TOKYO - Japan's Meteorological Agency issued tsunami warnings Saturday following a powerful 8.3 magnitude earthquake in the Pacific Ocean and officials ordered coastal residents to flee to higher ground.
The agency said waves as high as 3.3-feet could hit the northeastern coast of Japan's northern island of Hokkaido around 2 p.m. (12 a.m. EST).
The quake struck around 1:24 p.m. about 310 miles east of the Etorofu islands between northern Japan and Russia, the agency said. There were no immediate report of injuries or damage from the quake.
Local authorities along Hokkaido's coast ordered residents living along the northern and eastern coasts of Japan's northern main island of Hokkaido to evacuate to higher ground.
Hideo Suzuki, a municipal official for the town of Rausu, said he had not observed any visible change of the sea level as of around 2 p.m., although the town has ordered all residents to evacuate.
Tsunami waves — generated by earthquakes — are often barely noticeable in the ocean but can rise to great heights once they arrive at shore.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070113/ap_ ... rthquake_2
wow... this could be a disaster