Japan earthquake triggers tsunami in neighboring countries

A massive earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.6 struck central Japan on Monday, triggering a tsunami warning and advisories for residents to evacuate. The quake, which occurred at 08:58 GMT, was centered about 300 km (186 miles) northeast of Tokyo, near the Fukushima nuclear plant that was damaged by a tsunami in 2011.

The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said the quake had a depth of 60 km (37 miles) and was felt across a wide area of Japan, including Tokyo. It also said that a tsunami of up to 3 meters (10 feet) was expected to hit the coast of Miyagi prefecture, where the quake was strongest.

The JMA urged people to move to higher ground and stay away from the coast, as well as to follow the instructions of local authorities. It also warned of possible landslides and aftershocks.

South Korea braces for more and larger waves

A tsunami measuring under one meter (3.3 ft) reached South Korea’s east coast in the wake of the Japan earthquake, South Korea’s meteorological agency said, which added there may be more and larger waves in the next hours.

The first tsunami reached South Korea’s east coast at 09:21 GMT at a height of 45 cm (1.5 ft), the agency said.

The tsunami can grow after the initial waves and may continue for more than 24 hours, the agency said in an advisory.

South Korea’s Gangwon province warned residents to take precautions and evacuate to higher ground, according to the Ministry of Interior and Safety.

The agency earlier said sea levels in some parts of the Gangwon province on the east coast may rise after the Japan earthquake, and it issued an advisory for caution.

It said tsunami waves of up to 0.3 meters could reach South Korea’s eastern shore between 09:29 GMT and 1017 GMT.

Gangwon province told residents in emergency text messages to stay away from the coast and evacuate to higher ground. The city of Samcheok advised residents to move to areas higher than a three-story building, the ministry said.

North Korea issues tsunami warnings for its coast

North Korea issued tsunami warnings for its coast of possible waves of more than 2 meters, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported, citing the North’s state radio.

The radio said the tsunami could hit the North’s east coast between 09:40 GMT and 10:40 GMT, and urged people to evacuate to safe areas.

The radio also said that the North’s leader Kim Jong Un had ordered the emergency measures to protect the people and the economy from the disaster.

The North and South Korea are technically still at war, but have recently resumed talks to ease tensions and cooperate on humanitarian issues.

Russia under threat of tsunami on its Pacific coast

Parts of Sakhalin island’s western coast and the mainland Primorsk and Khabarovsk regions, which are situated close to Japan on Russia’s Pacific seaboard, are under threat of tsunami, state news agency TASS reported on Monday, citing officials.

The Russian Emergency Ministry said that a tsunami wave of up to 1.5 meters could hit the Sakhalin island at 10:00 GMT, and that the wave could reach the mainland regions at 10:30 GMT.

The ministry said that it had alerted the local authorities and the public, and that it was monitoring the situation.

Russian media cited authorities in the Primorsk region port city of Vladivostok as saying that anyone sailing in local waters should “urgently return to the shore.”

TASS cited authorities in Sakhalin and Khabarovsk regions as saying that the wave would not be life-threatening, but that people should avoid the coast and follow the instructions of the emergency services.