At least 150 people were injured over the weekend in one of the strongest earthquakes since the 2011 tsunami in northeastern Japan. There were no deaths this time, and there was no danger of a tsunami. The tremor off the coast of Fukushima and Miyagi on Saturday around 11:08 p.m. (local time) had a magnitude of 7.3.
The prolonged tremor was felt in Tokyo as well as in many other areas of Japan, from Hokkaido in the north to Hiroshima in the west. According to the assessment of the national meteorological authority, it was an aftershock of the severe earthquake of magnitude 9.0, which triggered a massive tsunami on March 11, 2011 in the same region. At that time, 18,500 people were torn to their deaths on “3/11”, and a disaster occurred at the Fukushima Daichi nuclear power plant.
No reports of damage to nuclear power plants
This time, according to the operator, water spilled over into a cooling pool, but radioactivity did not leak. There were also no reports of damage from other currently decommissioned nuclear power plants. As a result of the shock, the electricity supply in almost one million households temporarily went out, but was largely restored by Sunday morning (local time).
There have been several aftershocks since the night. The authorities also warned for the coming days with further, sometimes strong, tremors. The earthquake on Saturday night was the strongest off the coast in the northeast of the country since April 7, 2011, according to the weather authority. TV pictures showed damage to some buildings and a landslide. In some stores, the goods fell off the shelves. In Miyagi and Fukushima, water supplies were cut in thousands of households by the quake.
Citizens’ water supply ensured
The government ordered the armed forces to help with the water supply to the citizens. Venues for the Olympic Games planned for the summer have apparently remained undamaged, local media reported. These include the Azuma Stadium in Fukushima, where baseball and softball will be played, and the soccer stadium in Miyagi.
The operation of high-speed trains has been temporarily stopped. Mostly minor injuries as a result of falls or glass splinters occurred in Fukushima and Miyagi as well as in the Tokyo area.
Many people were suddenly reminded of the catastrophe almost exactly ten years ago. “It was scary,” a resident of Fukushima told reporters who had pictures falling from the walls. The shock felt longer than ten years ago, said another resident and added: “I wondered if it would never stop”.
Establishment of emergency shelters
Dozens of emergency shelters were set up in the region in a flash. According to the authorities, around 200 people sought protection there. It was also important to protect yourself against the spread of the coronavirus. A government spokesman said a first batch of vaccines from the US company Pfizer and its German partner Biontech, which arrived on Friday, was not affected by the temporary power outages as a result of the earthquake.
The government approved the vaccine on Sunday, which means that vaccination can now also begin in Japan in the coming days. The center of the earthquake was located in front of the two provinces of Fukushima and Miyagi at a depth of around 55 kilometers below the sea floor.
Since it was an enormous quake on March 11, 2011, it was “not surprising” that there will be an aftershock of this strength even ten years later, Kenji Satake of the Earthquake Research Center of the University of Tokyo was quoted as saying. The island kingdom of Japan is one of the most earthquake-prone countries in the world. Four tectonic plates meet in its vicinity, the Pacific, North American, Eurasian and Filipino plates. This causes tremors again and again. (dpa)
Source: Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger – Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger by www.ksta.de.
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