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

IWAKI, Japan: More than 100 people were injured and trains halted over a wide swathe of northeastern Japan on Sunday (Feb 14) after the region was jolted by a major earthquake in the same area as the Fukushima quake that set off a tsunami nearly 10 years ago.

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.

Aftermath of Earthquake in Fukushima prefecture, Japan

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), by the next morning power had been restored to most.

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.

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

Aftermath of Earthquake in Fukushima prefecture, Japan

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

Aftermath of Earthquake in Fukushima prefecture, Japan

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, but the quake revived memories of the massive Mar 11, 2011 quake that set off a massive tsunami leading to the world’s worst nuclear crisis in 25 years and killing nearly 20,000 people.

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.

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