LIVE: 7.3 Earthquake Just Hit off Coast of Fukushima, Tsunami Imminent

(ANTIMEDIA) Japan — A strong earthquake off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, struck minutes ago at 5:59 AM local time.

The Japan Meteorological Agency (JAM) said the quake had a  7.3 magnitude. The epicenter was off the coast of Fukushima at a depth of 10 kilometers (six miles).

A tsunami warning has been issued. According to a statement from the JAM website, tsunamis are expected to begin hitting immediately in coastal regions in and near Fukushima.

Residents have been told to evacuate immediately.

Fukushima is the site of a previous devastating earthquake that caused a massive tsunami and subsequent nuclear disaster, which still persists today.

According to a live local news report (included below), a tsunami has been detected off the coast of Japan.

This developing story will be updated as more information becomes available.

UPDATE 1: TEPCO, the company managing nuclear power facilities in Fukushima, says the power plant’s facilities have not been affected by the earthquake of tsunami yet.

UPDATE 2: TEPCO officials are now saying water systems that cool spent nuclear fuel rods at Fukushima nuclear power plant have stopped working. However, they say there is enough water that is still cool in the fuel rod pool. 

UPDATE 3: Tsunamis have already been observed in several coastal regions in Japan. Officials are warning that bigger waves could still be on the way.

UPDATE 4: TEPCO believes it has restored the cooling pumps. The cooling system for the spent nuclear fuel rods is believed to be functioning again. 


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