Breaking: Powerful 7.3 Earthquake Hits Japan, Followed By Small Tsunami UPDATE: At Least 10 Injuries, Minor Damage Reported

Japan earthquake, 7 December 2012. Image credit: USGS

Northeastern Japan was struck by an earthquake today.  Small tsunami waves, measuring 1 meter, subsequently hit the coast.  Fortunately, urgent warnings of greater tsunami activity predicted to result from the 7.3 rated quake were later cancelled.  No injuries or damages to property have been reported, yet.

Fox News reports,

A strong earthquake struck Friday off the coast of northeastern Japan, triggering small tsunami waves in the same region hit by a massive earthquake and tsunami last year.

The Japan Meteorological Agency says the earthquake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.3 and struck in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Miyagi prefecture. The epicenter was 6.2 miles beneath the seabed.

There were no immediate reports of major damage but two people were reportedly injured.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported two aftershocks of of 5.5 and 4.7 magnitudes east of Ishinomaki, a city in Miyagi, where a tsunami of 1 meter (1 yard) hit about 40 minutes after the quake struck.

Small tsunami waves were also recorded at the Port of Ofunato in Iwate Prefecture and Kesennuma City in Miyagi, according to Japan’s NHK TV.

After the quake, which caused buildings in Tokyo to sway for at least several minutes, authorities issued a warning that a tsunami potentially as high as 2 meters (2.19 yards) could hit.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no risk of a widespread tsunami. About two hours after the quake struck, the tsunami warning was cancelled.

UPDATE:  At least 10 injuries and minor property damage have been reported.  From The Washington Post,


NHK, the national public broadcaster, reported at least 10 injuries, and social media users snapped pictures of fallen grocery store shelves. But the damage didn’t begin to compare to that of March 11, 2011, when a 9.0-magnitude earthquake led to a deadly tsunami with 40-foot waves and a series of meltdowns at a nuclear plant.

Hat tip: Gini

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