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Powerful magnitude 7.1 earthquake jolts Fukushima area

Zemljotres jačine 7,1 stepeni pogodio je Fukushimu na sjeveroistoku Japana.

The Kyodo News bureau in Sendai after a strong earthquake struck on Saturday | KYODO
The Kyodo News bureau in Sendai after a strong earthquake struck on Saturday | KYODO

A powerful magnitude 7.1 earthquake, which measured a strong 6 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale — the second-highest level — jolted Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures in the Tohoku region late Saturday night. No tsunami warning was issued.

Several residents of Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures were taken to hospitals, but there were no early reports of serious injuries. In Fukushima Prefecture, some residents were taking refuge at evacuation centers, media reports said.

 

 

Nationwide, at least 950,000 homes were without power as of midnight, top government spokesman Katsunobu Kato said at a news conference.

The quake, which was also felt in Tokyo, where it registered a 4 on the Japanese scale, struck at around 11:08 p.m., according to the Meteorological Agency.

The quake registered a strong 6 in the southern part of Miyagi, and in the Nakadori central and Hamadori coastal regions of Fukushima, the agency said.

Power outages were reported in parts of Fukushima, Miyagi, Iwate, and Tochigi prefectures, according to media reports. Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings reported blackouts across several prefectures as of early Sunday morning.

The epicenter of the quake was off the coast of Fukushima, about 220 kilometers (135 miles) north of Tokyo.

The Hamadori region is home to the quake- and tsunami-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. There were no reports of abnormalities at the facility, its operator said.

No abnormalities were detected at Japan Atomic Power Co.’s inactive Tokai No. 2 nuclear power plant in the village of Tokai, Ibaraki Prefecture, the operator said. The plant has been shut down since the March 2011 disasters.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga immediately directed government agencies to assess damage, rescue any potential victims, work with municipalities and provide necessary information about any evacuation plans and damage as soon as possible. The government was setting up a task force to examine the quake.

The quake, which comes less than a month before the 10th anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011, registered a 4 on the Japanese scale as far north as Aomori Prefecture and as far west as Shizuoka Prefecture. It was the strongest quake in the region since April 7 that year, the meteorology agency said.

japantimes.co.jp

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