Two small tsunami waves hit the coast after the 7.3 earthquake. Millions were without power. Three hours after the quake there were no reports of casualties and the extent of the damage was unclear.
Here’s what you need to know:
A powerful earthquake strikes Off the coast of Japan.
Japan says it has so far detected no abnormalities at nuclear power plants.
Japan ordered new safety measures for nuclear reactors after the Fukushima disaster.
Disaster struck a city near Fukushima in 2011. Now residents have evacuated again.
Quake leaves 2 million people without power in Japan.
Early tsunami waves hit two places in Japan.
After another big quake, memories of 2011 are resurfacing.
TOKYO — A powerful earthquake hit off the coast of Japan late on Wednesday night, and for several hours residents in the Fukushima region that was battered by a devastating tsunami just over 11 years ago waited to see if another one was coming.
The magnitude 7.3 earthquake hit at 11:36 p.m. and the shaking lasted more than two minutes. It was felt as far as Tokyo. The Japan Meteorological Agency issued tsunami advisories for Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures and residents were warned that waves of up to 1 meter could hit the coasts.
They were canceled early Thursday.
There were reports of power outages in more than two million homes in the Kanto region and numerous train lines had suspended operations.
Nuclear power plants were under inspection early Thursday. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said officials were still assessing the extent of the damage.
Close to 49,000 people were advised to evacuate the Miyagi area.
The intensity of the earthquake equaled that of the Kobe earthquake of 1995, which killed more than 6,000 people. The difference is that the epicenter of Wednesday’s earthquake was about 60 kilometers below the sea.
After the 8.9-magnitude earthquake and tsunami in 2011, three reactors at the Daiichi plant melted down after tsunami waves breached the power station’s protective sea walls and inundated the facility.
Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority inspected several nuclear power plants after a magnitude 7.3 earthquake hit late Wednesday night off the coast of Fukushima, the site of a nuclear meltdown in 2011.
As of 1 a.m. Thursday, the authority said that it had not detected any abnormalities at plants in Fukushima; in Onagawa in Miyagi Prefecture; or in Tokai in Ibaraki Prefecture.
Tokyo Electric Power Company said that a fire alarm was still sounding in one of the reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, where the 2011 meltdown occurred. The plant has been shut down and undergoing an enormous cleanup since the disaster 11 years ago.
Water pumps for spent fuel cooling pools at a separate power plant in Fukushima were down early Thursday, but Tokyo Electric said there was still water in the pools for now, and that one pump had returned to operation before 2 a.m., according to NHK, the public broadcaster.
The quake left millions of Japanese without power, but Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said that Tokyo Electric was expected to be able to quickly restore service.
Source: The New York Times