Gordon and Marlene Owen.
Gordon and Marlene Owen.

Earth moves for Gympie couples on holiday in Japan

TWO Gympie couples caught in the 6.9 magnitude earthquake that hit Japan yesterday said they were shaken but unharmed and looking forward to continuing their holiday this week.

Gordon and Marlene Owen, who own and operate Gympie Bearing Supplies, and Century 21 real estate consultant Murray Benton and his wife Jessica, were in Tokyo Bay on Monday, about 240km south-west of the epicentre, where buildings "shook” in the quake.

Jessica and Murray Benton.
Jessica and Murray Benton. Contributed

Mrs Owen let her friends know by Facebook the group was "a little shaken but all good”.

"Yes, we sure felt the earthquake,” she said.

The group was heading north yesterday and then further up to Kanazawa "so will be a little closer, but it sure rocked everyone”.

A tsunami warning of up to 3m was issued and at multiple points on the eastern coast waves of up to 90cm were observed.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said the quake struck around 6am at a depth of 10km.

The US Geological Survey had a preliminary magnitude of 7.3, but then revised the figure down to 6.9.

NHK urged the public to evacuate and the government set up a tsunami advisory.

Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, said the government would do its utmost to respond to the quake, Reuters reported.

"Please do not think that you are safe.

"Please evacuate to high grounds,” the network said.

"Even if you live inland please go and evacuate.”

Meanwhile, a strong earthquake has also hit the Hawke's Bay area in New Zealand today.

The quake came just a week after the fatal quake which shook Kaikoura and less than a day after the Fukushima quake.

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