DCSIMG

Tsunami alert after quake off Northeastern Japan

  • by ELAINE KURTENBACH
 

A POWERFUL earthquake has struck the same Japanese coast devastated by last year’s massive quake and tsunami, generating small waves but no immediate reports of heavy damage.

A POWERFUL earthquake has struck the same Japanese coast devastated by last year’s massive quake and tsunami, generating small waves but no immediate reports of heavy damage.

Several people along the north-east coast were reportedly injured and buildings in Tokyo and elsewhere swayed for several minutes.

The quake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.3 and struck in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Miyagi prefecture just after 8am GMT yesterday, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

The epicentre was 6.2 miles beneath the seabed and 150 miles offshore. The area was shaken by repeated, smaller aftershocks, the agency said.

After the quake, authorities issued a warning that a tsunami up to 8ft high could hit the coastline.

Sirens sounded as people ran for higher ground from coastal settlements.

Ishinomaki, a city in Miyagi, reported a tsunami over 3ft high and other towns reported smaller tsunamis.

About two hours after the quake struck, the tsunami warning was cancelled.

Aiko Hibiya, a volunteer for the recovery in Minami-Sanriku, a coastal town devastated by last year’s tsunami, said she was at a friend’s temporary housing when the quake struck.

“It shook for such a long time,” she said.

She said other volunteers who had been in coastal areas were evacuated to a square and a parking lot as they waited for the tsunami warning to be lifted.

Japan has barely begun to rebuild from last year’s magnitude-9.0 earthquake, which triggered a 65ft-high tsunami, which ravaged dozens of coastal communities in Miyagi and elsewhere, killing 19,000 people and leaving 325,000 homeless.

 

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