Strong earthquake rocks Japan, triggers tsunami
TOKYO: A strong earthquake centred off the coast of northeastern Japan shook buildings as far away as Tokyo on Friday and triggered a one-metre tsunami in the area devastated by last year’s Fukushima disaster.
The quake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.3, the US Geological Survey said, adding that there was no risk of a widespread tsunami. There were no immediate reports of death or injury.
The March 2011 earthquake and following 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 higher ground after Friday’s quake. Tokyo Electric Power Co, the operator of the Fukushima nuclear plant, reported no irregularities at its nuclear plants. The quake registered a 4 in Tokyo.
The one-metre tsunami hit at Ishinomaki, in Miyagi, at the centre of the devastation from the March 2011 disaster. All Miyagi trains halted operations and Sendai airport, which was flooded by the tsunami last year, closed its runway.
Narita airport outside Tokyo was back in action after a brief closure for safety checks.
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda cancelled campaigning in Tokyo ahead of a December 16 election and was on his way back to his office, but there was no immediate plan to hold a special cabinet meeting.