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Stirring Immediate Fears, Earthquake Strikes Fukushima

Despite measuring as a smaller tremor, a reminder of how perilous situation remains in nuclear disaster zone

- Jon Queally, staff writer

A 5.3 magnitude earthquake struck the Fukushima prefecture in Japan on Thursday. (Image: USGS)Though relatively small, especially compared to the one that sparked the tsunami that ravaged Japan in 2011, an earthquake registering 5.3 on the Richter scale struck the area near the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant on Thursday.

The tremor will likely renew focus on the perilous and ongoing crisis at the damaged plant, even as recent reporting has offered example after example of the dangerous conditions that continue to exist within and around the plant.

According to the Associated Press:

The U.S. Geological Survey says the quake struck early Friday at a depth of about 13 miles under Fukushima Prefecture and about 110 miles northeast of Tokyo.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not issue an alert.

The Japanese news agency Kyodo News reported that the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., observed no abnormality in radiation or equipment after the quake.The U.S. Geological Survey says the quake struck early Friday at a depth of about 13 miles under Fukushima Prefecture and about 110 miles northeast of Tokyo.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not issue an alert.

The Japanese news agency Kyodo News reported that the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., observed no abnormality in radiation or equipment after the quake.

In what has recently been termed a situation "out of control," the damage to the Fukushima plant has been a crisis in perpetual motion for more than two years.

Because Japan sits within one of the most active earthquake zones in the world, nuclear experts have repeatedly warned that the technology is ill-suited to the geographic location and the people of Japan have actively campaigned its government to permanently shut down the nation's remaining reactors, calling for  transition to a system of renewable and sustainable energy.

News reports and reactions to the earthquake were reverberating on Twitter:

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