Japan lifts tsunami advisory after strong quake off northeast
The Saturday quake came not long after Japan was 10 years after the catastrophic 9.0 magnitude earthquake in March 2011
Japan’s weather agency overturned a tsunami recommendation about an hour after a strong 7.2 magnitude earthquake off the country’s northeast coast on Saturday that caused no immediate damage or injury.
The quake occurred at 6:09 p.m. (0909 GMT) in Pacific waters off the Miyagi region with a depth of 60 kilometers, the JMA announced and issued an indication of tsunami waves of about one meter.
Thousands of households received evacuation warnings because of the tsunami alert, which was lifted around 7:30 p.m. (1030 GMT), prompting municipalities to end evacuation operations as well.
The country’s local utilities and nuclear authority said the region’s nuclear power plants were not abnormal after the last quake, although local railroad companies ceased operations, including the bullet-speed Shinkansen bullet trains.
The US Geological Service put the magnitude of the quake at 7.0.
The quake and tsunami recommendation comes not long after Japan’s decade since the catastrophic 9.0 earthquake on March 11, 2011, which triggered a deadly tsunami and the Fukushima meltdown.
The so-called triple disaster affected the northeast of Japan, including Miyagi.
Some residents of coastal communities said they fled to a higher level after the appraisal was issued on Saturday night.
“I remember that day 10 years ago,” a man in Ishinomaki city told the national broadcaster NHK as he fled to a park on a hill.
“Based on our experience that day, I moved quickly. My heart is beating fast,” he said.
Takashi Yokota, an official with the Miyagi Prefecture Civil Protection Bureau, said there were no immediate reports of damage.
“We did not receive an immediate report of damage or injury following the earthquake and tsunami notice. However, we are still collecting information,” he told AFP.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority said there had been no reports of anomalies in the area’s nuclear facilities, including the crippled Fukushima Daiichi Plant, Onagawa Nuclear Power Plant, and various smaller facilities and experimental nuclear reactors.
A spokeswoman for Tokyo Electric Power, which is currently dismantling the Fukushima reactors, said the facility’s cooling system was functioning normally.
“We are still checking on the spot whether the buildings are damaged,” she told AFP.
Last month, the region was also hit by another powerful quake that injured dozens.
As a result, it was found that one person died trembling in what, according to meteorologists, was an aftershock of the 2011 quake.
Japan lies on the Pacific Ring of Fire, an arc of intense seismic activity that stretches across Southeast Asia and across the Pacific Basin.
The country is regularly hit by quakes and has strict building codes to ensure that buildings can withstand strong vibrations.
Strong earthquake in Japan triggers landslide and minor injuries (update)
© 2021 AFP
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