Magnitude 7.3 earthquake off Japan, no tsunami warning

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A 7.3 magnitude underwater earthquake hit off northeastern Japan shortly after 11:00 p.m. local time on Saturday, but no tsunami warning has been triggered and no major damage has yet been reported.

The earthquake, whose magnitude was initially estimated at 7.1 by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) before being recorded, was felt strongly and at length in Tokyo too.

The Kyodo news agency reported a few dozen injured, and media showed images of a highway damaged by a landslide.

Nearly one million homes have been cut off from electricity, and several high-speed train (Shinkansen) links have been cut, the government said.

According to the JMA, the epicenter of the earthquake was located at a depth of 60 kilometers in the Pacific Ocean, off Fukushima, the same area of ​​northeastern Japan hit by the magnitude 9 earthquake of March 11, 2011. , which had caused a gigantic deadly tidal wave.

Magnitude 7.3 earthquake off Japan, no tsunami warning

Almost ten years ago, this disaster left 18,000 dead and missing and seriously damaged the Tepco group’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

“We are still checking, but we have not detected any anomalies around our nuclear power plants, including at Fukushima Daiichi,” a Tepco spokesperson told AFP.

“Upside down”

Government spokesman Katsunobu Kato told reporters that “studies” were being carried out in Fukushima Daiichi, but that initial reports indicated a normal situation at nuclear sites in the affected areas.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga made an emergency visit to his offices in Tokyo, and the government was liaising with the affected departments to assess the toll and monitor the situation.

Images posted on social media showed a store with smashed windows and items fallen off the shelves in a supermarket.

Magnitude 7.3 earthquake off Japan, no tsunami warning

Author Yu Miri, who lives in Minamisoma on the Fukushima coast, tweeted a photo showing books, flowerpots and shelves overturned at her home. “My house is upside down,” she commented.

Located at the crossroads of several large tectonic plates, Japan is regularly affected by earthquakes and has strict building standards so that its buildings are able to withstand strong tremors.

In September 2018, a magnitude 6.6 earthquake hit the island of Hokkaido (north of the archipelago), killing more than 40 people, mainly due to landslides.