Japan lifts tsunami advisories issued after 7.4 earthquake

After a 7.4 magnitude earthquake hit its eastern coast, Japan has lifted the tsunami advisories issued.

The waves which eventually hit the coast were much smaller. The quake struck near Fukushima at about (21:00 GMT Monday) 06:00 local time, triggering initial warnings of 3m (9.8ft) high waves.

An earthquake and tsunami struck the area in 2011 killing 18,000 people.

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Thousands were asked to evacuate the area and minor injuries were reported.

“There is no sign of damage to the plant this time,” Officials have said.

Japan lifts tsunami advisories issued after 7.4 earthquake

That quake, one of the most powerful ever recorded, also caused a meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

“No tsunami damage is expected, although there may be slight changes to the sea level,” The (JMA) Japan Meteorological Agency said in its latest update.

The US Geological Survey initially put the magnitude at 7.3 but later downgraded this to 6.9, lower than the number given by the Japanese authorities.

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“The latest tremor was an aftershock of the 2011 quake,” The agency said.

“The area was still generating at least one earthquake of 7.0 magnitude or more each year,” A spokesman quoted by Japan Times said.

Heading for higher ground

The JMA said, “The depth of Tuesday’s quake was estimated to be (18.6 miles) 30km.”

Buildings in the capital shook for at least 30 seconds.

Tokyo, 100 miles south of Fukushima prefecture, Strong tremors could be felt as far away as the capital.

“Tens of thousands of people have heeded evacuation warnings and headed for higher ground,” says The BBC’s Rupert Wingfield-Hayes in Tokyo.

Japan lifts tsunami advisories issued after 7.4 earthquake

All reactors were shut down in 2011, but cooling is still needed for the used nuclear fuel stored on the site.

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“There were no signs of further damage or abnormalities, the water cooling system on the third reactor had stopped working,” Mr Suga said.

“It had restarted the cooling system, and reported only small temperature increases, within safety limits,” said Tokyo Electric Power, which operates the plant.