A tsunami warning is in effect after a powerful earthquake struck off the coast of Japan near where a major quake damaged a nuclear power plant in 2011. The quake was initially reported to be a 7.3 magnitude. The USGS has since downgraded it to 6.9 but the quake was fairly shallow at just 7 miles deep. From the Associated Press:
Coastal residents in Japan were ordered to flee to higher ground on Tuesday after a strong earthquake with preliminary magnitude of 7.3 struck off the coast of Fukushima prefecture.
The Japan Meteorological Agency issued a tsunami warning for waves of up to 3 meters (10 feet) in Fukushima, and a tsunami advisory for much of the rest of northeast Japan’s Pacific coast.
Reuters reports a tsunami of about 3 feet has already hit the coast:
A tsunami of up to 1 meter (3 feet) had been observed around Fukushima following the quake which struck at 5:59 a.m. (3.59 p.m. ET), public broadcaster NHK said, after warning of waves of up to 3 meters (10 feet) has been issued…
A spokeswoman for Tokyo Electric Power, known as Tepco, said the cooling system for a storage pool for spent nuclear fuel at reactor at its Fukushima Daini Plant had been halted, but a spokesman said the cooling system had restarted soon after.
Here’s CNN’s report on the quake:
The magnitude 9.0 quake that hit the same area of Japan in March 2011 is the strongest quake to ever hit the country. It killed nearly 16,000 people and destroyed over 125,000 buildings. The quake also caused a nuclear disaster at the Fukushima power plant when generators running the cooling system were swamped by a tsunami caused by the quake. CBS News reported earlier this year that the clean up of contaminated water at the Fukushima plant was expected to continue until 2020.