A magnitude-8.8 earthquake struck northeastern Japan on Friday, generating massive tsunami waves along broad areas of the Pacific coast. A tsunami more than 7 meters high struck a port in Fukushima Prefecture.
Japan’s Meteorological Agency says the country’s most powerful earthquake on record struck at 2:46 PM, off the coast of Miyagi Prefecture. The quake originated an estimated 24 kilometers below the surface.
At 3:50 PM, a 7.3-meter-high tsunami hit Soma Port in Fukushima Prefecture. Tsunamis more than 4 meters high hit Oharai Port in Ibaraki Prefecture and the ports of Kamaishi and Miyako in Iwate Prefecture.
Tsunamis more than 3 meters high struck many other places in northern Japan along the Pacific coast.
A 1.6-meter-high tsunami was recorded in Yokohama, and a 1.3-meter-high tsunami was observed in Tokyo.
Alerts for waves have been issued for Hokkaido and Tohoku region in the north, Tokushima in the west, and the Izu and Ogasawara islands in the Pacific.
Weather officials warn that tsunamis several times higher than forecast could hit repeatedly in some places.
Residents in coastal areas are advised to move to higher ground and stay there until tsunami warnings are lifted.
Friday, March 11, 2011 19:33 +0900 (JST)