Update Sat, 13 Feb 2021, 14:29 Big quake in Japan, no tsunami alert! According to the U.S. Tsunami Warning System, there is no threat of a tsunami from today's magnitude 7.2 earthquake in the Pacific 89 km southeast of Sendai, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. We hope that they are right as earthquakes of this size can trigger tsunamis. According to the Japan Meteorological Agency JMA, no tsunami should be expected either, only slight changes in sea level. It is interesting to note that today's quake occurred in almost the same location as the catastrophic Tohoku earthquake from 11 March 2011. In fact, it is likely a late aftershock.
Nearly a million households were left without power, while roads were closed and train services shut down.
A large earthquake shook a broad area across eastern Japan late Saturday night, with its epicenter off the coast of Fukushima, near where three nuclear reactors melted down after a quake and tsunami nearly 10 years ago.
The earthquake left nearly a million households without power across the Fukushima region and forced the closure of roads and suspension of train services. While rattled residents braced for aftershocks, a landslide cut off a chunk of a main artery through Fukushima Prefecture.
Japan’s meteorological service reported the quake’s magnitude as 7.3, up from the initial assessment of 7.1, but said there was no danger of a tsunami.
Coming a little less than a month before the 10th anniversary of what is known as the Great East Japan earthquake and Fukushima nuclear disaster, the quake rattled an area that stretched as far north as Hokkaido to the Chugoku region in western Japan.
The greater Tokyo area felt the quake for about 30 seconds starting at 11:08 p.m., but the shaking was felt most powerfully in Fukushima and Miyagi.
The strong quake was an unnerving reminder of the 8.9-magnitude earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan in 2011, killing more than 16,000 people. After the subsequent nuclear disaster in Fukushima, 164,000 people fled or were evacuated from around the plant.
Saturday’s quake struck as Tokyo and nine other large prefectures are under a state of emergency to contain the coronavirus. Residents are encouraged to work from home and avoid going out at night, while restaurants and bars are closed at 8 each night.
Japan is also preparing to host the summer Olympics, postponed by a year from 2020. The Games are scheduled to open on July 23.
The German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) reported a magnitude 7.2 quake in Japan near Sendai, Sendai Shi, Miyagi, only 13 minutes ago. The earthquake hit late at night on Saturday 13 February 2021 at 11:07 pm local time at a moderately shallow depth of 59 km. The exact magnitude, epicenter, and depth of the quake might be revised within the next few hours or minutes as seismologists review data and refine their calculations, or as other agencies issue their report. A second report was later issued by the United States Geological Survey, which listed it as a magnitude 7.1 earthquake. Other agencies reporting the same quake include Geoscience Australia (GeoAu) at magnitude 7.0, and the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) at magnitude 7.1. Based on the preliminary seismic data, the quake should have been widely felt by almost everyone in the area of the epicenter. It might have caused light to moderate damage. Moderate shaking probably occurred in Namie, located 61 km from the epicenter, Watari, 76 km away, Iwanuma, 79 km away, Kakuda, 79 km away, Ishinomaki, 81 km away, Shiogama, 83 km away, Sendai, 89 km away, and Iwaki, 100 km away.
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