Japan hit by 7.3 magnitude quake; power supply cut to millions

On Wednesday evening, a huge 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Fukushima in northern Japan, generating a tsunami warning and knocking out electricity to more than 2 million residences in the Tokyo area.

The location lies in northern Japan, which was ravaged 11 years ago by a horrific 9.0 earthquake and tsunami that also resulted in nuclear plant meltdowns.

Although the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center stated that there was no longer a tsunami threat, the Japan Meteorological Agency maintained their low risk advisory.

Tsunami waves of 20 centimetres (8 inches) had already touched the coast in one region, according to NHK national television.

Workers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility, where cooling systems collapsed after the 2011 disaster, detected no irregularities, according to Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, which is decommissioning the plant.

There were no irregularities at two other nuclear power facilities in the area, according to Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno.

The quake struck at 11:36 p.m. at a depth of 60 kilometres beneath the sea, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

The Japanese Air Self-Defense Force said fighter jets were despatched from the Hyakuri base in Ibaraki prefecture, close south of Fukushima, to gather information and assess damage.

According to NHK, there were reports of fire, building damage, and falling rocks in Iitate, Fukushima.

There were no reports of casualties.

The tremor knocked out power to more than 2 million residences in TEPCO’s Tokyo service area, according to the utility’s website.

The earthquake struck eastern Japan, including Tokyo, causing buildings to wobble severely.

The majority of East Japan Railway Co.’s train services have been halted for safety reasons, according to the company.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters that the government was examining the damage and that it will do all possible to aid rescue and relief efforts.

“Please take immediate action to save your life,” Kishida wrote on Twitter.

According to Matsuno, a number of emergency calls were received, and local authorities were scrambling to examine the damage.

“We’re doing everything we can in terms of rescue operations and prioritising people’s lives,” he said.

For the next week, he advised inhabitants in the impacted areas to exercise particular vigilance due to the possibility of strong aftershocks.

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