Blackouts, accidents as quake hits off Japan’s Fukushima coast


A magnitude 7.3 earthquake has struck off Japan’s east coast, rattling a area hit by a robust 2011 quake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown simply weeks earlier than the catastrophe’s tenth anniversary.

The earthquake on Saturday produced highly effective shaking alongside the coast and was felt strongly within the capital, Tokyo, however triggered no tsunami alert.

Its epicentre was off the coast of Fukushima prefecture at a depth of 60km (36 miles), the Japan Meteorological Company stated. It shook buildings for a while after it hit, shortly after 11pm (14:00 GMT).

There have been no speedy stories of great injury, although native information broadcast pictures of a landslide on a freeway. Kyodo information company reported at the very least 30 folks injured, however gave no additional particulars.

Roughly 950,000 houses misplaced energy all through the affected area, with the blackouts showing to be concentrated in northeast Japan, together with Fukushima and neighbouring prefectures.

No abnormalities had been reported on the Fukushima nuclear plant, which melted down within the wake of the 2011 catastrophe, or on the Kahiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant, in accordance with proprietor Tokyo Electrical Energy Firm Holdings.

An ambulance is seen in entrance of a lodge following a powerful earthquake in Iwaki, Fukushima prefecture, Japan February 13, 2021 [Issei Kato/Reuters]

Aftershocks continued to rattle the area within the hours afterwards and officers cautioned native residents to be vigilant. A handful of individuals had been reported to have sought shelter at evacuation centres.

“We’re working rapidly to gather info however we nonetheless don’t have any particulars to announce. There have been some unconfirmed stories about landslides however we’re nonetheless checking,” Mikihiro Meguro, an official from the Fukushima prefectural authorities, advised the AFP information company.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga was known as to his workplace, and broadcaster NHK stated the federal government would arrange a particular liaison workplace to coordinate with affected areas.

‘All tousled’

Chief Cupboard Secretary Katsunobu Kato addressed reporters after midnight and stated evaluations had been beneath manner.

“So far as injury, casualties and structural injury are being assessed,” he stated, including that sections of the bullet practice service had been suspended resulting from energy outages.

“Surveys are being achieved at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant,” Kato added. “We now have acquired stories that Onagawa nuclear plant and Fukushima Daichi nuclear plant will not be displaying any abnormality.”

Photographs posted on-line confirmed damaged glass at a store and gadgets spilled off the cabinets at a grocery store.

Famend creator Yu Miri, who lives in Fukushima’s Minamisoma metropolis, tweeted a photograph of her house, displaying books, potted crops and different belongings strewn throughout the ground.

“My home in Odaka, Minamisoma metropolis is all tousled,” she wrote.

“I hear the bottom rumbling. And one other quake,” she tweeted about an aftershock.

Earthquakes are frequent in Japan, one of the seismically lively areas on Earth. Japan accounts for about 20 % of the world’s earthquakes of magnitude 6 or higher.

Triggered by a magnitude 9.1 earthquake, a tsunami crashed into the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear energy station in March 2011, overwhelming reactor cooling methods and inflicting a number of meltdowns in the worst atomic catastrophe since Chernobyl in 1986.

Almost 20,000 folks had been killed or went lacking and 160,000 misplaced their houses and livelihoods within the large earthquake and tsunami, which despatched radiation over a big space that pressured tens of 1000’s of individuals to evacuate.