Powerful earthquake strikes off Japan's Fukushima prefecture
Published Monday, November 21, 2016 4:21PM EST
Last Updated Monday, November 21, 2016 9:28PM EST
A large earthquake struck off the coast of Japan’s troubled Fukushima prefecture early Tuesday.
Registered at a magnitude of 7.4 by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), tsunami warnings were temporarily issued for Fukushima and neighbouring Miyagi prefectures, with the JMA urging residents to immediately evacuate coastal areas and reach higher ground.
Although waves of up to three metres had been expected to strike the area, the tallest were measured at only 1.4 metres, according to the JMA.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has measured the earthquake at a magnitude of 6.9.
The quake, which struck around 6 a.m. local time, occurred 37 km off Fukushima’s coast at a depth of 11.3 km, according to the USGS. In the hours following, there were at least seven large aftershocks, ranging in magnitude from 4.4 to 5.4, the USGS reports.
The initial earthquake even shook buildings in Tokyo, some 240 km southwest of the epicentre.
The U.S. National Weather Surface (NWS) said tsunamis were not expected to reach the Pacific coasts of Canada and the United States.
Located north of Tokyo, Fukushima prefecture was devastated by an offshore earthquake in March 2011. The 9.1 magnitude quake caused widespread damage and triggered a massive tsunami that reached heights of over 40 metres and destroyed a nuclear power plant. Roughly 18,000 people were killed in the disaster.
According to Japanese public broadcaster NHK, no abnormalities have been observed at the troubled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant following Tuesday morning’s quake. A pump supplying cooling water to a spent fuel pool at another nearby nuclear power plant temporarily failed, operator TEPCO reported, though they say it is now working again.
Canadians in Japan: for emergency assistance, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 81 (3) 5412-6200 2/3— travel.gc.ca (@TravelGoC) November 21, 2016
With files from the Associated Press