Bloomberg) — A powerful earthquake with a magnitude of 7.6 hit off the Noto Peninsula on Japan’s northwest coast, triggering a tsunami for a wide swath of the country that was expected to reach as high as five meters (16 feet) in some areas.
Japan issued a tsunami warning for almost all of its western coast after the quake hit Monday, causing some train services to stop, power plants to halt operations and authorities to check on nuclear reactors.
There have been no immediate reports yet of major injuries but video footage on broadcaster ANN showed collapsed houses in Wajima, about 300 kilometers (190 miles) northwest of Tokyo, after it was hit by a tsunami of at least 1.2 meters. There were also fires in the area, video on broadcaster NTV showed.
A further tsunami as large as 5 meters could hit other areas of Ishikawa prefecture, according to the meteorological agency. Several aftershocks rattled the area following the major quake. The tsunami warning stretched from Japan’s main northern island of Hokkaido to the main southwestern island of Kyushu.
The earthquake impacted several power plants in the region. Hokuriku Electric Power Co.’s Nanao Ohta power plant’s coal-fired units were halted due to the quake, leading to a loss of about 1.2 gigawatts of capacity, according to Japan Electric Power Exchange’s website.
Nearly 32,000 households were without power as of 6 p.m., according to Hokuriku Electric. Bullet train services were halted in central and eastern Japan after the quake.
Temperatures in the area are set to be near freezing overnight, with tens of thousands of residences without power and many families gathering together for the New Year holiday.
The earthquake was large enough to be felt in Tokyo.
Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority said in an emailed statement there have been no abnormalities found at the affected nuclear power plants, including Hokuriku Electric’s Shika nuclear power plant and Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Kashiwazaki Kariwa nuclear power plant.