Main airport in Japan’s Okinawa suspends flights after tsunami alert

Taiwan hit magnitude 6 earthquake
Source: Pixabay

Flights were suspended at the main airport in Japan’s southern region of Okinawa on Wednesday due to a tsunami alert triggered by an earthquake in Taiwan, a government official said.

Operations at Naha Airport were suspended from 9:25 am local time (0025 GMT) as a precautionary measure, a transport ministry official stationed at the airport told AFP.

“Incoming flights need to divert” at the airport, located on the west coast of Okinawa Island, the official said.

A ministry official at another airport in the region, on Ishigaki Island, said flights were still running there.

“We inspected the airport after the earthquake and the tsunami alert. There was no abnormality and our airport is not closed,” said the official in Ishigaki, adding that brief, moderate shaking had been felt at the airport.

The powerful earthquake that hit eastern Taiwan had a magnitude of 7.4, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

The Japan Meteorological Agency had given a preliminary estimate of magnitude 7.5 for Wednesday morning’s earthquake, but later upgraded that to magnitude 7.7.

Live TV footage from the Okinawa region’s ports, including Naha, showed vessels heading out to sea, possibly in efforts to protect their ships.

The US-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center warned that “tsunami waves reaching 0.3 to one metres above the tide level are possible for some coasts of Japan”.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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