Minor tsunami hits Japan after 6.8 quake


Tokyo: A minor tsunami
hit Japan's northeastern coastline on Wednesday after a strong earthquake
rocked the region nearly a year on from Japan's worst post-war natural

The 10-centimetre wave and 6.8 magnitude quake, which
struck some 210 kilometres off the northern island of Hokkaido, prompted
local authorities to issue an evacuation warning for coastal residents.

meteorological agency had initially said the tsunami could be as high as
50 centimetres, but US monitors said there was no Pacific-wide tsunami

The warning comes after a 9.0-magnitude earthquake
triggered a monster tsunami on March 11 last year that killed more than
19,000 people and crippled Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant, sparking the
world's worst atomic accident in a generation.

There were no
reports of damage at nuclear facilities in the area affected by
Wednesday's 6.8 quake, the Kyodo news agency said.

meteorological agency also warned the tsunami could reach the Kuril
islands, off Hokkaido, which Russia has controlled since Japan's surrender
at the end of World War II.

On Sunday, Japan fell silent to
remember last year's tragedy with tearful families gathering in towns and
villages across the country's shattered northeast to remember those they
lost as the towering waves smashed ashore.

Tens of thousands were
forced to evacuate from a 20-kilometre exclusion zone immediately around
the Fukushima plant, while many families with small children moved away
from the prefecture completely.

On Sunday's anniversary,
thousands protested against nuclear power in demonstrations held across
the world.

Japan has temporarily shut most of its 54 commercial
nuclear reactors.

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