A ONE-metre-high tsunami has hit Japan’s northeast coast, the country’s meteorological agency says.
The wave was recorded in Ishinomaki, a city in Miyagi prefecture that was badly hit by the tsunami of March 2011, which killed thousands.
Earlier, a strong earthquake struck off the coast of northeastern Japan in the same region that was hit by a massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.
The Japan Meteorological Agency said the earthquake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.3 and struck in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Miyagi prefecture.
The epicentre was 10km beneath the seabed.
Initial warnings said the tsunami could be as high as 2m.
There is no tsunami warning current for Australia or neighbouring nations.
NHK television broke off regular programming to warn that a strong quake was due to hit shortly before the earthquake struck. Afterward, the announcer repeatedly urged all near the coast to flee to higher ground.
YouTube video has begun to appear showing the streets flooded with worried residents.
Buildings in Tokyo swayed for at least several minutes.
The magnitude-9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami that slammed into northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011, killed or left missing some 19,000 people, devastating much of the coast. All but two of Japan’s nuclear plants were shut down for checks after the earthquake and tsunami caused meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant in the worst nuclear disaster since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.
Immediately following today’s quake, there were no problems at any of the nuclear plants operated by Fukushima Dai-Ichi operator Tokyo Electric Power Co, said a TEPCO spokesman, Takeo Iwamoto.