A tsunami warning and evacuation is in effect for the northeastern coast of Japan, following a 7.4 earthquake that hit the region early Tuesday morning, according to reports by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA). You may watch live, streaming coverage with simultaneous English translation in the video above. This is a breaking news story and will be updated. As tsunami advisories and warnings continually change, it is best to check with the JMA for current updates, news, and latest information. Those in evacuation areas should not return home, even if a tsunami warning has been downgraded to an advisory. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) is also monitoring the situation. A tsunami advisory indicates tidal wave between 0.2 and 1 meter in height. A tsunami warning means tidal waves will range between 1 and 3 meters.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe released a statement following the earthquake and subsequent evacuation orders.
“I have ordered government officials to provide the public with up-to-date and accurate information concerning tsunami evacuation.”
As people in Japan continue to watch advisories, they must remain on alert. The 7.3 earthquake could trigger additional earthquakes and aftershocks which could also increase the risk of tsunamis. Japanese residents should listen to radio, television or online news alerts to stay informed.
Social media networks have been abuzz with concern, anxiousness, and a sense of urgency as they gather to provide support for those who may need it. Some are using social media sites like Twitter to pray fo those in Japan.
Everyone along the eastern coast is urged to evacuate to higher ground and to not return until the all-clear warning has been given. The tsunami is expected to be at least three meters; however, second and third waves of higher heights are possible. YouTube users shared earthquake footage following the early morning quake. You may view live, Twitter updates from the earthquake and tsunami in the Twitter moments feed below.
A Twitter user shared a video of tsunami sirens sounding the alarm. You may see that video below.
According to a 5:59 Japan Time, Nov. 22, 2016, tsunami update, tsunami warnings have been issued in the Miyagi and Fukushima Prefectures. Tsunami advisories have been issued in the Izu Islands, Uchibo Area, Kujukuri and Sotobo Area, Pacific Coast of Aomori and Iwate Prefectures. Those in Miyagi and Fukushima Prefectures are told to evacuate the areas immediately. The Miyagi Prefecture was under at tsunami advisory but the declaration has been updated to a warning.
With a Pacific tsunami warning, officials expect there will be damage, repeated tsunami waves and all coastal areas, rivers, and waterways are in extreme, immediate danger. A Pacific tsunami advisory indicates a threat to the immediate water. All people are urged to stay away from the water as there will be strong currents that can knock people down and make it impossible to withstand.
According to a report by NHK World News, two people received minor injuries during the earthquake. It is unclear at this point how many people were injured or what the aftermath from today’s earthquake and subsequent tsunamis will be.
Travel to and from the earthquake hit regions and areas under tsunami advisories have been halted. Flights in and out of cities have been canceled and roads are congested with evacuees. FlightTradar continues to provide live updates regarding flights and airport delays to Sendai Airpor.
Of great concern has been the safety and status of the Fukushima nuclear power plant. According to reports by NHK World News, cooling systems at the Fukushima Daini plant have been restored and are functioning normally. At this point, the Tokyo Electric Power Company states the power plant has been working properly and they don’t believe the plant suffered any damage from the earthquake.
[Featured Image by mTaira/Shutterstock]