By Phred Dvorak and George Nishiyama
Kyodo via Reuters
TOKYO — A 6.9-magnitude earthquake struck off Japan near the Fukushima nuclear power plants that were crippled by a disastrous temblor in 2011, triggering tsunami waves along the country’s Pacific coast.
Described by the Japan Meteorological Agency as an aftershock of the March 2011 earthquake, Tuesday’s temblor disrupted regional transport networks and some factory operations. However, around six hours after the quake, Japan public broadcaster NHK hadn’t reported any major damage or casualties.
Earthquake Strikes off Coast of Japan
A 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck Iwaki City, in Japan's Fukushima prefecture, early Tuesday morning. Video from Japanese broadcaster NHK shows the moment the quake strikes, followed by sirens warning residents to evacuate due to a tsunami warning. Photo: AP
The earthquake hit just before 6 a.m. Japan time, shaking buildings as far away as Tokyo. Shortly after 8 a.m., NHK reported a wave of nearly 5 feet at Sendai port. Other areas along the coastline reported lower tsunami levels. Tsunami alerts for Fukushima and the neighboring province of Miyagi were later downgraded to advisories.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. /zigman2/quotes/202771076/delayed JP:9501 -3.07% , which operates the Fukushima plants where tsunami flooding after the 2011 earthquake caused multiple reactors to melt down, said a 3-foot wave had hit the coast by the Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant. That plant, as well as the nearby Fukushima Daiichi plant where the meltdowns occurred, have been shut since the March 2011 earthquake. The company said it had to restart a cooling mechanism for one of the pools where nuclear rods were being stored after it had shut down automatically. It said it hadn’t detected any other problems with major equipment.
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