Powerful Japan earthquake tears down homes, triggers tsunami warnings

Photo: IOL

A 7,6 magnitude earthquake in Japan has caused homes to collapse, ripped up roads and triggered tsunami warnings for coastal areas on Monday.

Government spokesperson Yoshimasa Hayashi warned residents to prepare for further quakes.

Tens of thousands of people living close to the Sea of Japan have been told to head for higher ground.

Dozens of smaller earthquakes have struck central Japan since about 16h00 local time, with more expected to follow.

Tsunami waves, some more than a metre high, have reached the coast in Ishikawa prefecture but they are smaller than the five metre high waves that authorities had warned of.

A major tsunami alert, the first in Japan since the 2011 earthquake, issued for the Noto area has now been downgraded.

Authorities have also issued tsunami warnings for the neighbouring Niigata and Toyama prefectures, warning that waves there could reach three metres.

No irregularities have been reported from nuclear power plants along the Sea of Japan, the country’s Nuclear Regulation Authority has said.

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