Posted: 22 November, 2016
Major Tsunami Warning For Japan's Fukushima Coast
An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.3 has hit northern Japan with the country's meteorological agency issuing tsunami advisories for much of the nation's northern Pacific coast.
The epicentre of the earthquake, which was felt in Tokyo, was off the coast of Fukushima prefecture at a depth of about 10 km, the agency said.
There were no immediate reports of damage or injury, which struck at 5.59 am local time (0759 AEST).
Tokyo Electric Power is checking its nuclear plants in Fukushima for damage, public broadcaster NHK said.
The company said there was no damage to its Onagawa nuclear plant.
Television footage showed ships moving out to sea from Fukushima harbours, as the meteorological agency warned of a tsunami of 3 metres for Fukushima, where Tepco's Daiichi nuclear plant was devastated in a March 2011 quake and tsunami.
Earthquakes are common in Japan, one of the world's most seismically active areas. Japan accounts for about 20 per cent of the world's earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater.
The March 11, 2011, quake was magnitude 9, the strongest quake in Japan on record. The massive tsunami it triggered caused world's worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl a quarter of a century earlier.
The US Geological Survey initially put Tuesday's quake at a magnitude of 7.3 but down graded it to 6.9.
All nuclear plants on the coast threatened by the tsunami are shut down in the wake of the Fukushima disaster. Only two reactors are operating in Japan, both in the southwest of the country. Even when in shutdown nuclear plants need cooling systems operating to keep spent fuel cool.
There are no immediate reports of damage or injury.