Magnitude 7.0 earthquake causes temporary blackouts and suspends trains in Japan
A strong earthquake off northern Japan has shaken buildings in Tokyo and triggered a tsunami advisory for a part of the country’s northern coast.
No major damage was reported, but several people had minor injuries.
The US Geological Survey put the strength of the quake at magnitude 7.0 and depth at 33.5 miles. The shaking started just before 6.10pm local time.
The quake was centred off the coast of Miyagi prefecture, in the country’s north-east, which was heavily damaged during the huge earthquake and tsunami of 2011 that left more than 18,000 people dead.
Japan’s Meteorological Agency issued an advisory for a tsunami up to a metre in height for Miyagi prefecture immediately after the quake, but lifted it about 90 minutes later.
Officials there said there were no immediate reports of damage.
The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said seven people were injured in Miyagi prefecture, including two elderly women — one who was banged in the head by a door and the other who was hit in the shoulder by furniture. In neighbouring Iwate prefecture, a woman in her 50s fell and cut her mouth.
The quake caused a temporary blackout in some areas and suspended bullet train services in the area, according to the East Japan Railway Company.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority said no abnormalities have been detected at nuclear power plants in the region, including the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which suffered meltdowns in the 2011 quake and tsunami.
In mid-February, another powerful quake in the region killed one person and left more than 180 injured, though most injuries were minor. The quake damaged roads, train lines and thousands of houses. It also caused minor damage to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
A Japan Meteorological Agency spokesperson said Saturday’s quake is considered an aftershock of the 9.0 magnitude quake in 2011.
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