BREAKING NEWS: APRIL 7th – A 7.4-magnitude earthquake hit Japan’s northeastern coast Thursday.
The temblor has prompted a tsunami warning for the area already devastated by last month’s twin natural disasters.
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Japan was rattled by a strong aftershock Thursday night nearly a month after a devastating earthquake and tsunami flattened the northeastern coast.
The Japan meteorological agency initially issued a tsunami warning for a wave of up to one metre, but that was later lifted.
The warning was issued for a coastal area already torn apart by last month’s tsunami, which is believed to have killed some 25,000 people and has sparked an ongoing crisis at a nuclear power plant.
Announcers on Japan’s public broadcaster NHK told coastal residents to run to higher ground and away from the shore. Residents along the northeast coast were being evacuated.
Officials said Thursday’s quake was a 7.1-magnitude and hit 40 kilometres under the water and off the coast of Miyagi prefecture. The quake that preceded last month’s tsunami was a 9.0-magnitude.
Buildings as far away as Tokyo shook for about a minute. In Ichinoseki, inland from Japan’s eastern coast, buildings shook violently, knocking items from shelves and toppling furniture, but there was no heavy damage to the buildings themselves. Immediately after the quake, all power was cut. The city went dark, but cars drove around normally and people assembled in the streets despite the late hour.
Officials at the tsunami-ravaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant said there’s no immediate sign of new problems caused by the aftershock. Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said it evacuated two workers there and seven at a sister plant to the south that was not badly damaged.