A powerful earthquake with a magnitude of 7.4 shook Japan

A powerful 7.4-magnitude earthquake has struck central Japan, the US Geological Survey said.

The epicenter is in Noto District, Ishikawa Prefecture.

The Japan Meteorological Agency issued a tsunami warning for the western coastal areas of Ishikawa, Niigata and Toyama prefectures. Within a radius of 300 km. from the epicenter of the earthquake there is a danger of waves up to 5 meters high.

A tsunami with a height of up to 5 meters is moving towards Noto in Ishikawa prefecture, AFP reported.

Waves over 1 meter high have already hit the coast of the town of Wajima in Ishikawa Prefecture.

Japanese authorities urged people in threatened regions to move to higher ground.

"All residents must evacuate immediately," national broadcaster NHK announced in a special message. /BGNES