Strong quake hits Japan's northeast coast; no tsunami alert

Sunday, 14 Feb, 2021

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.

The quake occurred at 11:07 p.m. with the focus about 55 kilometers below the sea surface off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

No tsunami warning had been issued, the meteorological agency said. It hit at 11:08 p.m. local time and shook buildings in the capital Tokyo and elsewhere.

Local media reported the quake threw dishes from shelves in houses in the region, but there were no immediate reports of damage. Aftershocks have continued to hit the region since.

It hit the Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures, the same areas that were devastated by a more powerful quake that triggered a tsunami and killed over 18,000 people just under 10 years ago, causing a meltdown at a nuclear power plant.

According to a Kyodo News tally, more than 100 people were injured in Miyagi, Fukushima and several other prefectures.

"We urge the people in the affected areas to continuously pay attention to information from entities such as municipalities, be on alert and be ready to act fast and consider weather changes after tomorrow", Suga said. "There were some unconfirmed reports about landslides but we are still checking", Mikihiro Meguro, an official from the Fukushima prefectural government, told AFP.

Video from public broadcaster NHK TV showed some pieces of a building wall had broken off and fallen to the ground.

Japan's Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said it would take several days before the full damage to the nation's cities and towns would be known.

"Casualties and structural damage are being assessed", he told a press conference, but added that parts of the high-speed bullet train network had been suspended because of power outages.

"Surveys are being done at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant", he said. "And another quake", she tweeted about an aftershock. Embankments along the road collapsed, covering the road and burying guardrails in mud, NHK reported. It was not immediately clear if anyone was hurt.

In March 2011, Fukushima and other areas in the northeast of the country were hit by a magnitude 9 quake and tsunami, leading the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to suffer core meltdowns.

Are you living in the region, did you feel the natural disaster?