|Japan evacuates northern coastal areas over waves fear
Waves that had swollen to 40-centimeters rolled onto northern Japan early today following an 8.2-magnitude earthquake thousands of kilometers away across the Pacific Ocean in northern Chile. The Japan Meteorological Agency said waves of 40 centimeters were monitored in Kuji, Iwate prefecture, at 7:39 am local time.
Waves of up to 30 centimeters were also monitored in other areas of northern Japan, the agency said, adding that bigger waves could hit the coast later.
Earlier, Japan issued a tsunami advisory, saying waves of up to one meter above normal sea levels could hit eastern Pacific coast regions, but were unlikely to cause damage.
The advisory was lifted at 6:00 pm.
The agency advised people to leave the coast but said it did not expect damage from the waves.
“Get out of the water and leave the coast immediately,'' it said.
Local authorities issued evacuation advisories to more than 22,000 people living near the coastline in Iwate prefecture, public broadcaster NHK said.
Television footage showed people fleeing to nearby shelter in Kesennuma, Miyagi prefecture, where more than 1,000 people were killed in the 2011 tsunami.