Early Tuesday morning at 5:59 a.m. local time, a 6.9 magnitude (initially reported as 7.3 magnitude) earthquake struck off the eastern coast of Japan’s main island of Honshu, near the Tohoku region. The quake triggered a tsunami alert for the Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake took place roughly 32 miles from the Japanese mainland at a depth of 18 kilometers.
According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, which monitors the country’s frequent earthquakes and associated tsunami activity, Fukushima prefecture would be the first to be hit by a tsunami, potentially up to 3 meters in height.
The Agency issued advisories for Iwate, Miyagi, Ibaraki prefectures, and parts of Aomori and Chiba prefectures.
“Evacuate immediately from coastal regions and riverside areas to a safer place such as high ground or an evacuation building,” the Agency noted in a warning to residents of the above areas.
The quake’s reported epicenter is roughly 80 miles south of the great 2011 Tohoku earthquake, which was a considerably more powerful magnitude 9.1 earthquake.
The resulting tsunami devastated parts of Tohoku’s Iwate prefecture and lead to the nuclear accidents at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.