More than three years after a tsunami ravaged a small island in Northern Japan, a 6.8 earthquake hit the area Saturday (July 12) morning (Friday afternoon EST). Japan’s Meteorological Agency  issued a small tsunami warning as a result.

The New York Times reports:

Japan’s Meteorological Agency said the quake struck 6 miles below the sea surface off the coast of Fukushima, northeast of Tokyo.

An eight-inch tsunami reached the coast of Ishinomaki Ayukawa about 50 minutes after the quake. Smaller waves were observed at two other locations along the coast.

Related Earthquake map

Pacific Tsunami Warning Center alert

Changes to the shoreline, however, were not visible on television footages of NHK public broadcaster.

The agency issued tsunami advisory of up to 3 feet in Fukushima, Miyagi and Iwate prefectures along the Japanese northern coast.

Fukushima Dai-ichi and two other nuclear power plants, along with other nuclear facilities along the coast, found no abnormalities following the 4:22 a.m. (1922 GMT Friday) quake, and their reactors and fuel storage pools are being cooled safely, according to the Nuclear Regulation Authority.

Tokyo Electric Power Co., which operates the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, has instructed plant workers on night duty along the coast to retreat to higher grounds.

The 2011 earthquake on Tohoku was the largest in Japans history. It was also the fifth largest earthquake in the world, and the most expensive natural disaster in the world at more than $200 billion in damages.

Coming in at a magnitude 9.0, the quake brought on a catastrophic tsunami that claimed the lives of more than 19,000 people. Japan’s Prime Minster Nato Kan called the natural dilator the “toughest and most difficult crisis” for the country.

See photos from the 2011 tsunami in the gallery below.

Photo: Google Maps

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