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February 13, 2021, Japan Meteorological Agency reports that a 7.1 earthquake rocked Northeast Japan at 10:07 pm JST. With no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

Visit to TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant
(Photo: IAEA Imagebank / Wikimedia Commons)
IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi visit to TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant during his official visit to Japan. 26 February 2020

7.1 Earthquake Jolts Japan

With 14 aftershocks felt and almost 850,000 households without power, authorities report that no casualties or damage to property were reported as of yet.

The 7.1 earthquake struck off the coast of Japan's Fukushima prefecture, the site of one of the world's worst nuclear disasters in 2011.

The jolting quake was also felt in Tokyo, Japan's capital.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga tells a press conference, "There have been no anomalies reported from any nuclear facilities. Everything is normal."

According to NHK TV, there are no dangers of tsunamis. The agency reports that the quake was centered 37 miles beneath the ocean bed.

The Prime Minister states that currently, checks are being carried out to determine the number of injured, urging people not to venture outdoors in the meantime and to prepare for oncoming aftershocks.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Katunobu Kato tells a separate news conference that roughly 850,000 households are left with no power in the area surrounding Tokyo and northern Japan.

A spokeswoman for the Japan Meteorological Agency tells the press in Tokyo, "Where the tremor was felt the strongest, there is a higher risk of structural collapse and landslides." Adding that residents should be cautious about tremors that result from the earlier 7.1 quakes.

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Fukushima: The Devastation in 2011

Fukushima Prefecture has been synonymous with the devastating nuclear disaster in 2011, where the area was hit by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake--the strongest earthquake in Japan's history. A tsunami followed soon after, leaving more than 15,000 residents dead and 2,500 others missing.

The deadly tsunami slammed through the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant walls, knocking out power and causing 3 nuclear reactors to melt, spewing radioactive particles into the air. 

Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato says that the plant was currently being inspected with no concern of damage-causing tsunami, and no anomalies were reported on site after the 7.1 earthquakes. Investigations continue to ensure that there is no structural damage.

The Tokyo Electric Power Company, which operates the plant, tweeted that there are no detected abnormalities or adverse effects from the recent Fukushima Prefecture earthquake after checking its facilities.

As a sign of rebirth, Fukushima was due to host parts of the Summer Olympics set to take place in 2020. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the games were delayed.

Earthquakes are fairly common in Japan, as one of the world's most seismically active areas. Japan reports roughly 20% of the world's earthquakes with a magnitude of 6 or higher.

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