TOKYO – A strong earthquake with a magnitude of 7.3 hit Japan’s northeastern coast today, prompting a brief tsunami warning for the area still recovering from a devastating quake and killer wave four months ago.
Residents in coastal areas were warned to evacuate for about two hours after the quake, but there were no immediate reports of damage.
The quake hit at 9:57 a.m. local time, and a warning of a tsunami was issued for most of the northeastern coastline. The epicenter of the quake was in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Japan’s main island, Honshu, at a depth of about 20 miles.
Japan’s meteorological agency at first estimated the strength of the quake at 7.1, but later revised that to 7.3.
Japan’s northeastern coastline was devastated by an earthquake and tsunami on March 11 that left nearly 23,000 dead or missing and touched off a nuclear crisis at a badly damaged facility in Fukushima.
Officials said there were no reports of abnormalities at the Fukushima plant caused by today’s quake, though workers were instructed to move to high ground. Airports in the area were also functioning normally.