Developing

Japan Earthquake: Tsunami Wave Hits City

A one-metre high tsunami wave has struck the city of Ishinomaki in northeastern Japan after a strong earthquake off the coast.

Buildings shook as far away as Tokyo following the tremor which took place in the Pacific Ocean at a depth of 23 miles, with the epicentre 285 miles from the capital.

Japan's NHK television urged people in coastal areas likely to be affected to head to safety.

"If you are in the tsunami warning area, hurry and escape," the broadcaster warned.

"Escape to a high area as fast as you can. If there is no high area, move to a tall building, or escape as far away from the coast as possible. Do not stop. Do not go back."

Ishinomaki resident Chikako Iwai said: "I was in the centre of the city the very moment the earthquake struck.

"I immediately jumped into the car and started running away towards the mountains. I'm still hiding inside the car. I'm planning to stay here for the next couple of hours."

The earthquake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.3, the US Geological Survey said.

The tsunami it triggered hit Ishinomaki in Miyagi Prefecture, which was struck by a devastating earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011.

That quake led to fuel-rod meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear plant, causing radiation leakage, contamination of food and water and mass evacuations in the world's worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl in 1986.

Workers at the site were moved to safe positions at the plant shortly after Tokyo Electric Power Co, the operator, said there were no irregularities at its nuclear plants after the latest quake.

Trains in Miyagi prefecture were halted and Sendai airport, which was flooded by the tsunami last year, closed its runway.

There were no reports of deaths or serious damage, although five people were reportedly slightly injured.

All tsunami warnings for the area have now been lifted.