Thousands flee tsunami after 7.4 quake, powerful aftershocks strike off Fukushima
The quake struck 67km northeast of Iwaki, a city located in the southern part of the Hamadori coastal region of Fukushima Prefecture, Japan.
The initial 7.4 magnitude quake struck at 5:59am JST at a depth of 25km, according to Japan’s Meteorological Agency (JMA). At least seven aftershocks followed the initial jolt.
“Tsunami warnings or advisories are currently in effect,” the agency said.
Officials issued a tsunami warning and announced the evacuation of the areas close to the shore. Residents near the coast were told to seek higher ground and not to visit the shore until the warning is lifted.
“Damage due to tsunami waves is expected. Evacuate immediately from coastal regions and riverside areas to a safer place such as high ground or an evacuation building. Tsunami waves are expected to hit repeatedly. Do not leave safe ground until the warning is lifted,” JMA warned.
Meanwhile the Pacific Tsunami Warning center has issued “a tsunami threat message for other parts of the Pacific located closer to earthquake,” while stressing that there is no tsunami threat for the US state of Hawaii.
【速報】津波警報！津波警報！— 快速SLオコジョ幸せ物語 (@loveC57180) 21 ноября 2016 г.
震源：福島県沖 37.3N 141.6E 10km
予想：3.0 到達 - pic.twitter.com/odMWZlj3j1
Tsunami advisories have also been issued for the Pacific coast of Aomori Prefecture, Iwate Prefecture, Miyagi Prefecture, Ibaraki Prefecture and the Kujukuri and Sotobo areas of Chiba Prefecture.
The tsunami warnings were later downgraded to advisories, indicating that the threat was lower than initially expected.
NHK News Japan warned those living on the coastline in Fukushima to “hurry up and run away.”
福島県いわき市の沖20kmで津波が実際に観測されました。福島県沿岸の方はいますぐ逃げて下さい。沿岸にも押し寄せます。急いで逃げて下さい。— ＮＨＫ生活・防災 (@nhk_seikatsu) 21 November 2016
The news outlet also reportef that the Coastguard issued a navigational warning in Fukushima Prefecture and the northern part of Ibaraki Prefecture, for ships to avoid the area.
At least six people suffered minor injuries during the quake and tsunami, NHK reported.