Tokyo, Mar 11 (ANI): Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Friday said that the country's disaster management operations have been activated to counter the after effects of earthquake-cum-tsunami measuring 8.9 in the Richter Scale.
Kan has urged citizens of the country to remain calm and asked those immediately affected to relocate to higher ground, according to local television reports.
He promised immediate and prompt emergency aid, even as reports surfaced about a number of people missing or dead.
He confirmed that five nuclear plants in the country have shut down operations and that one oil refinery had caught fire.
The tsunami had hit the coast of northeast Japan following an 8.9 magnitude earthquake about 80 miles offshore. A second major earthquake of 7.4 magnitude was reported as aftershocks shook the region.
The U.S. Geological Survey called the 8.9 magnitude earthquake as a "mega" quake.
The tremor occurred at about 230 miles northeast of Tokyo and at a depth of about 15 miles. The quake occurred at 2:46 p.m. Tokyo time and its location was off Honshu, Japan's most populous island, the paper said.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has warned Japan, Russia, Marcus Island and the Northern Marianas to be aware of Tsunami. Japan's meteorological agency warned that a tsunami as high as 20 feet could strike the coast near Miyagi prefecture, closest to the epicenter. (ANI)