Japan ends tsunami alert after earthquake | News | DW | 18.06.2019
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Japan ends tsunami alert after earthquake

Japan officials lifted a tsunami warning for the country's northwest coast, following a strong earthquake in the area. Only a small wave ended up reaching the shore.

Tokyo's meteorological agency lifted a tsunami alert on Tuesday after a strong earthquake hit northwestern Japan.

Officials originally warned of a 0.2-1.0 meter (0.7-3.3 feet) wave along the northwest coast of Honshu, one of Japan's four main islands where the capital city, Tokyo, is located. Eventually, only small ripples of 10 centimetres were recorded.

Thousands of families lost power over the earthquake. Over 1,500 took shelter at evacuation centers in Murakami city and elsewhere in Niigata prefecture. Japan's public broadcaster NHK showed people sleeping on flattened cardboard boxes and others sitting against the walls.

A video circulated on social media appeared to show trembling buildings in the prefectures of Niigata and Yamagata. Several people sustained minor injuries in the two prefectures, but no serious injuries were reported, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said.

Separately, a fire department representative said two elderly women were taken to hospital after falling but "they were conscious."

Bullet trains were suspended after the earthquake.

Japanese authorities have been on alert since a powerful earthquake triggered a devastating tsunami in 2011. The tsunami swamped the Fukushima nuclear plant, causing a meltdown. More than 15,800 people were killed and 2,500 others went missing.

Read more: The illusion of normality at Fukushima 

Following the Tuesday earthquake, authorities said that all seven reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant in
Niigata were offline with no abnormalities reported. Two more nuclear power plants in the region were also unaffected, according to the Nuclear Regulation Authority.

ls/aw (AFP, Reuters)

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