JAPAN : Japan has issued tsunami alerts after a series of strong earthquakes shook western areas.
The Japan Meterological Agency reported a quake on Monday hitting Ishikawa and nearby prefectures, one of them measuring a preliminary magnitude of 7.6.
It issued a major tsunami warning for Ishikawa and lower-level tsunami warnings or advisories for the rest of the northwestern coast of the island of Honshu.
“All residents must evacuate immediately to higher ground,” public broadcaster NHK said after the quake hit the Noto region in Ishikawa prefecture around 4:10pm local time (07:10 GMT).
Waves more than one metre high (3.3 feet) have hit the coast of Wajima City in Ishikawa, NHK reported. It said another earthquake warning has been issued for Ishikawa.
Hazardous tsunami waves of up to five metres high (16.5 feet) were possible along the north coast of central Japan within 300km (186 miles) of a magnitude 7.5 quake’s epicentre, US and Japanese agencies said.
Buildings began to sway in the area around the capital Tokyo. There were initially no reports of damage or casualties.
Japan’s Kansai Electric said no abnormalities have been detected at nuclear plants in the quake area.
South Korea’s meteorological agency said the sea level in some parts of the Gangwon province on the east coast may rise.
Japan is one of the countries in the world most at risk from earthquakes.
More to come…