Update: The Japan Meteorological Agency said the recent quake off the coast of Fukushima was an aftershock of 2011’s 9.0 earthquake that launched an enormous tsunami. Only a few dozen people were injured, and no one seriously. The weather agency advised residents to proceed with caution over the next week, when another large earthquake could be likely.
A breaking news flash from the AP reports that a preliminary 7.3 magnitude earthquake has hit off the east coast of Japan, near Fukushima. Adding to the critical need for emergency response is the forecast of a tsunami. The tsunami warning urges people to immediately seek higher ground.
The Japan Meteorological Agency says the quake struck around 6 a.m (4 p.m. Eastern time) at a depth of 10 kilometers (6 miles). The U.S. Geological Survey measured the magnitude at 6.9. Slight discrepancy in data at this early stage is not uncommon. The earthquake shook buildings in Tokyo, 240 kilometers (150 miles) southwest of the epicenter.
No immediate reports of damage or injuries have been reported. The operator at the Fukushima nuclear plant reports no abnormalities.
Area Experienced Massive Quake and Tsunami in 2011
In 2011, a 9.1 undersea earthquake known by locals as “the Great East Japan earthquake” struck the east coast of Japan, the same approximate area of today’s events, and triggered a tsunami. The tsunami’s effects resulted in nuclear accidents, including meltdowns of three reactors in the Fukushima nuclear power plant complex. At least 18,000 people were killed.
We’ll update as more information comes in.