M7.3 quake near Honshu, Japan; NO tsunami threat to Hawaii

Video still: NHK via AP
Video still: NHK via AP

All tsunami warnings and advisories have been lifted in Japan, seven hours after a powerful offshore earthquake triggered a series of moderate tsunami waves.

The quake occurred at 11 a.m. Monday Hawaii time and, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, registered a 7.3 magnitude. There was no tsunami threat to Hawaii.

The Japan Meteorological Agency warned of waves of up to 3 meters (10 feet) soon after the earthquake struck, and urged residents on sections of the Pacific coast to evacuate to higher ground.

Two aftershocks were reported by USGS, one 5.4 and one 4.8.

The tremors could be felt as far Tokyo, where American businessman Jonathan Swanson was having breakfast in a hotel and catching up on e-mail.

“Suddenly I felt disoriented,” he told CNN’s Michael Holmes.

Doors started to swing on cabinets and sliding doors started to move. He realized what was happening.

“You could feel the building really swaying back and forth for at least a couple of minutes. It was pretty scary.”

Hawaii Sen. Glen Wakai was in Japan with a Hawaii baseball team and the players’ families, a group of about 160 people. He said they didn’t feel the quake, so he had no idea what was going on until he was woken up by several phone calls early Monday morning.

The group of 60 baseball players and their families are scheduled to go to Chiba, near Tokyo, Tuesday to continue the tournament.

We’re told they weren’t supposed to return back to Hawaii until the end of the week, however depending on what it’s like when they arrive in Tokyo, the team could come back home early.

Sen. Wakai said it was a stressful morning in “total fear, because we’ve seen what happened here several years ago. We don’t want to be here in Japan, heaven forbid if that were to replay again. It’s not only about us. It’s about the people of Japan, so there was a lot of stress and trepidation this morning and we’re all glued to the TV.”

The first tsunamis were recorded about one hour later. The largest one of 1.4 meters (4.6 feet) in height reached Sendai Bay about two hours after the earthquake.

The tsunami warnings were lifted first, but advisories of possible smaller tsunamis had remained in place until 12:50 p.m.

The epicenter of this latest earthquake was not far south of the 2011 quake that caused a devastating tsunami, damaged nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant and killed more than 15,000 people.

It moved Japan’s coast eight feet and shifted the Earth’s axis, ranking among the costliest natural disasters on record.


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SUBJECT – TSUNAMI INFORMATION STATEMENT

THIS STATEMENT IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY. NO ACTION REQUIRED.

AN EARTHQUAKE HAS OCCURRED WITH THESE PRELIMINARY PARAMETERS

  • ORIGIN TIME – 1100 AM HST 21 NOV 2016
  • COORDINATES – 37.3 NORTH 141.6 EAST
  • LOCATION – NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU JAPAN

MAGNITUDE – 7.3 MOMENT

EVALUATION

THE PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER HAS ISSUED A TSUNAMI THREAT MESSAGE FOR OTHER PARTS OF THE PACIFIC LOCATED CLOSER TO THE EARTHQUAKE. HOWEVER… BASED ON ALL AVAILABLE DATA THERE IS NO TSUNAMI THREAT TO HAWAII. REPEAT. BASED ON ALL AVAILABLE DATA THERE IS NO TSUNAMI THREAT TO HAWAII.

THIS WILL BE THE ONLY STATEMENT ISSUED FOR THIS EVENT UNLESS ADDITIONAL DATA ARE RECEIVED.


Map courtesy Pacific Tsunami Warning Center
Map courtesy Pacific Tsunami Warning Center

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