Kiwis in Japan have described feeling their homes "rattle" and "wiggling" following this morning's earthquake.

A 6.9 earthquake has hit Japan and there are evacuation warnings in effect. Tristram Clayton is joined by journalist Motoko Kakubayashi for the latest from Japan.

Masa Sekikawa, the adviser to the New Zealand-Japan Society of Auckland who is visiting family in northern Japan, was in bed on the floor of his sister-in-law's old home when the first earthquake struck at 5.59am Japan time.

"I'm in the centre of this earthquake ... just north of where it happened," he told the Herald.

"I just stayed on the bed on the floor."


He said the old wooden home had not been damaged - "just a rattle everywhere".

Phone connections went down for some time after the first shake.

"After the main one the little ones keep coming every few minutes."

He is now reconsidering plans to head to the water today.

"We were going to go to the ocean this afternoon. We should be careful now."

Several Kiwis living in Japan took to social media following the 7.4 quake.

"Early wake up call to a 7.3 earthquake here in Japan..Room got to wiggling..Hope everyone is ok," former All Black Cory Jane said in a tweet soon after the quake struck.

Former Highlanders player Alando Soakai, who now plays for Kubota Spears in Japan, said
"Now that was a decent shake. Hope everyone here in Japan are ok #Earthquake."

Former Waikato rugby stalwart Dave Dillon was quick to let people know he is okay.

Dillon is a former Waikato Rugby development officer who most recently worked for the Chiefs as a development manager.

He now coaches a team in Japan.

He posted on his Facebook page that he didn't need any help waking up after the shake.

Didn't need an alarm clock this morning !!

Posted by Dave Dillon on Monday, 21 November 2016

Robert Miller told the Herald he had been speaking to friends and family who lived in Fukushima and said they had felt the earthquake about 6am Japan time but were fine.

"They said it lasted quite a long-time."

A friend of his wife who was living in Japan had been in contact this morning and told her they were more fearful off tsunami warning which caused most of the devastation last time than the earthquake itself.

Since the earthquake five years ago, people were now used to the tremors, he said.

Jordan Oxborough, who is living in Akita in the North, said the quake had woken him up but locals in his area were not too concerned.

"It woke me up about an hour ago, shook my second storey apartment but it was only felt as a 3 where I am," Oxborough said. "It wasn't strong enough up here to cause any damage. A little stronger than usual but nothing to worry about."

According to Oxborough the region often had smaller quakes and the region was surrounded by mountains which sheltered it.

Another Kiwi living in Tokyo described the quake as long and rolling, and said it had been felt quite strongly in the area.

New Zealander Adam Ballin said there was moderate shaking on the ground - but not quite enough to wake his family.

"A friend had a stack of books fall over, but that's the worst i have heard so far in tokyo! (hence obviously not life threatening!)."

Ballan said the shaking was worse North East of Tokyo around Fukushima but the solar power plants in that area were still operating as per normal this morning. He said inland Ibaraki and Tochigi were also ok.

"Our staff and office in Fukushima is also reported as safe and internet etc is continuing, hence, unless the tsunami is serious, I cannot see any major damage or loss of life from this one, I don't think people should be too concerned."

Ex-pat Luke Bradley, who had been living in Japan for 10 years and is a sports agent, felt the shake from his home in Tokyo.

"It wasn't' as intense here. It was a quite slow rolling sort of an earthquake."

Bradley said Tokyo had been unaffected, but friends of his living further north and closer to the epicentre had been warned to stay away from the coast.

He had been living in Yamagata when the quake struck five years and said the shake was minor in comparison.

Tsukasa Magome, from Tokyo, said he felt his bed shaking just before 6am, but did not think too much of it.

"Minor earth quakes are very common in Japan, so I did not really care about that at the time. It was not so big in Tokyo. We feel something like that maybe five times a year."

He said it was business as usual in Tokyo is as usual, but TV presenters were advising people to stay away from the coast and reminding them of the 2011 events.

Meanwhile New Zealanders here have been sending their thoughts to Japan.

NZ Red Cross tweeted: "We're thinking about everyone who has been affected by the 6.9 magnitude earthquake which recently hit #Japan."

Others based in New Zealand have quickly drawn comparisons to the way Japanese authorities alerted residents to the risk of a tsunami.

"The Japanese are so much more onto it than us in NZ with Tsunami warnings and details about their quake. Time to wake up NZ," tweeted Brad Dennison.

There has been plenty of criticism in New Zealand at how slow authorities were to alert people about the 7.8 quake that struck in the early hours of last Monday morning.


Back in New Zealand many friends and family are waiting to hear from loved ones.

Waikato woman Tulu Andrews said she was anxious as she is yet to hear from her cousins who are based in Okinawa at the US Marine Corps base.

Gisborne-based Japanese man Masa Takahashi, who has lived here for 10-years, is waiting for contact from his sister, Hisako Ito, and her family who are based in the Miyagi district.

Friends say they are also wantng to hear from Colin Cooper, who played rugby for Fraser Tech in Hamilton and is currently in Tokyo.