Millions without electricity: Japan quake after tsunami warning

After violent aftershocks late Wednesday (local time), a reporter reported that there was a power outage in the Japanese capital. Broadcaster NHK initially gave the quake a magnitude of 7.3. Authorities had ordered evacuations for parts of the coastal region in Miyagi prefecture after a 20-centimetre-high tsunami struck the port city of Ishinomaki in the country’s northeast.

The weather agency has warned of a one meter high tidal wave. Local media reported that there was also a power outage in Fukushima. News channel NHK reported that train services were disrupted in many parts of the country. According to NHK, a bullet train derailed in Miyagi Prefectural Area. In Tokyo, the government set up an emergency worker. According to energy supplier Tepco, about two million homes nationwide had no electricity.

Tepco: No irregularities in nuclear power plants

The status of the nuclear power plant is currently under investigation. In addition to fire alarms at the Fukushima 1 nuclear power plant, pumps in several cooling pools at the Fukushima 2 nuclear power plant have been turned off, the agency said. But there is emergency power. Tepco, the operator of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, initially calmed down: personnel at the nuclear power plant destroyed in the 2011 tsunami had not discovered any irregularities. The nuclear power plant is still in the phase of closure, which will last for many years. A government representative also insisted that there were no irregularities.

The Japanese Air Force deployed several jets to gather intelligence and assess initial air damage. According to TV broadcaster NHK, there have been reports of fires, damage to buildings and falling rocks in the city of IITate in Fukushima Prefecture.

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Many were surprised in their sleep

Many of the Japanese were already asleep when the walls suddenly shook just before midnight. A tsunami warning was issued soon after. In Tokyo, the government immediately established an emergency staff. According to preliminary information from the GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences, the earthquake was at a depth of 50 kilometers in the sea.

The earthquake again showed the islanders what dangers await them. A strong earthquake can happen at any time. At some point, many feared that there would be a severe earthquake in Tokyo. Japan is one of the most earthquake prone countries in the world.

Worst-case memories of 2011

The severe earthquake in the North-East brought back memories of the devastating devastation that suddenly occurred eleven years ago. On March 11, 2011, a massive tsunami struck the Pacific Coast and flattened everything: cities, villages and vast areas of farming were submerged under water and mud. The flood took the lives of about 20,000 people.

In Fukushima, the result was a super meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. It became a symbol of the triple disaster known worldwide as “3/11” – even though none of the deaths were attributed to radiation.

almost exactly in place of a nuclear power plant

According to the Potsdamer Geoforschungszentrum (GFZ), the epicenter of the quake was just below Fukushima, where the nuclear catastrophe occurred eleven years ago. “It is of medium size by Japanese standards,” said seismologist Marko Bohnhoff.

Although the earthquake at a depth of more than 50 kilometers was much weaker than in 2011 with a magnitude of more than 9, it would have caused considerable tremors: they expected tremors from 8 to 9 on a scale of 1 to 12, the scientist explained.

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Expert: Major earthquake unlikely

Bohnhoff insisted that this was not an unexpected event. The Pacific Ocean’s tectonic plate slides beneath Japan, which stops when the plates become trapped. Then, over the course of years or centuries, the energy accumulates and is suddenly released. This cannot be ruled out, but it is unlikely that a major earthquake will occur immediately.

The country is often hit by earthquakes. Strict construction regulations are designed to ensure that buildings can withstand strong vibrations. But the memory of the triple disaster of 2011 still exists.


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