TOKYO, February 17. /TASS/. An earthquake measuring 6.9 points on the open-ended Richter scale was registered in the northwest of Japan on Tuesday.
The national meteorological department said the epicenter of the quake was located in the ocean, some 210 kilometers away from the town of Miyako in Iwate Prefecture. Its seismic focus was identified at the depth of about 10 kilometers below the seafloor.
The meteorological department declared a tsunami threat in Iwate and issued a recommendation to the residents of more than 7,000 houses located in the coastal area to evacuate urgently. It said the height of sea waves might exceed a meter.
Underground tremors were felt in seventeen prefectures located in the northeast and center of the island of Honshu and on Hokkaido. At the time of reporting there was no data on victims or destruction.
Tohoku Electric Power corporation said the quake had not affected the operations of nuclear plants.
The railway corporation Japan Railway said, in contrast, the calamity had forced a temporary halting of Shinkansen bullet trains.