A 7.4 magnitude earthquake off north-eastern Japan near Fukushima prefecture has prompted a tsunami advisory.The quake struck on Tuesday morning at about 06:00 local time (21:00 GMT, Monday), the Japan Meteorological Agency said.The depth of the quake was estimated to be 30km (18.6 miles), the agency said.Japanese authorities urged residents in those northeast coastal areas to leave immediately for higher ground and not return until warnings had been lifted.

The earthquake struck in the same area as the devastating 9.0-magnitude earthquake in 2011 — one of the worst ever to hit Japan — which killed more than 20,000 people and triggered a meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Shinzo Abe, the Japanese prime minister, has spoken about the earthquake from Buenos Aires, which he is visiting after attending the Apec summit in Peru:

A strong earthquake was observed off the coast of Fukushima a short while ago and the tsunami alerts were issued.

From my side, to the nation, we asked that proper and accurate information over the tsunami and the evacuation should be issued, and also to grasp and understand the condition of the damage as quickly as possible, and also to take proper emergency measures.

I called the chief cabinet secretary directly.

I would like to join hands closely with the local governments … and do our best to take appropriate emergency measures.

(Thanks to NHK for the translation.)