evacuations urged in japan as major tsunami warning follows massive 7 5 quake

Officials in Japan are urging residents in certain coastal regions to seek higher ground due to the threat of a tsunami after a massive 7.5-magnitude earthquake struck on Monday.

The New Year’s Day quake was followed by multiple powerful aftershocks.

The Japan Meteorological Association issued a “major tsunami warning” for portions of Ishikawa Prefecture, where the quake was centered, saying waves could reach 16 feet.

TV broadcasts urged “immediate” evacuation, with residents told to seek higher ground or move to the top floors of taller buildings.

Authorities issued a tsunami warning ― with possible waves of up to 10 feet ― for the rest of Ishikawa as well as Niigata, Toyama, Yamagata, Fukui and Hyogo prefectures. Most of the rest of the coast along the Sea of Japan was placed under a tsunami advisory, where smaller waves may be expected.

Several rail lines ― including multiple Shinkansen routes ― have been suspended, and some highways near the quake’s epicenter have been closed, according to NHK, Japan’s public broadcaster.

Multiple newscasters said no abnormalities have been detected at the nation’s nuclear power plants, although the situation was still being evaluated.

There are also reports of fires, building collapses and landslides, according to NHK.

One of Japan’s worst natural disasters came in 2011, when a magnitude 9.0 quake triggered a tsunami, which in turn led to a meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

More than 18,000 people were killed in the disaster.

This is a developing story.

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