• October 7, 2022

Powerful earthquake strikes northeastern Japan kills 4, more than 90 injured

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Tokyo: A powerful 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Fukushima in northern Japan on Wednesday (March 16, 2022) night, smashing furniture, knocking out power and killing four people. A small tsunami reached shore, but the low-risk advisory was lifted by Thursday morning.

The region is part of northern Japan which was devastated by a deadly 9.0 quake and tsunami 11 years ago that caused nuclear reactor meltdowns, spewing massive radiation that still makes some parts uninhabitable.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told a parliamentary session Thursday morning that four people died during the quake and the cause of their deaths are being investigated, while 97 others were injured. A man in his 60s in Soma city died after falling from the second floor of his house while trying to evacuate, and a man in his 70s panicked and suffered a heart attack, Kyodo News reported earlier.

The Japan Meteorological Agency early Thursday lifted its low-risk advisory for a tsunami along the coasts of Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures. Tsunami waves of 30 centimeters (11 inches) reached shore in Ishinomaki, about 390 kilometers (242 miles) northeast of Tokyo.

The agency upgraded the magnitude of the quake to 7.4 from the initial 7.3, and the depth from 60 kilometers (36 miles) below the sea to 56 kilometers (35 miles).

NHK footage showed broken walls of a department store building fell to the ground and shards of windows scattered on the street near the main train station in the inland prefectural capital of Fukushima city. Roads were cracked and water poured out from pipes underground.

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