A 7.5 magnitude earthquake hit the coast of central-western Japan today, prompting authorities to declare a tsunami warning and order people to evacuate the area. The Japan Meteorological Agency raised the alarm in the coastal regions of Ishikawa, Niigata and Toyamaprefectures. Waves of 5 meters are expected within 300 kilometers of the earthquake’s epicenter, as announced by US and Japanese agencies. A second strong earthquake with a magnitude of around 6 occurred not far from the epicenter of the previous earthquake. Both tremors were recorded in Ishikawa Prefecture, at a depth of 10 km.
The earthquake in Japan
The US Geophysical Institute (USGS) has increased the magnitude of the violent earthquake that hit the central-western coast of Japan from 7.4 to 7.5. The strong earthquake was preceded by a first shock of magnitude 5.5 in the same area. There is no news yet of any victims, injuries or damage. The earthquake occurred at 8.10 am Italian time, 4.10 pm local time at a depth of 76 km. Authorities have issued a tsunami warning in the Sea of Japan for high waves in six prefectures, including Yamagata and Fukui. The strong tremor was also felt in Tokyo – about 500 km away – and throughout the Kanto region: local media reported it.
The tsunami warning
“Hazardous tsunami waves generated by this earthquake are possible within 300 km of the epicenter along the coast of Japan,” the Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said, while the Japan Meteorological Agency warned that the waves could be high up to five metres. Tsunami warnings were issued in Niigata, Toyama, Yamagata, Fukui, Hyogo prefectures as well as along the Sea of Japan coast.