TOKYO (AP) — A powerful 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Fukushima in northern Japan on Wednesday evening, triggering a tsunami advisory and plunging more than 2 million homes in the Tokyo area into darkness.
It is located in northern Japan, and was devastated 11 years ago by a devastating 9.0 earthquake and tsunami that also led to nuclear plant meltdowns.
Although there is no tsunami danger, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center stated that there wasn’t any. However, Japan Meteorological Agency maintained its low-risk advisory. NHK’s national TV station reported tsunami waves reaching Ishinomaki (about 390km (242 mi) northeast Tokyo) at 20cm (8 in).
NHK footage captured the broken walls of the building of a department shop falling to the ground, and fragments of windows scattering on the street next to Fukushima station.
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings is the operator of Fukushima Daiichi, the nuclear plant where the cooling system failed following the 2011 tragedy. They said that workers did not find any abnormalities at this site which was currently being decommissioned.
Hirokazu Matsuno, Chief Cabinet Secretary, stated to reporters that no abnormalities were found at the two nuclear power stations in the region.
NHK TV reported that the fire alarm went off in No. NHK TV reported that a fire alarm went off at No. 5 Fukushima Daidi’s turbine building. The water pumps cooling the spent fuel pool at Fukushima Dani were also stopped. However, there wasn’t an immediate danger of heat overheating. Later, the nuclear authority agency stated that these problems had been resolved.
Japan Meteorological Agency stated that the quake occurred at 11:36 PM at a depth 60 kilometers (36 mi) below sea level.
Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force said it dispatched fighter jets from the Hyakuri base in Ibaraki prefecture, just south of Fukushima, for information gathering and damage assessment.
NHK reported that there had been reports of buildings being damaged or burned and fires in Iitate, Fukushima. It was not clear if there were any injuries.
TEPCO reported that more than 2.25 million households were without electricity in the 14 prefectures of northeastern Japan, which includes the Tokyo region. These homes are served by TEPCO, and Tohoku Electric Power Co.
Large parts of Japan’s eastern coast were shaken by the earthquake, which also triggered Tokyo’s buildings to move violently.
East Japan Railway Co. announced that its trains services were most recently suspended as safety precautions. Some local trains resumed their service later.
NHK stated that the earthquake caused a Tohoku Shinkansen express train to partially derail between Fukushima (Miyagi) but that nobody was seriously injured.
Fumio Kishida the Prime Minister, stated to reporters that they were assessing the severity of the damages and would do everything possible for relief and rescue operations.
“Please first take action to save your life,” Kishida tweeted.
Matsuno stated that there had been several emergency calls, and the local authorities were trying to assess any damage.
“We are doing our utmost in rescue operations and putting people’s lives first,” he said.
The governor urged affected residents to take extra precautions in case of major aftershocks, and stayed there for approximately one week.