Strong Earthquake centered at Miyagi Prefecture,Japan
December 7, 2012 – Northeast Japan was hit with a strong 7.3 earthquake Friday afternoon, with preliminary reports saying a one meter high tsunami hit the coastal area close to the epicenter, but still there is little report of damage.
A warning for a one meter tsunami was issued shortly after the earthquake hit Japan’s northeast region. The quake on Friday was close to where the epicenter was for the quake and subsequent tsunami that hit Japan in March of 2011.
Today’s quake struck at 5:18 pm local time and was centered near the Miyagi Prefecture, the same area as the 9.0 magnitude quake of last year that killed over 18,000.
Tremors were felt across a large area of northern Japan. In Tokyo, buildings were swaying about 300 kilometers south of the epicenter. No reports of damage or high waves battering the coast had been received. In the tsunami of 2011, 10 to 30 meter high waves were blamed for most of the loss of life.
The first waves hit the coast about 45 minutes after the earthquake. The quake was located 240 kilometers out to sea, about 90 kilometers further out than the quake of 2011. Yoshihiko Noda, the Japanese Prime Minister cancelled a scheduled speech to return to his offices in order to monitor what was happening.
Residents, who live in low lying areas close to the coastline, were warned through a national broadcast to seek higher ground.
The Fusushima Daiichi power plant that was heavily damaged during the March 2011 earthquake had its nuclear power shut down and did not detect any unusual activity.
The yen rose for a brief period after the earthquake but financial markets seemed to be little affected by the incident.