Japan hit by earthquake off coast of Fukushima

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Shakemap of the earthquake.
Image: USGS.

At 23:36 JST (14:36 UTC) on Wednesday, an earthquake measuring 7.3 on the moment magnitude scale struck off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture, Japan.

A Shinkansen train was derailed but no resulting injuries were reported, according to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. Elsewhere, injured people were taken to hospital in Sōma for treatment, where local media reported one man had died.

Power outages were temporarily seen as far away as Tokyo, where an estimated 700 thousand people lost electricity before the Tokyo Electric Power Company reported power had been restored.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said a small tsunami was seen at the coast of Miyagi Prefecture approximately one hour after the tremor. The agency has issued a tsunami advisory, warning of water up to 1 meters (3.3 ft) above normal tidal levels. People were urged to stay away from the coast until the end of the advisory.

The earthquake's epicenter was near that of the far more powerful 2011 Tōhoku earthquake which triggered a large tsunami and a nuclear disaster at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Kishida said "no abnormalities" had been reported at any nuclear facility after the current event.