Powerful 6.4 Quake Rocks Japan, Tsunami Warning Issued

powerful 6.4 earthquake near western japan triggers Tsunami warning

A powerful 6.4-magnitude earthquake rocked northwestern Japan Tuesday evening, prompting officials to issue a tsunami warning of up to one meter (3.3 feet) along some parts of the coast. Japan's Meteorological Agency predicted a tsunami along the coast of the northwester prefectures of Yamagata, Niigata, and Ishikawa.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

No tsunami warnings have been issued for California, Oregon, Washington, British Colombia or Alaska, according to the U.S. National Tsunami Warning Center.

The nuclear reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant in Niigata have been taken off line, with no issues reported.

The quake, initially believed to be a 6.8, was later downgraded to 6.4-magnitude with the epicenter located at around 6 miles below the sea's surface. It struck at 10:22 p.m. around 30 miles southwest of the city of Sakata. Earthquake experts say shallow quakes tend to do more damage on the Earth's surface.

Photo: U.S. Geological Agency

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