The world is bracing for a magnitude-6.8 earthquake in Japan on Friday, triggering the country’s largest evacuation of more than 6,000 people, the nation’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said.
The quake, the strongest since a magnitude 7.8 quake struck the northern Japanese city of Kobe in April, will also cause a massive fire ban and power outages, according to Japan’s National Meteorological Agency (NNM).
The NNM said the quake is centered about 1,200 miles (1,900 kilometers) northwest of Tokyo.
The quake is expected to cause a tsunami wave of magnitude 6.7 or greater, NNM Director-General Yasunori Shiraishi said on Thursday.
“The tsunami wave is expected at times to reach up to 1,000 meters high,” Shiraishian said.
“The strongest tsunami waves will occur at the depths of 1,600 meters.”
The Japanese government is urging residents to avoid areas with high tsunami risk.
The National Disaster Management Agency (NDRM) said the tsunami wave could cause major damage to buildings and property.
Shiraishi also said the government is preparing to send a rescue team to the tsunami zone.
The tsunami is expected around 4 a.m.
(2200 GMT), with waves expected to reach about 1 kilometer (600 feet) high.
A massive fire, which has already begun in the northern city of Yokohama, is expected, according the NDRM.
The city’s emergency order states that the city’s buildings will be closed until further notice, and that people must stay indoors.
Residents are also urged to avoid public transportation, including bus and subway lines.
The Japan Meteorological Association said there was no indication of a tsunami, but it warned that a potential tsunami could cause significant damage to a region’s infrastructure.
The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (NDMA) is sending a team to help deal with the disaster, according NDRI Chief Hiroshi Takahashi.
The agency’s deputy director, Hiroshi Sakamoto, said the agency would work closely with local authorities to coordinate efforts to respond to the earthquake.
“We are coordinating with all agencies in the disaster area to establish a coordinated response and provide a wide range of services,” Takahata said in a statement.
“It is also necessary to ensure that the proper precautions are taken during the tsunami event.”
Officials are also urging people to remain indoors.
The NDRA urged people to limit outdoor activities and avoid using cellphones or other portable devices during the quake.
The NDRP is also urging residents in the quake zone to avoid traveling or driving.