Thursday, February 22

Powerful Earthquake Hits Japan, Triggering Tsunami Warnings

A powerful earthquake hit the Noto region of Ishikawa Prefecture in central Japan around 4:10 p.m. on Monday, triggering multiple tsunami warnings and evacuation orders in several prefectures.

The quake had a magnitude of 7.6 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. According to the United States Geological Survey, the earthquake measured 7.5 magnitude.

The Japanese agency issued a major tsunami warning for the Noto Peninsula facing the Japan Sea and ordered residents to leave for higher ground immediately. The agency warned that there could be waves as high as five meters, or 16 feet, in Noto and as high as three meters along the coasts of Sado Island, as well as in prefectures including Niigata and Toyama.

As of 5:15 p.m., the highest tsunami waves detected were 1.2 meters, in Ishikawa Prefecture, officials said.

In a briefing with reporters, Yoshimasa Hayashi, Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, said there had been no detected abnormalities at nuclear power plans in the areas affected by the earthquake.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.