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Fukushima Japan earthquake – latest updates: Death toll rises to two people as tsunami threat wanes

Footage shows moment earthquake hits Tokyo and shakes building

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 one person was confirmed dead, and almost 100 injured in the city of Soma, Fukushima, according to city officials reported by Japanese news outlet NHK World.

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.

There was also a fire alarm triggered at a turbine in the building of another reactor, but the nuclear regulator said there were no “abnormalities” with any of the facilities.

Three of the six reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Okuma melted down in 2011 after the tsunami flooded emergency power generators.

A bullet train carrying about 100 passengers and crew derailed between Fukushima and Miyagi, but no injuries were reported by East Japan Railway Co. Rail services were suspended as investigations continued.

More than 2.2 million households were left without power, including 700,000 in Tokyo. Power was later restored to most of them, according to the TEPCO Power Grid and Tohoku Electric Power Network Co.

Japan warned that another earthquake of “similar intensity” could hit the country within the next week.

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VIDEO: Blackouts and falling objects across Japan as earthquake strikes

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.

Josh Marcus17 March 2022 01:06

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A month full of nuclear risks averted

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.

Josh Marcus17 March 2022 00:37

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Comparing Wednesday’s earthquake to the one that caused Fukushima meltdown

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:

Josh Marcus17 March 2022 00:07

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Fukushima earthquake: Two dead and millions without power in 7.3 magnitude quake off Japan coast

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.

Josh Marcus16 March 2022 23:47

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UPDATE: Death toll rises to two in Japanese earthquake and tsunami

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.

Josh Marcus16 March 2022 23:27

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VIDEO: 100m long crack appears in Miyagi expressway after quake

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.

Josh Marcus16 March 2022 23:07

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Quake that caused tsunamis rivaled 1995 Kobe earthquake that killed 6,000

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.

An overview taken on March 2, 1995 of the fire-ravaged area of the port city of Kobe as powerful earthquake measuring 7,02 on the Richter scale rocked Western Japan.

(AFP via Getty Images)

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.

Josh Marcus16 March 2022 22:47

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Scientists worry about earthquake threat from section of California fault line

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.

Josh Marcus16 March 2022 22:27

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One dead, at least 92 injured as reports of casualties emerge

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.

Justin Vallejo16 March 2022 21:22

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Tsunami warning lifted in Japan, no danger in the US

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.

Justin Vallejo16 March 2022 21:16

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