Japan hit by magnitude 7.4 earthquake

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A magnitude 7.4 earthquake struck off the coast of Japan on Tuesday, Nov. 22, at 5:59 a.m. local time, which was followed by tsunami warnings issued for the Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures. The warnings were later downgraded, but waves reportedly as high as 1.4 meters were recorded at the Sendai port, and residents were advised to avoid the shore and get to high ground, leading to widespread evacuation from Sendai to Fukushima, with tremors felt in as far as Tokyo.

Fukushima, the site of 2011’s destructive magnitude 8.9 earthquake and tsunami that followed, suffered a handful of minor injuries and factory disruptions. Flights to and from the Sendai airport were disrupted, and while the Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant’s reactor number 3 stopped operating at 6:10 a.m., it was back up and running by 7:49 a.m. The power plant is reportedly safe and intact.

Citizens of the Japanese coastline evacuated from the coastal area and were urged by local TV and broadcasting not to go back immediately.

“It was huge and lasted so long,” Akemi Anzai, resident of Minaimisoma – a city north of the Fukushima plant – said. “The tsunami siren warning can be heard from the coastline. The ground is still shaking. I’m so scared. But my concern is rather the situation at the nuclear plant.”

Fortunately for the people of the Japanese coastline – and especially the people of Fukushima, who have already endured their own hardships after the nuclear accident following the aforementioned earthquake and tsunamis of 2011 – there was no nuclear accident this time, and major property damage and personal injury was largely avoided.

Information from The Guardian and The Telegraph.

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