An early morning earthquake struck off the Japanese coast Monday near Honshu triggering a tsunami warning for Fukushima prefecture, the same place that suffered devastating tsunami damage in the March 2011 earthquake there.
As CNN reports, the earthquake occurred at 5:59 a.m. local time, or 12:59 Pacific Time (3:59 ET), and the Japanese coast was bracing for a tsunami wave of one to three meters.
The quake was reportedly shallow at just 10 km deep, and an initial report of it having a magnitude of 7.3 has now been downgraded.
Reuters reports that there were no immediate reports of damage or injury from the quake, but Japanese broadcasters are sounding alarm bells about the coming tsunami. Also, they say, "Tokyo Electric Power Co was checking its nuclear plants in Fukushima for damage, public broadcaster NHK said."
As occurred in the much larger 2011 earthquake, which was 8.9M and also struck offshore, modest tsunami waves could also be headed for Hawaii and the western coast of the U.S. in the coming hours. After that quake occurred on March 11, it took approximately 10 hours for the first tsunami waves to reach Crescent City, California, and about 7 and a half hours to reach Hawaii, where water cause some minimal flooding in beachfront resorts.
That tsunami inflicted minimal damage in the US, but did wreak havoc in harbors in both Santa Cruz and Crescent City. However in Japan, waves were reported as high as 20 feet (6 meters), killed nearly 16,000 people, 2,500 of whom remain missing.
A possible tsunami warning may be coming for approximately 11 p.m. PT or later on the West Coast. No such warning has yet been issued.
Update: The largest tsunami observed so far, as CNN reports, was a 1.4-meter wave at 8:03 a.m. local time in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture.
Also, the Honolulu Department of Emergency Management is saying there is no tsunami threat to Hawaii.
Japan's news agency is announcing a tsunami of 3 meters high is expected to make landfall pic.twitter.com/ANdv9r1DDK— Nathan McDermott (@natemcdermott) November 21, 2016
Below, a video of the tide receding and the effects of the tsunami as seen on a beach in Alameda on March 11, 2011.