A powerful earthquake that struck Ishikawa in central Japan with a preliminary magnitude of 7.6 has prompted a tsunami warning and recommendations for locals to evacuate and get ready for potential aftershocks.
Parts of the west coast of the Sea of Japan were hit by a tsunami that was around one meter (3.3 feet) high, and national broadcaster NHK said on Monday that a bigger wave was predicted.
The Japan Meteorological Agency has issued tsunami warnings for the coastal prefectures of Ishikawa, Niigata and Toyama.
“All residents must evacuate immediately to higher ground,” NHK said after the quake hit the Noto region in Ishikawa prefecture around 4:10pm local time (07:10 GMT). It said another earthquake warning had been issued for Ishikawa.
Within 300 kilometers (186 miles) of the epicentre of an earthquake of magnitude 7.5, dangerous tsunami waves as high as five meters (16.4 feet) might occur along the north coast of central Japan, according to US and Japanese agencies.
Top government spokesperson Yoshimasa Hayashi said in an emergency news conference that authorities were still checking the extent of the damage and warned residents to prepare for possible further quakes.