Magnitude 7.3 earthquake shakes eastern Japan, prompting tsunami warning

A strong earthquake of magnitude 7.3 shook eastern Japan on Wednesday evening, the Japan Meteorological Agency said, shaking the capital Tokyo and causing a tsunami in parts of the northeastern coast.

The epicenter of the quake, which cut power to more than two million households, was off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture at a depth of 60 kilometers (37 miles).

Shortly after it occurred at 11:36 pm (1436 GMT), a one-meter tsunami warning was issued for the coasts of the northeastern Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures.

NHK earthquake video

【動画】 福島 郡山 市 の ビ ジ ネ ス ホ テ ル 室内 地震 の 発 時 の 様 子 https://t.co/hSFl6pg4SZ 震 度 度 5 強 を た 福島 市 の 、 、 、 え 付ら い る 机 ほ 、 、 に け ら れ た 大 き く #nhk_video.com/FC pic

– NHK ニ ー ー ス (nhk_news) On March 16, 2022, the Japanese nuclear authority said no anomalies were detected at the stricken Fukushima plant that collapsed 11 years ago after a 9.0-magnitude earthquake off the east coast on March 11, 2011, resulting in a tsunami Fatal and nuclear disaster.

“The calls are swamping police and ambulances in Fukushima and Miyagi,” government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters. “We are doing everything we can to assess the extent of the damage.”

Matsuno said a government emergency task force had been set up and warned residents of the possibility of strong aftershocks over the next week.

“Major earthquake aftershocks often happen two days after the first earthquake, so please stay away from any collapsed buildings…and other very dangerous places,” he said.

Electricity company Tepco said at least two million homes were left without power in the central Kanto region, including 700,000 in Tokyo.

Regional power company Tohoku Electric Power said 156,000 homes in the northeast had no electricity.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters that the government was gathering information on the situation.

“We will be committed to collecting information and doing our best to rescue those affected by the (earthquake) and properly communicate the information,” he said.

Regional rail operator JR East said it was experiencing significant disruption to its operations.

Japan lies on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of intense seismic activity that stretches across Southeast Asia and across the Pacific Basin.

The country is regularly exposed to earthquakes, and has strict building regulations aimed at ensuring that buildings can withstand strong tremors.

But she is still haunted by the memory of the 2011 undersea earthquake in northeastern Japan that triggered a deadly tsunami and unleashed the Fukushima nuclear accident.

A minute’s silence was observed on Friday, the anniversary of the disaster, to remember the nearly 18,500 people who died or went missing in the tsunami.

Around the stricken Fukushima plant, large-scale disinfection operations were carried out, and this year five residents of Futaba, the last uninhabited city in the area, returned to live there on a trial basis.

About 12 percent of Fukushima has been declared unsafe, but restricted areas now cover only 2.4 percent of the prefecture, although the population in many towns is still much lower than before.

(France 24 with AFP)

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