7.3 Quake Hits Fukushima Area

Authorities say tsunami risk is receding, no damage found at nuclear plant
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 16, 2022 12:31 PM CDT
7.3 Quake Hits Fukushima Area
Furniture and electrical appliance are scattered at an apartment in Fukushima, northern Japan Wednesday, March 16, 2022, following an earthquake.   (Kyodo News via 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. The region was devastated by a deadly 9.0 quake and tsunami 11 years ago that also caused nuclear plant meltdowns. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center later said there was no longer a tsunami threat though the Japan Meteorological Agency kept its low risk advisory in place, the AP reports. NHK national television said tsunami waves of 8 inches had already reached shore in one area.

The quake shook large parts of eastern Japan, including Tokyo, where buildings swayed violently. The Japan Meteorological Agency said the quake hit at 11:36pm at a depth of 36 miles below the sea. The Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, which operates the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant where the cooling systems failed after the 2011 disaster, said workers found no abnormalities at the site, which is in the process of being decommissioned.

NHK said there were reports of fire, damage to buildings and falling rocks in Fukushima. There was no word on any casualties. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters that the government was assessing the extent of damage and promised to do its utmost for rescue and relief operations. He urged residents in the affected areas to use extra caution for possible major aftershocks for about a week.

(More Japan earthquake stories.)

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