TOKYO, January 4, 2009 (AFP) – Japan’s Pacific coast was lapped by minor tsunami waves Sunday after a string of powerful earthquakes off Indonesia, the country’s meteorological agency said. Waves up to 40 centimetres (1.3 feet) reached the Pacific coasts of islands from the Okinawan chain to the main island of Honshu, the agency said.
The tallest of the waves were measured in Chichijima, about 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) south of Tokyo.
“There is the possibility of a tsunami repeating and overlapping into larger scale four or five hours later,” Takeshi Yokota, director of earthquake and tsunami observation at the agency, told a news conference.
The agency had earlier predicted waves up to 50 centimetres (1.6 feet) and advised people against going near beaches and estuaries. A 7.6-magnitude quake and several powerful aftershocks hit Sunday morning off Indonesia’s West Papua province. At least one person was killed and around three dozen were injured.