The Latest: Japan lifts tsunami warning for northeast coast




TOKYO (AP) — The Latest on the earthquake that struck off the coast of Japan (all times local):

9:45 a.m.

Japan has lifted a tsunami warning for its northeastern coast nearly four hours after a powerful offshore earthquake.

A tsunami advisory for waves of up to 1 meter (3 feet) remains in place for much of the Pacific coast.

The earlier warning was for waves of up to 3 meters (10 feet). The Japan Meteorological Agency had urged residents to flee quickly to higher ground.

The largest wave recorded was 1.4 meters (4.6 feet) at Sendai Bay.

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9:30 a.m.

Tsunami waves of up to 1.4 meters (4.6 feet) have hit the Japanese coast after a magnitude-7.4 earthquake struck offshore Tuesday morning.

A tsunami warning remains in effect for Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures on the Pacific in northeast Japan. The same region was struck by a devastating tsunami in 2011.

The highest tsunami so far was recorded at Sendai Bay about two hours after the earthquake. The Japan Meteorological Agency has recorded smaller waves along the coast. It warned that waves of up to 3 meters (10 feet) could reach Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures.

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9 a.m.

A utility official says he believes that a cooling water pump that stopped working at a Japanese nuclear power plant after a strong earthquake was shut off automatically by a safety system as the water in the pool shook.

The utility says that a backup pump was launched to restore cooling water to spent fuel storage pool at the No. 3 reactor of the Fukushima Dai-ni plant.

The plant is close to the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant that went into meltdown in 2011 after a tsunami swamped the plant, knocking out power to the cooling systems. Both plants are operated by Tokyo-based TEPCO.

A magnitude 7.4 earthquake struck off Fukushima prefecture on Tuesday morning, sending tsunami waves toward the Japanese coast. So far, no major damage has been reported.

Naohiro Masuda, head of TEPCO's decommissioning unit, said decommissioning work at the destroyed Fukushima Dai-ichi plant has been temporarily suspended because of the earthquake.

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7:30 a.m.

Long lines of cars, with their headlights on, are formed as coastal residents follow government orders to flee to higher ground after a strong earthquake with a magnitude of 7.4 struck off the coast of Fukushima prefecture.

The Japan Meteorological Agency issued a tsunami warning for waves of up to 3 meters (10 feet) in Fukushima, which is home to the nuclear power plant that was destroyed by a huge tsunami following an offshore earthquake in 2011. There were no immediate reports of damage or injury.
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