(FILE).- View of Mount Fuji at Heda Harbor on the Izu Peninsula west of Tokyo, Japan, today, Thursday, January 7, 2010.. EFE/Franck Robichon

Small tsunami waves recorded in Japan following earthquake

Tokyo, Oct 9 (EFE).- Tsunami waves less than a meter high were recorded Monday in Japan’s Izu islands, south of Tokyo, after an earthquake in the Pacific Ocean.

The earthquake occurred at 5.25 am local time (20:25 GMT Sunday) in waters near the island of Torishima, at shallow depth, and with an undetermined magnitude, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA).

Meteorological authorities detected “successive low-intensity earthquakes” since 4 am local time, and could not determine the epicenter or scale of the last significant earthquake due to its proximity to the seabed, a JMA spokesperson explained at a press conference.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS), which measures seismic activity around the world, reported seven shallow earthquakes around the Izu islands, with the most shallow a magnitude-5 at a depth of just one kilometer.

The JMA warned of the risk of tsunamis of around one meter high in the Izu islands, and later in Kochi prefecture, on the coast of Chiba, east of Tokyo, in Miyazaki and Kagoshima and on other islands in the same area.

After 7.25 am, sea water rises of 60 centimeters were observed on the island of Hachijojima, the southernmost among the main islands of the Izu archipelago, with a population of about 8,000 people.

In other areas where the alert was issued, the tsunami reached heights of less than one meter, although the Japanese authorities decided to maintain the alert due to the ongoing risk of sudden changes in sea levels.

Residents have been asked to stay away from coastal areas until the alert is lifted.

The alert also caused the cancellation of several ferry connections in Tokyo Bay between the prefectures of Chiba and Kanagawa.

The government of the Tokyo Metropolitan Area and the authorities of other affected regions said that no reports of damage caused by the tsunami have been received at this time, and they continued to analyze the situation together with the Coast Guard and meteorological authorities.

The JMA also warned that earthquakes could continue in the coming days.

An M6.6 earthquake was recorded last Thursday in the Pacific south of the Izu islands, which also prompted authorities to warn of the risk of a tsunami. EFE