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No tsunami threat to Hawaii following major earthquakes off Japan

There is no tsunami threat to Hawaii following a series of powerful earthquakes off Japan, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.

However, Japan had issued tsunami alerts following the quakes in the Sea of Japan.

At last check, the Japan Meteorological Agency has downgraded to advisories all tsunami warnings issued along the Sea of Japan.

But officials are calling on residents to stay on the alert for more possible quakes.

The quakes, the largest of which had a magnitude of 7.6, started a fire and collapsed buildings on the west cost of Japan’s main island, Honshu.

It was unclear how many people might have been killed or hurt. Rescue crews are searching through the rubble to find any survivors.

The agency first reported quakes off the coast of Ishikawa and nearby prefectures shortly after 4 p.m. Monday in western Japan.

It initially issued a major tsunami warning for Ishikawa and lower-level tsunami warnings or advisories for the rest of the western coast of the island of Honshu, as well as the northernmost of its main islands, Hokkaido.

The warning was downgraded to a regular tsunami several hours later, meaning the waters could still reach up to 3 meters (10 feet). Aftershocks could also slam the same area over the next few days, it said.

Japanese public broadcaster NHK TV warned torrents of water could reach as high as 5 meters (16.5 feet) and tsunami waves could keep returning.

Tsunami warnings were also issued for parts of North Korea and Russia.

Government spokesman Yoshimasa Hayashi told reporters that nuclear plants in the affected area had not reported any irregularities on Monday. Nuclear regulators said no rises in radiation levels were detected at the monitoring posts in the region.

Source: Hawaii News Now