23 May 2024

Tsunami alerts are in effect over wide areas along the Pacific coast of Japan, after a massive volcanic eruption in Tonga on Saturday.

The Japan Meteorological Agency issued a tsunami warning on Sunday for the Amami Islands and the Tokara Islands in the southwestern prefecture of Kagoshima. It later issued a warning for the northeastern prefecture of Iwate. Waves up to 3 meters high could reach those areas.

Tsunami advisories are also in place in wide areas. A 1.2-meter tsunami was observed on Amami Ohshima Island late on Saturday. A 1.1-meter wave was seen early on Sunday in Iwate Prefecture’s Kuji Port. 90-centimeter waves have also been observed in other locations along the Pacific coast.

The Japan Coast Guard has sent patrol boats and planes to see if coastal areas have been damaged. But officials say no reports of damage have been received as of 6:00 a.m.

Railway and ferry services in some areas will be suspended while the alert is in effect.

The meteorological agency is urging people to remain vigilant in the coastal areas, where tsunami alerts have been issued. Local governments have issued evacuation orders for more than 200,000 people living in the coastal areas of 7 prefectures. Aomori, Iwate, Chiba, and Kagoshima are among those prefectures. Residents are being advised to stay away from beaches and to avoid the mouths of rivers.

by NHK