A powerful earthquake hit northwestern Japan on Tuesday night, triggering a small tsunami near the quake's epicenter.
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The quake, which struck at 10:22PM, local time, was recorded at a magnitude of six.eight and it hit underwater some 50 kilometers south west of the city of Sakata.
Shortly after the quake hit, Japan's meteorological agency issued a tsunami warning, saying it expected a surge of seawater to arrive imminently in the coastal areas of Yamagata, Niigata and Ishikawa.
However, no major tsunamis struck the coastline.
15 people were injured in the quake, thousands of households experienced power blackouts and some train services were suspended.
"A tsunami warning has been issued from Yamagata Prefecture to Ishikawa Prefecture. A small tsunami, up to a few centimeters struck parts of Sakata, Yamagata Prefecture, and Awashima, Niigata Prefecture. We'd like to ask residents to move away from the coastal area and evacuate to a safe place."
Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga urged local residents to be prepared for possible aftershocks.
More than 1,500 people have been evacuated to shelters in Murakami city and elsewhere in Niigata.
Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority says all seven nuclear power plants in Niigata have halted operations and no abnormalities have been reported.
Tuesday's quake was the strongest observed in Japan since a magnitude seven.oh quake rattled Hokkaido last September.