Strong earthquake hits off Japan’s Ryukyu Islands, small tsunami recorded

February 27th, 2010 - 4:29 am ICT by BNO News  

TOKYO (BNO NEWS) — A strong earthquake struck off Japan’s Ryukyu Islands on Saturday, seismologists said, creating a small tsunami. There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

The earthquake, which had a preliminary magnitude of 6.9, was centered about 53 miles east of Naha on Okinawa Island, which is part of the Ryukyu Islands, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. It struck at a depth of 6 miles, making it a shallow earthquake.

The United States Geological Survey had a 7.0-magnitude for the earthquake, which struck at 5.31 a.m. local time..

A tsunami warning was immediately issued by the Japan Meteorological Agency for Okinawa Island, although there were no fears for a major tsunami. “Evacuate from the seashore immediately to the safe places near the above coasts,” a warning read. It said tsunami waves up to two meters could be expected.

Meanwhile, a tsunami advisory has also been issued for the Amami Islands and the Tokara Islands. A tsunami advisory means a tsunami of up to 0.5 meters is expected.

At 5.57 a.m. local time, Japan’s Meteorological Agency recorded a 10 cm tsunami in Okinawa’s Nanjo-shi Azama city. There were no reports of damage. A smaller tsunami was also recorded in Minami-daito-gyoko.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not issue a tsunami warning after the earthquake. “No destructive widespread tsunami threat exists based on historical earthquake and tsunami data,” a bulletin read. “However - earthquakes of this size sometimes generate local tsunamis that can be destructive along coasts located within a hundred kilometers of the earthquake epicenter.”

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