Japanese earthquake rattles buildings and nerves


A strong earthquake off northeastern Japan shook buildings and rattled nerves but triggered only a comparatively small tsunami. Japanese officials said there were no immediate reports of death or injury.

The magnitude 7.3 quake triggered a one metre high tsunami which struck land in the Miyagi prefecture. Power stations and refineries in the area reported normal operations however.

Yesterday’s strong quake shook buildings as far away as Tokyo. Comparisons were immediately made with last year’s Fukushima disaster but the wave was much smaller and no serious damage was reported.

Thousands of coastal residents were ordered to evacuate to higher ground, but the tsunami warning was lifted two hours after the tremor struck.

The March 2011 magnitude 9 earthquake and subsequent tsunami killed nearly 20,000 people and triggered the world’s worst nuclear crisis in 25 years when the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant was destroyed, leaking radiation into the sea and air. Workers at the plant were ordered to move to safety after yesterday’s quake. Tokyo Electric Power Co, the operator of the Fukushima nuclear plant, reported no irregularities at its nuclear plants.

All but two of Japan’s 50 nuclear reactors have been idled since the 2011 disaster as the government reviews safety.

– (Reuters)