6.9-Magnitude Earthquake Strikes off the Coast of Japan: USGS

PHOTO: A map produced by the United States Geological Survey shows an earthquake that struck off of the eastern coast of Japan at 6 a.m. local time, Nov. 22, 2016.PlayUSGS
WATCH 6.9-Magnitude Earthquake Reported in Japan: USGS

A 6.9-magnitude earthquake has been reported in Fukushima, Japan, according to the United States Geological Survey.

Tremors from the earthquake could be felt as far away as Tokyo, about 150 miles south of the epicenter. Hazardous tsunamis are possible for parts of Japan's east coast within 300 kilometers (about 186 miles) of the earthquake's epicenter, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said. There is no tsunami threat to Hawaii.

At least four small tsunamis were detected following the earthquake. Fukushima's Iwaki City shore detected a tsunami around 6:49 a.m. local time, according to the Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK), which broadcast a live shot from the city's Onahama port. A 2-foot-high tsunami was observed at the post at 6:49 a.m. local time.

Tsunamis were also detected at Katsuura port in Chiba prefecture, Soma port in Fukushima prefecture and Oarai port in Ibaragi prefecture at just after 7 a.m. local time, NHK reported.

Minor injuries were reported.

The earthquake hit in the Pacific Ocean east of Japan just before 6 a.m. Tuesday local time, at a depth of about 7 miles, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. A tsunami warning was issued for Fukushima's coast. A tsunami advisory was issued north and south of Fukushima, the agency reported.

People living in several coastal prefectures were told to evacuate immediately.

The water cooling system has stopped operating at the third reactor at the Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Plant, said Japan Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga. But there are no concerns of sudden rises in the spent fuel pool or radiation leaks, Suga said.

No abnormalities were found at TEPCO's nuclear power stations after the earthquake, TEPCO said.

In March 2011 the same region was hit by a 9-magnitude earthquake, which unleashed a devastating tsunami that killed thousands of people. The tsunami caused a nuclear disaster when it hit the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, resulting in a release of radioactive materials.

The 2011 disaster was a triple threat, since Japan was hit with an earthquake, a tsunami and a nuclear meltdown within a matter of hours.

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

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