Magnitude 7.3 quake strikes near site of Japan's Fukushima nuclear disaster


The M7.0 quake, which was reportedly felt in Tokyo, also knocked out power in parts of Fukushima, Miyagi, Iwate, and Tochigi prefectures, according to media reports. It said crews did not detect radiation leaks or other abnormalities at the destroyed Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

A magnitude 7.1 natural disaster struck off the coast of eastern Japan, close to Fukushima, late Saturday evening but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

Despite the relatively large size of the latest quake with the focus off Fukushima Prefecture, it was unlikely to cause tsunami because it had a deep epicenter of about 55 kilometers below the sea surface, Satake said.

There were no immediate reports of injuries. More than 20,000 people died or went missing in the quake and tsunami, while hundreds of thousands more lost their homes.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said the quake had a magnitude of 7.3, raising it from a preliminary magnitude of 7.1.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga was called to his office, and broadcaster NHK said the government would set up a special liaison office to coordinate with affected regions.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato addressed reporters after midnight and said evaluations were under way.

Kato said that some trains in northeastern Japan had stopped running, and that other damage was still being checked.

Television footage also showed broken glass from shop fronts.

The Japan Atomic Power Co.'s inactive Tokai No. 2 nuclear power plant also remain unscathed. "And another quake", she tweeted about an aftershock. Among the hardest hit areas is the city of Soma in Fukushima, roughly 40 km north of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, and the Zao ski resort in Miyagi Prefecture.

The US Geological Survey registered the quake as magnitude 7.0 at a depth of 54 kilometres.

Japan often suffers earthquakes, as it is located within the Ring of Fire - a notorious area in the Pacific Ocean with extremely high seismic activity.