8 Dec 2012

Tsunami warnings lifted in Japan

12:05 pm on 8 December 2012

Tsunami warnings have been lifted in Japan after a magnitude 7.3 undersea earthquake rattled the north-eastern coast.

It occurred at around 5.18pm on Friday (local time) at a depth of 36km, about 240km from Sendai. Waves of between 20cm - 1 metre were detected in some areas.

The ABC reports a small number of people were slightly injured, but there was no major damage to buildings.

The quake lasted more than a minute, even wobbling buildings as far south as Tokyo.

A tsunami warning was issued for areas of Miyagi prefecture and thousands of people were ordered to evacuate to higher ground.

Miyagi was badly hit by the March 2011 tsunami that devastated a large swathe of coast, killing nearly 20,000 people.

There have been a series of aftershocks, but tsunami warnings were lifted about two hours after the initial quake.