December 07, 2012 - JAPAN - A tsunami alert was issued for Japan's northeast coast Friday after a powerful 7.3-magnitude undersea earthquake struck, setting buildings in Tokyo swaying violently. Media reports said a one-metre-high wave could sweep ashore in Miyagi prefecture, an area badly hit by the March 2011 tsunami that devastated a large swathe of coast in the northeast, killing thousands.
Broadcaster NHK, quoting the national meteorological agency, said the tsunami is expected to hit at 5:40 pm (0840 GMT). The United States Geological Survey measured the quake's magnitude at 7.3. NHK said the Japan Meteorological Agency had issued a tsunami warning, one notch lower than a tsunami alert, for the Pacific coast of Iwate, Fukushima, Aomori and Ibaraki . A 50-centimetre tunami was expected to hit the coast of Iwate at 5:40 pm, Fukushima at 5:50 pm, and Aomori and Ibaraki at 6:00 pm. Nuclear plant operator Tokyo Electric Power told AFP there were no reports of further damage at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant. The powerful 7.3 earthquake did not generate a Pacific-wide tsunami, a US early warning agency said. There was no threat of a tsunami in the wider Pacific Ocean, according to the US-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, but it warned an earthquake of that magnitude could generate a tsunami that can be destructive for local coastlines. - Channel News Asia.