A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.4 has struck in the Pacific Ocean, triggering a tsunami warning off the southern coast of Japan.
Japan’s Meteorological Agency said the quake occurred about 130 kilometers (80.6 miles) off the southern coast of Chichi Island in the Pacific Ocean. The offshore quake struck at around 2:20 a.m. (1720 GMT) at the depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles).
The U.S. Geological Survey also put the quake’s magnitude at 7.4.
The Japanese agency issued a tsunami alert of up to 2 meters (6 feet) for nearby islands and warnings of milder tsunami for the southern coasts on the main Japanese island.
A minor swelling of waves of about 30 centimeters (1 foot) was observed on the island’s shorelines about 40 minutes after the quake, the agency said. The island is about 1,000 kilometers (600miles) south of Tokyo.
The agency later downgraded the tsunami alert on the island to a warning and said only smaller waves of up to 50 centimeters (1.5 feet) were predicted. But the agency’s seismology official Hirofumi Yokoyama said island residents should use caution for “several more hours” given the size of the quake’s magnitude.
There was no immediate report of any damage or injuries.