Another earthquake measuring upper-5 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7 shook Aomori Prefecture and other parts of the north on Tuesday afternoon.
The quake struck at 1:46 p.m. The Japan Meteorological Agency described it as magnitude 5.7, with an epicenter around 50 km off the coast of Iwate Prefecture and 50 km deep.
One of the hardest-hit districts was the town of Hashikami, where upper-5 was recorded. It registered as 5-weak in the village of Fudai in Iwate Prefecture.
Sirens sounded as residents sought higher ground. The largest tsunami waves were measured between 8:35 a.m. and 9:07 a.m. at a port in the city of Kuji, and a 10-cm surge was recorded in Miyako. A smaller tsunami reached the city of Kamaishi, the agency said.
Evacuation orders were issued for residents in coastal districts of Kuji and the town of Otsuchi, and evacuation advisories for the cities of Ofunato and Rikuzentakata as well as Kamaishi.
The Iwate Prefectural Government reported no damage from the waves.
The quake hit at 8:06 a.m. It measured 4 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7 in Iwate and three other prefectures in Tohoku — Aomori, Akita and Miyagi.
The quake was believed to be an aftershock of the 9.0-magnitude earthquake that hit the Tohoku region on March 11, 2011, the meteorological agency said.
All 48 of Japan’s workable nuclear reactors remain offline after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami triggered the Fukushima No. 1 plant meltdown disaster.
East Japan Railway Co. briefly halted Tohoku Shinkansen bullet trains between Furukawa Station in Miyagi and Shin-Aomori Station in Aomori amid a power failure.
The evacuation instructions and advisories were lifted at 10:20 a.m.
Earthquakes are common in Japan, one of the world’s most seismically active areas. The nation accounts for about 20 percent of the world’s earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater.