A tsunami has hit northeastern Japan after a strong earthquake. The size of the tremor, though, is significantly lower than one that hit the country in March 2011, causing a tsunami and devastation on a massive scale.
A quake with a magnitude of over 7 struck just off the east coast of Japan early on Saturday, triggering a warning for a tsunami of up to 1 meter (about 3 feet), far smaller than the wave that hit in March 2011.
The tremor's epicenter was reported as being some 300 kilometers (185 miles) off the coast of Fukushima, located at a depth of 10 kilometers. Japanese television put the size of the wave at just 30 centimeters.
Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear reactor, which has been offline since the magnitude 9 earthquake and subsequent tsunami devastated the region, lies close to the coast.
Some 19,000 people were killed in that disaster.
The US Geological Survey put the magnitude of Friday's quake at 7.3, adding that an aftershock with a magnitude of 5.5 also occurred.
Workers at the nuclear plant were "ordered to evacuate from the waterfront," Japan's Meteorological Agency reported. However, operators the Tokyo Electric Power Company said there had been no anomalies at the plant itself.
As a result of the 2011 disaster, cooling systems at Fukushima were knocked out, causing reactors to go into meltdown. Tens of thousands of people were forced to flee.
rc/jr (AFP, AP, dpa)