Home NewsWorld News 2 dead after 7.3-magnitude earthquake hits coast off Japan’s Fukushima Prefecture

2 dead after 7.3-magnitude earthquake hits coast off Japan’s Fukushima Prefecture

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2 dead after 7.3-magnitude earthquake hits coast off Japan's Fukushima Prefecture

One of the dead was a man in his 60s who lived in the city of Soma, the local disaster prevention office said Thursday.

A tsunami warning was issued following Wednesday’s quake off the coast of Fukushima and Miyagi, but it was lifted on Thursday morning, with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida later saying “no anomalies” were found at any of the country’s nuclear power plants.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said the quake had an initial epicentre of 60 kilometers (37 miles). It warned of a tsunami height of 1 metre above normal tide levels, with the initial waves reaching shore around midnight local time (11am ET).

About an hour and a half after the earthquake, an 8-inch tsunami struck the coastline of Japan’s Miyagi prefecture, according to the agency, which urged people in affected areas to stay away from the coast.

Kishida told a news conference that a bullet train derailed near Fukushima due to the earthquake, but no casualties were reported. 78 people were trapped for four hours after the high-speed train derailed, but escaped safely through emergency exits, public broadcaster NHK reported.

Those injured in the quake have been taken to hospitals in Soma, Fukushima, Kyodo news agency reported, but did not specify how many were injured. Tokyo Electric Power said that power has been restored throughout Tokyo.

The Bureau of Meteorology on Thursday urged the public to watch for more seismic activity in the coming days. Masaki Nakamura, an official with the agency, urged people in the affected areas to stay away from the coast and not enter the sea until the tsunami warning was lifted. He also urged people to be vigilant about the risk of mudslides.

People walk on the street during a power outage in Tokyo.

The epicenter of Wednesday’s quake was 55 miles (89 kilometers) from the epicenter of the devastating 2011 quake that triggered a 30-foot-tall tsunami that damaged several nuclear reactors in the region — leading to the 1986 Chernobyl event. The worst nuclear disaster in history. More than 22,000 people were killed or missing in that disaster. The initial earthquake and tsunami, as well as post-disaster health from radiation leaks, took their toll.

The 2011 Japan earthquake was 9.1 in magnitude, about 63 times stronger than Wednesday’s quake, and released about 500 times the energy of Wednesday’s quake.

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