Saturday, October 26, 2013
DJ: Moderate Earthquake Rattles Fukushima Area
TOKYO--A moderately strong earthquake struck northern Japan early Saturday, rattling the region that was hit by the massive quake of March 2011 and prompting an advisory for a possible tsunami of up to one meter (3.3 feet).
The quake, registering a magnitude of 7.1, hit the Fukushima area at 2:10 a.m. local time, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. It said the quake was centered in the Pacific Ocean some 290 kilometers (180 miles) off the coast. On the Japan scale of 1-7, it registered a level 4, meaning that it can cause minor damage.
The tsunami advisory said a one-meter wave was expected, covering a wide area of northern Japan, including the Pacific coast area east of Tokyo. National broadcaster NHK said a wave of 30 centimeters (one foot) was detected at the city of Ishinomaki in adjoining Miyagi prefecture one hour after the quake.
There were no reports of damage from the quake and the tsunami waves were not expected to cause any significant damage.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501), which operates the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, said that there were no abnormalities at the stricken facility, but called in workers along the seashore, according to national broadcaster NHK. It said there was no immediate change in radiation levels at the plant.
The Fukushima area was hit by a 9.0 magnitude quake and then a tsunami in March 2011, causing the meltdown of three reactors at the plant and creating the second-worst nuclear accident ever after the Chernobyl disaster of 1986. The cleanup of the facility is expected to take another 30 years.