7 Dec 2012

Metre-high tsunami hits Japan after quake

11:39 pm on 7 December 2012

A strong earthquake centred off the coast of northeastern Japan shook buildings as far away as Tokyo on Friday and triggered a one-metre-hight tsunami in an area devastated by the Fukushima disaster.

The wave was recorded in Ishinomaki, a city in Miyagi prefecture badly affected after a big quake triggered a devastating tsunami in March 2011, AFP reports.

The magnitude 7.3 earthquake struck north-eastern Japan at 5.18pm (local time) on Friday. There have been no immediate reports of death, injury or damage from the tremor, which was centred off the prefecture in the sea at a depth of 10km.

The meteorological agency issued a tsunami warning for coastal areas, but lifted it later on Friday night. The US Geological Survey said there was no risk of a widespread tsunami.

Miyagi prefecture was struck by a magnitude-9 quake on 11 March last year, causing major damage and setting off a tsunami that destroyed coastal communities. About 18,600 people died or went missing in the disaster.

No abnormalities have been observed at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power station in Fukushima prefecture on Friday. The plant went into meltdown after it was hit by the 2011 disaster and has been shut down ever since.

The March 2011 quake triggered fuel-rod meltdowns at the plant, causing radiation leakage, contamination of food and water and mass evacuations in the world's worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl in 1986.