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Trains halted, scores injured as Japan cleans up after strong quake in Fukushima

Trains halted, scores injured as Japan cleans up after strong quake in Fukushima

Scattered goods caused by an earthquake are seen at a supermarket in Tsuruoka, Yamagata prefecture, Japan June 19, 2019, in this photo taken by Kyodo. Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERS

IWAKI, Japan: Trains were halted over a wide swath of northeastern Japan on Sunday (Feb 14) after more than 100 people were injured in an earthquake that appeared to be an aftershock from the devastating quake that hit the area in 2011.

The 7.3-magnitude quake struck shortly before midnight on Saturday and cracked walls, shattered windows and set off a landslide in Fukushima, the area closest to the epicentre.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said the quake was believed to be an aftershock from the 9.0-magnitude Mar 11, 2011 earthquake that set off a tsunami and the world's worst nuclear accident in 25 years. The agency warned of aftershocks for several days.

Collapsed exterior wall of a building caused by a strong earthquake are seen on the street in Iwaki, Fukushima prefecture, Japan February 14, 2021. REUTERS/Issei Kato

The quake shook buildings in the Japanese capital Tokyo hundreds of kilometres away.

Though hundreds of thousands of buildings lost electricity just after the quake, which struck at 11.08pm (10.08pm Singapore time), power had been restored to most by Sunday morning.

READ: Strong quake hits off Japan coast, triggering blackouts

Several thousand households remained without water, though, and residents lined up with plastic jugs to receive water from trucks.

The power outages did not affect any of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines that arrived on Friday for inoculations that are to start this week, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told a Sunday morning news conference.

At least 104 people were injured, NHK national television said, including several who suffered fractures, but there were no reported deaths.

A staff member of library tries to restore books after they fell from book shelves by a strong earthquake at Iwaki City library in Iwaki, Fukushima prefecture, Japan February 14, 2021. REUTERS/Issei Kato
Hidenori Yahiro, 56, an owner of a bar, cleans up broken bottles and cups at his bar after a strong quake in Iwaki, Fukushima prefecture Japan, February 14, 2021. REUTERS/Issei Kato

There was no tsunami, and no reports of irregularities at any nuclear plants. NHK reported that about 160ml of water had leaked from a spent fuel pool at the Fukushima Dai-Ni reactor but that this presented no danger.

The quake revived memories of the 2011 monster quake, which devastated a wide swath of the Pacific coastline and killed nearly 20,000.

Shinkansen bullet train service to much of northern Japan was suspended due to damage along the tracks. Service along one line was not expected to be restored until at least Tuesday.

Earthquakes are common in Japan, one of the world's most seismically active areas. Japan accounts for about 20 per cent of the world's earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater.

Source: Reuters


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