Fukushima: 7.1 magnitude natural disaster hits Japan

Tanya Simon
February 13, 2021

A strong 7.3-magnitude earthquake struck off Japan's east coast late Saturday, rattling the region hit by the powerful 2011 quake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown just weeks before the disaster's 10th anniversary.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said the quake was centered about 55 kilometers (34 miles) beneath the ocean, changing it from the earlier estimate for 60 kilometers (37 miles).

Tremors were also felt in Tokyo, to the southwest.

There were also no reports of irregularities at the Tokai nuclear plant north of Tokyo, public broadcaster NHK said, though a fire has been reported in Fukushima, according to the Kyodo news agency.

File folders and other items are seen scattered on the floor of the Hirono town office in Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, on February 13, 2021.

There is no danger of a tsunami, according to NHK TV.

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The Japan Meteorological Agency said the quake had a magnitude of 7.3, raising it from a preliminary magnitude of 7.1.

Local media reported the quake threw dishes from shelves in houses in the region, but there were no immediate reports of damage. The government has set up a crisis management cell at the prime minister's office, and Prime Minister Suga has instructed the government to survey damage and rescue any victims.

Saturday's quake was followed by aftershocks, including a 4.7 magnitude jolt, JMA said.

The quake also caused the country's worst nuclear disaster - three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant melted down, releasing radioactive materials into the air and more than 100,000 people were evacuated from the area. He said there were no reports of major injuries.

Some people were taking shelter at evacuation centers, and were being warned to practice social distancing because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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