A 40 centimeter tsunami hit a port in Iwate Prefecture early Thursday morning according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. This is still the aftermath of the 8.2 earthquake that hit Chile on Tuesday and has the whole Central and South America on tsunami alert.
The JMA has issued alerts for the Pacific coastal areas in Japan, particularly in the Hokkaido and Tohoku regions, as well as some parts of the Kanto region. They warn of a possible 1-meter tidal wave that may hit those areas. The first small tsunami reached the Kuji port at around 6:52 am, but the slightly bigger ones arrived a few hours later. The local governments ordered the evacuation of around 2,793 households in Mutsu in Aomori Prefecture, 1,372 households in Ofunato in Iwate and 528 households in Higashimatsushima in Miyagi Prefecture. While they did not expect any damages from the waves, the people were still advised to “leave immediately.” The worst they’re expecting is a “slight sea-level change” in the coastal regions. But Yohei Hasegawa, a meteorological agency official in charge of monitoring tsunami, said residents should still be cautious and that some buildings might be inundated by the waters in subsidence areas.
After the experience of the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami in 2011, authorities have started implementing even more well-developed early warning systems to avoid the massive casualties experienced in previous disasters. The last time a tsunami alert was issued in Japan was in October 26 in the Pacific coastal areas from Iwate to Chiba after an earthquake struck off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture.
[ via Mainichi ]