Japan has issued tsunami warnings after a series of powerful quakes hit the country overnight.
Waves are predicted to reach up to 16. 5 feet (five meters), according to Japanese public broadcaster NHK TV, which urged people to flee to high land or the top of nearby buildings.
It comes after the Japan Meteorological Agency reported quakes off the coast of Ishikawa and nearby prefectures at around 2 a.m. ET Monday, one of them with an estimated magnitude of 7.6.
Government spokesman Yoshimasa Hayashi said that nuclear plants in the area had not yet reported any problems. He added that it was critical for people in coastal areas to get away from the oncoming tsunami.
“Every minute counts. He said, “Please evacuate immediately to a secure area.”
The first waves are already hitting the country. Tsunami waves were recorded at about 3. 9 feet in Wajima City, Ishigawa, according to reports. Toyama in Toyama Prefecture and Kashiwazaki in Niigata Prefecture also reported small tsunami waves.
Officials of Ishikawa Prefecture’s Suzu City have confirmed that several houses and power poles have been brought down by a local earthquake, which registered at 7. 4 in magnitude, per NKH TV.
Warnings of waves up to a meter 3 feet high were also issued for parts of North Korea and Russia. Russian officials issued a tsunami alert for the island of Sakhalin.
The news comes 13 years after the 2011 tsunami that hit Japan following a 9.0 magnitude earthquake, causing the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster and the death of over 18,000 people. Waves during the 2011 tsunami reached heights up to almost 130 feet.
This story is developing.