Earthquake, small tsunami rattle Japan
Little apparent damage is caused by series of quakes that rattle northeastern Japan, which just marked the year anniversary of last year’s devastating tsunami.
Wed, Mar 14 2012 at 8:39 AM
A YEAR LATER: Almost to the year after a catastrophic earthquake, Japan was rattled with a series of earthquakes, but no immediate damage was resported. Japan fell silent on Sunday to honor the 19,000 people killed in 2011's earthquake and tsunami. (Photo
A minor tsunami hit Japan's northeastern coastline on March 14, NHK television reported, after a strong earthquake rocked the region nearly a year on from Japan's worst post-war natural disaster.
The 4-inch (10-centimeter) wave and 6.8-magnitude quake, which struck some 130 miles (210 kilometers) off the northern island of Hokkaido, prompted local authorities to issue an evacuation warning for coastal residents.
Japan's meteorological agency had initially said the tsunami could be as high as 50 centimeters, but U.S. monitors said there was no Pacific-wide tsunami threat.
The warning comes after a 9.0-magnitude earthquake triggered a monster tsunami on March 11, 2011 that killed more than 19,000 people and crippled Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant, sparking the world's worst atomic accident in a generation.
There were no reports of damage at nuclear facilities in the area affected by Wednesday's 6.8 quake, the Kyodo news agency said.
The meteorological agency also warned the tsunami could reach the Kuril islands, off Hokkaido, which Russia has controlled since Japan's surrender at the end of World War II.
On Sunday, Japan fell silent to remember last year's tragedy with tearful families gathering in towns and villages across the country's shattered northeast to remember those they lost as the towering waves smashed ashore.
Tens of thousands were forced to evacuate from a 20-kilometer exclusion zone immediately around the Fukushima plant, while many families with small children moved away from the prefecture completely.
On Sunday's anniversary, thousands protested against nuclear power in demonstrations held across the world.
Japan has temporarily shut most of its 54 commercial nuclear reactors.