Japan lifts tsunami warnings after quake

Magnitude-6.9 temblor strikes northeast coast

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TOKYO — Small tsunami waves hit the northeast coast of Japan after a magnitude-6.9 earthquake early today, weather authorities said, as evacuation orders and alerts were lifted in the region.

Up to 20-centimeter-high tsunami waves hit coastal regions of Iwate prefecture, the Meteorological Agency said.

A 20-centimeter tsunami was observed at the Kuji port, 550 kilometers north of Tokyo, at 9:07 a.m., the agency said.

The quake occurred at 8:06 a.m. with its epicenter off the prefecture at a depth of 10 kilometers, the agency said.

The tremor prompted the agency to issue a tsunami alert, saying a tsunami of up to 1 meter could hit the coastal regions of the prefecture.

With no such waves observed, evacuation orders and instructions as well as the tsunami alert were lifted at 10:20 a.m.

In March 2011, a magnitude-9 quake and tsunami struck the northeast, including Iwate prefecture, leaving about 18,500 dead or missing.

A nuclear plant in Fukushima suffered a triple meltdown after the tsunami swept through the complex.