On Tuesday morning in Japan, reports indicated a 7.3 magnitude earthquake, which has since been downgraded to a 6.9, off the coast of Fukushima (where nuclear disaster struck in 2011 following a 9.0 magnitude quake). CNN is now reporting a tsunami warning for the prefecture. Waves have been already spotted 22 kilometers off the coast of Iwaki City, with CNN affiliate NHK confirming “backwash,” which is the usual precursor to much worse, has been spotted.
The U.S. Geological Survey has announced two major aftershocks already, with one arriving at a magnitude of 5.4 and the other at 4.8. While no deaths or injuries have been reported, the Japanese Public Broadcaster is telling residents of the area to evacuate, saying “Please do not think that you are safe. Please evacuate to high grounds. Please think about the worst-case scenario and evacuate right away.”
Live footage of the quake is utterly terrifying to watch.
Jake Emen, an American staying in Tokyo, which is almost 150 miles from the earthquake epicenter, told NBC News the area was urged to remain cautious as well: “An emergency announcement was made by the hotel indicating the building was stable but to avoid using elevators until they were tested.”
Earthquakes are not an uncommon occurrence in Japan, with a 7.1 magnitude one hitting the southern region of the country in April. NBC News reveals that a tsunami was spotted off the coast, although it appears to be relatively small at 3-meters or 10 feet high. Eerie warning sirens continue to sound off the coast, as you can hear below.