Japan's Meteorological Agency issued a tsunami warning after an earthquake with preliminary magnitude 8.1 hit the Kuril islands north of Japan.
The quake struck about 390 kilometers east of the Etorofu islands north of Japan at 1115 GMT, according to the agency.
A tsunami of about 2 meters (6.5 feet) or more could hit the Pacific coast of Japan's northernmost island of Hokkaido and main island of Honshu after 1210 GMT, the agency said.
The agency told residents along Japan's Pacific coast to flee to higher ground.
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