Magnitude 7.three earthquake strikes near web site of Japan’s Fukushima nuclear catastrophe


TOKYO — A magnitude 7.three earthquake struck Saturday off the coast of Japan’s Fukushima prefecture, which was home to one of many world’s worst nuclear disasters almost a decade in the past.

The Japan Meteorological Agency stated the quake — which it initially stated had a magnitude of seven.1 — struck at 11:08 p.m. native time (9:08 a.m. ET) at a depth of 34 miles. Fourteen aftershocks have been recorded, it stated, including {that a} tsunami warning had not been issued.

The quake was additionally felt in Japan’s capital, Tokyo.

“There have been no anomalies reported from any of the nuclear facilities,” Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga instructed a press convention. “Everything is normal.”

Checks have been nonetheless being carried out to find out the quantity injured, he stated, urging folks to not enterprise outside and to be ready for aftershocks.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato instructed a separate information convention earlier in Tokyo that almost 850,000 households had been left with out energy in areas surrounding Tokyo and northern Japan.

“Where the tremor was felt the strongest, there is higher risk of structural collapse and landslides,” a spokeswoman for the Japan Meteorological Agency instructed press in Tokyo. Adding that individuals ought to be cautious about tremors.

Fukushima turned synonymous with nuclear catastrophe in March 2011 when the world was hit by a magnitude earthquake — the strongest in Japan’s historical past. A tsunami quickly adopted, leaving greater than 15,000 folks useless and a pair of,500 others nonetheless lacking.

The lethal wall of water slammed by the partitions of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, knocking out the facility provide and inflicting three nuclear reactors to soften, spewing radioactive particles into the air. It will take many years to securely shut down the plant.

Space to retailer the 1 million tons of water — equal to 400 Olympic-size swimming swimming pools — that should be pumped by the reactor to maintain the gasoline cool, can be operating out. While the water has been handled to take away a lot of the harmful radioactive elements, traces of tritium stay.

Kato stated the plant was being inspected however there was “no concern of a damage-causing tsunami” and “no anomalies” had been reported on the web site. Investigations have been persevering with to ensure there was no structural harm, he added.

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The Tokyo Electric Power Company, which operates the plant, additionally tweeted that it had checked its services and “no abnormalities” had been detected.

In an indication of rebirth, Fukushima had been attributable to host components of the Summer Olympics set to happen in Japan in 2020. However, the video games have been delayed as a result of coronavirus pandemic.

Earthquakes are widespread in Japan, one of many world’s most seismically energetic areas. Japan accounts for about 20 % of the world’s earthquakes of magnitude 6 or higher.

Arata Yamamoto reported from Tokyo and Adela Suliman from London.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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