By Tim Kelly and Satoshi Sugiyama

TOKYO (Reuters) -A strong earthquake and tsunami struck central Japan and its western coast on Monday, triggering warnings for residents to evacuate, knocking out energy to 1000’s of properties and disrupting flights and rail providers to the affected area.

The quake with a preliminary magnitude of seven.6 triggered waves of round 1 metre alongside components of the Sea of Japan coast with a bigger wave anticipated, public broadcaster NHK reported.

The Japan Meteorological Company has issued tsunami warnings for the coastal prefectures of Ishikawa, Niigata and Toyama. Russia additionally issued tsunami warnings in its far jap cities of Vladivostok and Nakhodka.

Authorities are nonetheless assessing the extent of the harm and residents want to organize for any extra tremors, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida mentioned in feedback aired on NHK.

“Residents want to remain on alert for additional potential quakes and I urge folks in areas the place tsunamis are anticipated to evacuate as quickly as potential,” Kishida mentioned.

Footage aired by NHK confirmed a constructing collapsing in a plume of mud within the coastal metropolis of Suzu and residents in Kanazawa metropolis cowering beneath tables as tremors shook their dwelling. The quake additionally jolted buildings within the capital Tokyo on the other coast.

Greater than 36,000 households had misplaced energy in Ishikawa and Toyama prefectures, utilities supplier Hokuriku Electrical Energy mentioned.

Excessive velocity rail providers to Ishikawa have been suspended whereas telecom operators Softbank and KDDI reported telephone and web service disruptions in Ishikawa and Niigata, in response to their web sites.

Japanese airline ANA turned again 4 planes headed to airports in Toyama and Ishikawa midair after the quake, whereas Japan Airways cancelled many of the flight providers to Niigata and Ishikawa areas for the remainder of the day, in response to TV Asahi.

Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority mentioned no irregularities have been confirmed at nuclear energy crops alongside the Sea of Japan, together with 5 lively reactors at Kansai Electrical Energy’s Ohi and Takahama crops in Fukui Prefecture.

Hokuriku’s Shika plant in Ishikawa, which was positioned the closest to the quake’s epicentre, had already halted its two reactors earlier than the quake for normal inspection and noticed no impression from the quake, the company mentioned.

An enormous earthquake and tsunami struck northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011, killing almost 20,000 folks, devastating cities and triggering nuclear meltdowns in Fukushima.

(Reporting by Tokyo newsroom; Writing by John Geddie; Enhancing by Kim Coghill and Neil Fullick)

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