A powerful earthquake hit the Noto region of Ishikawa Prefecture in central Japan around 4:10 p.m. on Monday, triggering multiple tsunami warnings and evacuation orders in several prefectures.
The quake had a magnitude of 7.6 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. According to the United States Geological Survey, the earthquake measured 7.5 magnitude.
The Japanese agency issued a major tsunami warning for the Noto Peninsula facing the Japan Sea and ordered residents to leave for higher ground immediately. The agency warned that there could be waves as high as five meters, or 16 feet, in Noto and as high as three meters along the coasts of Sado Island, as well as in prefectures including Niigata and Toyama.
The government later extended its warnings and advisories up and down Japan’s western coast, from Hokkaido in the north to Kyushu in the south. Multiple aftershocks continued to hit the western region of Japan.
As of 5:15 p.m., the highest tsunami waves detected were 1.2 meters, in Ishikawa Prefecture, officials said.
In a briefing with reporters Monday evening, Yoshimasa Hayashi, Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, said no abnormalities had been detected at nuclear power plans in the areas affected by the earthquake.