POWERFUL EARTHQUAKE OFF COAST OF JAPAN
Same area as deadly
quake & tsunami last year
December 07, 2012
(INTERNATIONAL) -- A powerful earthquake hit off the northeastern coast of Japan Friday, in the same area as another devastating quake and tsunami struck in March of last year that killed nearly 20,000 people and spawned a nuclear power plant emergency that resulted in an explosion and releases of radiation.
MAP shows area where quake hit. LARGER VERSION BELOW.
LARGER MAP shows area where quake hi. t CLICK TO ENLARGERSION BELOW.
There were no immediate reports of death or injury.
The U.S. Geological Survey and Japanese newspapers reported the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.3, that it struck at 5:18 p.m. and that Tsunami advisories and warnings were issued for the northeast coastal area of Honshu, the same area that was at the heart of the devastation from the March 2011 disaster. The Tsunami warnings were cancelled a few hours later.
The USGS reported three aftershocks in the same area, of 6.2, 5.5 and 4.7 magnitudes.
The 9.0 magnitude quake that hit on March 11, 2011 killed more than 15,000 people and left more than 3,200 missing.
The Japan Daily Press referred to the event as, “A chilling sense of déjà vu has descended amongst the people living in the coastal region of northeastern Japan, as a 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast. This is the same region where last year’s devastating earthquake and ensuing tsunami crippled the Fukushima nuclear plant and claimed many lives.”
According to the Japan Times Online newspaper “a 1-meter (3.3 feet) tsunami was observed in the Ayukawa area of Ishinomaki City in Miyagi Prefecture at 6:02 p.m.” and that Seismic activity could be felt in Tokyo and the vicinity, where buildings swayed for several minutes.
Evacuations were ordered from some of the affected areas and a news anchor on the state-run broadcast TV network NHK told viewers: "Remember last year's quake and tsunami. Call on your neighbors and flee to higher ground now!" according to the BBC.
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda cancelled campaigning for the 16 December election to return to his office.
The quake's focus was 240 km (149 miles) off the Pacific coastline of Miyagi Prefecture at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles).
Seismic activity could be felt in Tokyo and the vicinity, where buildings swayed for several minutes and Tohoku Electric Power Co. said no “abnormalities” were reported at its nuclear plant in Onagawa in Miyagi right after the quake hot and NHK was reporting no damage has occurred at nuclear power plants in the Tohoku area, according to Japan Times Online.
The devastating March 2011 quake and Tsunami, which measured 9.0, resulted in core fuel-rod meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear power plant which in turn caused radiation to leak, followed by mass evacuations and contamination by radiation of food and water.