presenter on state broadcaster NHK told viewers: "Remember last year's quake and tsunami. Call on your neighbours and flee to higher ground now!"
Buildings were reported to have swayed violently in Tokyo.
The 9.0 magnitude quake that struck on 11 March 2011 left more than 15,000 people dead and more than 3,200 missing.
That quake triggered a meltdown of fuel rods at the Fukushima nuclear plant, causing radiation leaks and mass evacuations.
The plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power, told Agence France-Presse there were no reports of problems there this time.

Japan earthquake prompts regional tsunami warning

TOKYOA strong earthquake has jolted northeastern Japan and authorities have issued a warning of a possible tsunami.
The Japan Meteorological Agency said the earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.3 struck in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Miyagi prefecture at 5:18 p.m. (0818 GMT) Friday.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no risk of a wider tsunami in along Japan's coast, but a warning was issued for the coast of Miyagi, which was devastated by the much larger quake and following tsunami in March 2011.
National broadcaster NHK television broke off regular programming to warn that a strong quake was due to hit shortly before the earthquake struck. Afterward, the announcer repeatedly urged all near the northeast coast to flee to higher ground.
Friday's quake was centered about 150 miles east of Sendai, the capital city of Miyagi.
Randy Baldwin, of the U.S. Geological Survey, told Sky News "this may be considered an aftershock itself," from the 2011 temblor, as the tectonic plates under the region are still settling into place.
The earlier warning said the tsunami in northeastern Japan could be as high as 2 yards, but reports on Japanese television warned of a wave only about half that high.
Buildings in Tokyo swayed for at least several minutes as the quake struck.
The magnitude-9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami that slammed into northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011, killed or left missing some 19,000 people, devastating much of the coast. All but two of Japan's nuclear plants were shut down for checks after the earthquake and tsunami caused meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant in the worst nuclear disaster since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.
Immediately following Friday's quake, there were no problems at any of the nuclear plants operated by Fukushima Dai-Ichi operator Tokyo Electric Power Co., said a TEPCO spokesman, Takeo Iwamoto.

Earthquake hits east coast of Japan

One-metre tsunami hits northeast coast after quake with preliminary magnitude of 7.3 strikes off Miyagi prefecture.
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2012 09:26

A one-metre-high tsunami has hit Japan's northeast coast  following a strong earthquake, according to the country's meteorological agency.

The wave was recorded on Friday in Ishinomaki, a city in Miyagi prefecture that was badly hit by the tsunami of March 2011, which killed thousands

The Japan Meteorological Agency said the earthquake, with a preliminary magnitude of 7.3, struck in the Pacific Ocean off the Miyagi coast at 08:18GMT.

The epicentre was 10km beneath the seabed.

Buildings as far as in the capital Tokyo swayed for at least several minutes.

A presenter on state broadcaster NHK repeatedly told viewers to get to safety. "Remember last year's quake and tsunami," he said. "Call on your neighbours and flee to higher ground now!"

Sayaka Matsumoto, communications officer at the Japan Red Cross, told Al Jazeera that she felt "quite [a] large shake” at her organisation’s headquarters in Tokyo.

Matsumoto said the quake felt about "half the size" of the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami in March 2011 that killed or left missing around 19,000 people.