TOKYO, Japan – Hundreds of thousands of Japanese citizens were advised to evacuate on Sunday, January 16, as waves of more than a meter hit coastal areas, public broadcaster NHK reported, after the eruption of an underwater volcano off Tonga triggered tsunami warnings.
Around 230,000 people were advised to evacuate across eight prefectures due to the tsunami risk, NHK reported.
The alert included areas hit by the deadly 2011 tsunami.
Around 10 boats were capsized in Kochi prefecture on Shikoku island in southern Japan, NHK said. Japan Airlines cancelled 27 flights at their airports across the country.
The overnight disruption is causing delays to rail and postal services in some areas, Kyodo News reported, with some residents passing a cold night after evacuating to higher ground.
A red tsunami warning – the second-highest in Japan’s domestic scale – for Iwate prefecture in northern Japan was lifted late morning, NHK reported, although a less severe yellow tsunami advisory remains in place along Japan’s eastern coast, with authorities continuing to urge caution. – Rappler.com