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Worried Fukushima residents survey damage after strong earthquake

Residents of Japan’s Fukushima woke up on Sunday (February 14) to survey the damage of a strong overnight earthquake that injured dozens and triggered widespread power outages.

There apppeared to be no major damage from the 7.3 magnitude tremour and no tsunami warnings were issued. Its epicentre was off the coast of Fukushima prefecture at a depth of 60 km (36 miles), the Japan Meteorological Agency said. It shook buildings for some time after it hit, shortly after 11:00 p.m. (1400 GMT).’

“It was like an explosion. It shook a lot so all of our tableware fell and cracked,” said 17-year-old high school student Fuga Waragai who was sleeping at the time of the earthquake. He was jolted awake by the earthquake.

Haruo Sasaki, a worker at the Fukushima nuclear power plant who was waiting for the suspended trains to restart to go to work said it reminded him of the March 11, 2011 earthquake which triggered a tsunami and a nuclear meltdown.

“We haven’t had a large one in a while so this was really big,” he said.

There were no irregularities at the Fukushima Daiichi and Daini nuclear power plants, or at the Kahiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant, owner Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings said. The utility also said there was no change in the radiation levels around its plants.

Earthquakes are common in Japan, one of the world’s most seismically active areas. Japan accounts for about 20% of the world’s earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater.

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Topics: Environment
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