Tsunami reaches areas of Okinawa, advisory in effect

Japan's meteorological agency has changed its tsunami warning for southwestern areas of the country to an advisory, but continues to urge people there to evacuate to higher ground or safe places as soon as possible. Officials say higher tsunami waves are possible.

The advisory is for the coastal areas of the Miyakojima-Yaeyama region and the main island of Okinawa, both in Okinawa Prefecture.

Officials say a 30-centimeter tsunami was observed at Yonaguni Island at 9:18 a.m. Japan time Wednesday.
Twenty-centimeter tsunami also reached Ishigaki Island at 9:52 and Miyako Island at 10:08.

The initial warning was issued after an earthquake hit just before 9 a.m.

The meteorological agency has since reevaluated its data. It now says it was a magnitude 7.7 quake, and the focus was 23 kilometers deep.

Officials say the epicenter was near Taiwan. This was the first time the agency issued a tsunami warning for the coastal areas of Okinawa Prefecture since the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.