The Japan Meteorological Agency on Sunday warned of aftershocks of a magnitude of 7 or greater in the next three days. “There is a 70 percent possibility that an aftershock with a magnitude of 7 or more will hit Japan,” the agency said, calling for people to remain on high alert.
As of Sunday night, more than 150 aftershocks measuring 5 or higher on the Richter scale had been monitored in Japan since Friday’s 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami that hit northeastern and eastern regions, according to the agency.
More than 1,300 people are confirmed dead from the devastating earthquake and tsunami as of Sunday evening, including five people in Tokyo, public broadcaster NHK said.
In the hardest-hit Miyagi Prefecture alone, the death toll is almost certain to exceed 10,000, local police chief said Sunday.
In addition, nearly 10,000 people in the coastal town of Minamisanriku in Miyagi, about 360 km north of Tokyo, have not been in contact by anyone, according to the prefectural government.
Meanwhile, the agency lifted all tsunami advisories for the nation’s entire Pacific coast after downgrading its tsunami warning to an advisory earlier in the day.
However, it warned residents of Pacific coastal areas to stay alert toward possible tsunami arising from continuing aftershocks.
Immediately after Friday’s massive quake, the agency issued tsunami warnings and advisories for all coastal areas, including those along the Sea of Japan.