Wednesday Mar 14, 201211:18 AM GMT
Earthquake, tsunami strikes off Japan’s northern coast
Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:49AM
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A small tsunami has hit Japan’s northeastern coast after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck a spot in the Pacific Ocean near the Hokkaido Island.

The earthquake’s epicenter was located 210 km off the island’s coast, 10 km below the water surface, Japan’s meteorological agency reported on Wednesday.

Ten-cm high waves hit parts of Japan’s northeastern coastline. Local authorities had immediately after the earthquake issued evacuation warnings for people living in the coastal areas.

Japan’s meteorological agency had said the waves would be as high as 50 cm.

The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, however, dismissed the warning.

“No destructive widespread tsunami threat exists based on historical earthquake,” the center said, adding that “local tsunamis that can be destructive along coasts located within 100 km of the earthquake epicenter.”

The earthquake and tsunami comes three days after Japan marked the anniversary of last year’s crisis.

On March 11, a magnitude 9 earthquake off the northeast coast of Japan's main island set off a devastating tsunami and was followed by more than 50 aftershocks. The tragic event triggered one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters.

Some 15,800 people died and more than 3,000 others remain unaccounted for in the twin disasters.


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