A 7.3 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Japan has triggered two small tsunamis just days after the 11th anniversary of the 2011 nuclear disaster at the Fukushima nuclear reactor.
At least four people are confirmed dead, and more than 100 injured in the city of Soma, Fukushima, according to city officials reported by Japanese news outlet NHK World.
Reuters reported that tens of thousands of Japanese households remained without power on Thursday morning, more than 10 hours after a powerful earthquake.
Buildings in Tokyo shook violently and more than 2 million homes lost power in large parts of eastern Japan after the earthquake struck around 11:30 pm local time on Wednesday. A 5.6 magnitude aftershock of hit about an hour later shortly before 1 am Thursday.
Small tsunami waves of about 20 centimetres in Sendai and the Port of Ishinomaki and 39,000 people were warned to evacuate the Miyagi Prefecture, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.
Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority reported the water pumps at two reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant’s spent pool were halted.
Japan warned that another earthquake of “similar intensity” could hit the country within the next week.
Japan warns of another earthquake ‘within a week’
20-centimetre Tsunami hits Miyagi’s Ishinomaki Port
Fukushima nuclear power plants being assessed for damage
5.6 magnitude aftershock hits an hour later
BREAKING: Tsunami warning issued after earthquake hits Japan
PHOTOS: Derailed trains, evac shelters, and more after Japan quake
02:06 , Josh Marcus
Japan is waking up and taking stock of the full damage caused by a tsunami and earthquake on Wednesday.
Pictures from Japan show power lines in disarray, evacuation shelters, homes and shops filled with detritus, and a derailed bullet train.
Infographic: What caused the Japan earthquake?
01:36 , Josh Marcus
What caused the earthquake that struck Japan and caused a tsunami on Wednesday?
The US Geological Survey had this helpful graphic of what’s going on with the Earth’s tectonic plates at the epicenter of the quake.
At the location of this earthquake, the Pacific plate moves approximately westward relative to the North America plate at a velocity of roughly 70 mm/yr (2.8 in/yr), subducting beneath Japan at the Japan Trench and dipping to the west beneath Japan. pic.twitter.com/iDWLK73DiG
— USGS Earthquakes (@USGS_Quakes) March 16, 2022
VIDEO: Blackouts and falling objects across Japan as earthquake strikes
01:06 , Josh Marcus
The tsunami threat is receding after Wednesday’s earthquake off the coast of Japan, but that hasn’t stopped social media users from sharing their pulse-raising experiences of the incident.
Video from across Japan shows sudden blackouts and books falling off shelves.
Here’s a compilation of clips, via TIME Magazine.
— TIME (@TIME) March 16, 2022
A month full of nuclear risks averted
00:37 , Josh Marcus
Thankfully, as of Thursday morning, according to Japanese officials, no “abnormalities” have been detected at the country’s nuclear plants after Wednesday’s tsunami and earthquake.
In 2011, an earthquake and tsunami caused the infamous meltdown at a plant in Fukushima.
It’s not the only nuclear risk averted this month.
At the beginning of March, Russian troops began shelling Ukraine’s largest reactor, prompting fears of another Chernobyl.
Here’s The Independent’s coverage of the situation.
Comparing Wednesday’s earthquake to the one that caused Fukushima meltdown
00:07 , Josh Marcus
How does Wednesday’s earthquake and tsunami in Japan compare to the 2011 disaster that caused the Fukushima nuclear meltdown?
Nikkei Asia reporter Mitsuru Obe has this helpful comparison:
- epicenter off Fukushima, 60km deep, inside Pacific Plate
March 2011 quake
- epicenter off Miyagi, 24km deep, at the boundary between Okhotsk & Pacific plates
--> different mechanisms at work, watch aftershockshttps://t.co/jROswYuBsb pic.twitter.com/hvnDiMfNCw
— Mitsuru Obe (@mit_obe) March 16, 2022
Fukushima earthquake: Two dead and millions without power in 7.3 magnitude quake off Japan coast
Wednesday 16 March 2022 23:47 , Josh Marcus
A 7.3 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Japan left millions without power, thousands evacuated from coastal towns and at least two people dead.
The earthquake epicentre was under 62 miles (100kms_ from the 9.1 magnitude earthquake that led to the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, which killed an estimated 22,000.
Just days after the 11th anniversary of the tragedy, a 7.3 earthquake struck about 11.30 am local time on Wednesday night, followed by a 5.6 magnitude aftershock about an hour later shortly before 1am on Thursday.
Justin Vallejo has the latest for The Independent.
UPDATE: Death toll rises to two in Japanese earthquake and tsunami
Wednesday 16 March 2022 23:27 , Josh Marcus
Two people were killed and another 94 were injured in the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on Wednesday, according to the national Fire and Disaster Management Agency.
The quake also caused more than 2.2 million homes to temporarily lose power, though electricity has been restored in most places besides the hardest-hit zones in Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures, where roughly 37,000 homes remain without power.
VIDEO: 100m long crack appears in Miyagi expressway after quake
Wednesday 16 March 2022 23:07 , Josh Marcus
The earthquake that sent tsunami waves heading towards Japan on Wednesday has caused a 100m-long crack to appear in the Tohoku Expressway in Tome City, Miyagi prefecture, according to the Miyagi Prefectural Expressway Police Corps.
See video of the rupture below, via Japanese public broadcaster NHK.
— NHKニュース (@nhk_news) March 16, 2022
Quake that caused tsunamis rivaled 1995 Kobe earthquake that killed 6,000
Wednesday 16 March 2022 22:47 , Josh Marcus
Wednesday’s 7.3 earthquake off the coast of Japan rivaled another earthquake that hit the Kobe area in 1995, killing more than 6,000 people.
So far, only one person has been reported dead in yesterday’s earthquake, however, with scores more injured.
The Kobe quake, the second deadliest in Japan in the 20th century, was closer to the surface and nearer to land, while the epicenter of Wednesday’s earthquake took place about 60 km below sea level and 57 km from shore.
Scientists worry about earthquake threat from section of California fault line
Wednesday 16 March 2022 22:27 , Josh Marcus
As authorities work to respond to the magnitude 7.3 earthquake and the resulting tsunamis in Japan, researchers in California are studying whether a section of its famous San Andreas fault line is more dangerous than previously imagined.
Scientists previously believed that a central section of the fault produced less severe earthquakes than other sections of the fault. However, researchers have concluded that large magnitude earthquakes are possible in the area and have happened in the past
Catch up on Graig Graziosi’s report here.
One dead, at least 92 injured as reports of casualties emerge
Wednesday 16 March 2022 21:22 , Justin Vallejo
At least one person died and another 92 were injured in the aftermath of Japan’s earthquake, according to NHK World.
The casualties, in the city of Soma, in Fukushima, were confirmed by officials in the city, the Japanese news outlet reported.
Tsunami warning lifted in Japan, no danger in the US
Wednesday 16 March 2022 21:16 , Justin Vallejo
Tsunami warnings were lifted for the east of Japan after a 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Fukushima.
The earthquake and its 5.6 magnitude aftershock were felt across most of the country’s east coast, with 39,000 people ordered to evacuate shoreline areas.
Small tsunami waves of between 20 to 30 centimetres were reported in Sendai and the Port of Ishinomaki.
The US tsunami warning centre, meanwhile, said was currently no danger for Alaska or its West Coast states of California, Washington or Oregon. Canada’s British Colombia was also said to be free of danger.
How big was the Fukushima earthquake? See how it compares to the top 10 most powerful on record
Wednesday 16 March 2022 20:31 , Justin Vallejo
The 7.3 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Fukushima was within 100 miles of the 2011 disaster, but considerably less powerful than the 9.3 magnitude quake that triggered tsunamis and led to the meltdown of the Daichi power plant.
These are the top 10 most powerful earthquakes on record, according to the US Geological Survey:
How big was Fukushima earthquake? See how it compares to the top 10 most powerful on record
The 7.3 magnitude earthquake off the coast Fukushima was within 100 miles of the 2011 disaster, but considerably less powerful than the 9.3 magnitude quake that triggered tsunamis and led to the meltdown of the Daichi power plant.
These are the top 10 most powerful earthquakes on record, according to the
9.5 magnitude Valdiva Earthquake off the coast of Chile in 1960
9.2 magnitude Great Alaska Earthquake of 1964
9.1 magnitude Indian Ocean earthquake off the coast of Sumatra in 2004
9.1 magnitude Tohoku Earthquake off the east coast of Japan in 2011
9.0 magnitude Kamchatka earthquake off the coast of Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula in 1952
8.8 magnitude Maule Earthquake off the coast of Chile n 2010
8.8 magnitude Equador-Colombia Earthquake of 1906
8.7 magnitude Rat Island Earthquake, near Alaska, in 1965
8.6 magnitude earthquake in Tibet, near the Eastern Xizang-India border region, in 1959
8.6 magnitude earthquake recorded off the west coast of Northern Sumatra in 2012
Water pumps at Fukushima nuclear reactor halted
Wednesday 16 March 2022 19:45 , Justin Vallejo
Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority reported the water pumps at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant’s spent pool have been halted.
The agency said pumps went offline for spent pools at reactor number one and three.
Pumps for reactor #3 were restarted soon after the earthquake, while the agency said there was “enough time” to restart pumps for reactor #1. Fire alarms went off at the plant’s #5 turbine.
Three of the six reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Okuma melted down in 2011 after the tsunami flooded emergency power generators.
11 years later, fate of Fukushima reactor cleanup uncertain
Wednesday 16 March 2022 19:30 , Justin Vallejo
Eleven years after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was ravaged by a meltdown following a massive earthquake and tsunami, the plant now looks like a sprawling construction site. Most of the radioactive debris blasted by the hydrogen explosions has been cleared and the torn buildings have been fixed.
During a recent visit to see firsthand the cleanup of one of the world’s worst nuclear meltdowns, helmeted men wore regular work clothes and surgical masks, instead of previously required hazmat coveralls and full-face masks, as they dug near a recently reinforced oceanside seawall.
Nearly 900 tons of melted nuclear fuel remain inside the three damaged reactors, and its removal is an unprecedented challenge involving 10 times the amount of damaged fuel removed in the Three Mile Island cleanup following its 1979 partial core melt.
Read more at the Associated Press:
ICYMI: Powerful earthquake hits Japan off Fukushima coast as tsunami warning issued
Wednesday 16 March 2022 19:00 , Justin Vallejo
The tremor had a magnitude of 7.3 and hit in the ocean around the northeast of the country, meteorologists said.
It rocked large parts of eastern Japan - including Tokyo, where buildings violently shook and power was cut off - as it struck around 11.30pm local time (2pm GMT) on Wednesday.
People called it the “longest” and “scariest” earthquake they had ever experienced as they took to social media after it happened.
Japan earth quake in pictures
Wednesday 16 March 2022 18:27 , Justin Vallejo
Dramatic images are beginning to emerge from Japan following the 7.3 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Fukushima. See the latest below:
BREAKING: Japan warns of another earthquake ‘within a week’
Wednesday 16 March 2022 17:54 , Justin Vallejo
Japan has warned that another earthquake of “similar intensity” could hit the country within the next week, according to Kyodo News.
Bullet train reportedly derails as rail lines suspended
Wednesday 16 March 2022 17:48 , Justin Vallejo
A bullet train has reportedly “derailed” in Japan following the 7.3 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Fukushima.
Japan Rail East has suspended rail lines and is investigating reports of the Tohoku Shinkansen bullet train derailment, according to Bloomberg’s Gearoid Reidy.
There were reportedly no injuries among the 96 passengers and crew.
There are no reports right now of injuries from the potential JR East bullet train derailment, NHK says.
Trains can brake and shut down automatically when an earthquake early warning alert hits, as in this quake.
— Gearoid Reidy リーディー・ガロウド (@GearoidReidy) March 16, 2022
Watch: Tokyo shakes as 7.3 and 5.6 magnitude earthquakes rock Japan
Wednesday 16 March 2022 17:33 , Justin Vallejo
Two earthquakes about an hour apart left buildings shaking in Japan and an estimated two million people without power across the country.
A 7.3 magnitude earthquake about 11:30 pm local time on Wednesday night was followed by a milder 5.6 magnitude aftershock shortly before 1am Thursday.
Video emerging online shows the city skyline shaking, power going out and explosions or flashes in the distance.
Strong M7.3 earthquake rocking Fukushima, this is my desk in Tokyo now - you can hear the whole apartment building shaking. Scary. pic.twitter.com/UiiM7yzmkN
— John Daub (ONLY in JAPAN) (@ONLYinJAPANtv) March 16, 2022