Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Tsunami Panic After 6.9 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Off Fukushima Coast

Nuclear worries resurface as redsidents flee coast after quake triggers warning of large waves

Common Dreams staff

Breaking story... this post may be updated...

Updated:

Subsequently, Reuters reported:

All Japan's nuclear power plants on the coast threatened by the tsunami are shut down in the wake of the March 2011 disaster, which knocked out Tokyo Electric Power Co's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, spilling radiation into the air and sea.

A spokeswoman for Tokyo Electric Power, known as Tepco, said the cooling system for a storage pool for spent nuclear fuel at the reactor at its Fukushima Daini Plant had been halted. A spokesman said the cooling system had restarted soon after.

No other damage from the quake has been confirmed at any of its power plants, although there have been blackouts in some areas, the spokeswoman said.

Only two reactors are operating in Japan, both in the southwest. Even when in shutdown, nuclear plants need cooling systems operating to keep spent fuel cool.

Earlier:

A tsunami warning was issued and waves could come come ashore at any moment after a magnitude 6.9 earthquake struck in Japan just before 6am Tuesday morning (4pm ET Monday). Initial measurements put that quake at 7.3 on the Richter scale, but that was later downgraded

Asahi Shimbun reports:

There were no immediate reports of damage or injury, which struck at 5:59 a.m.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. was checking its nuclear plants in Fukushima for damage, public broadcaster NHK said. The utility could not immediately be reached by Reuters.

Tohoku Electric Power Co. said there was no damage to its Onagawa nuclear plant.

Television footage showed ships moving out to sea from Fukushima harbors, as the meteorological agency warned of a tsunami of 3 meters for Fukushima, where TEPCO's Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant was devastated in a March 2011 quake and tsunami.

Live stream from Japan:

Initial reports:

According to an initial report by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the quake hit approximately 37 kilometers off the Japanese coast, east south-east from the city of Namie in the Fukushima prefecture just before 6am local time. The Japan Meteorological Agency, which issued the official tsunami warnings, reports the quake was relatively shallow, striking at a depth of approximately 10 kilometers.

In 2011, a major earthquake in a similar area triggered a massive tsunami that killed thousands of people and caused a meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

'Incredible': Omar and Khanna Staffers Join Levin's Office in Unionizing

"It is long past time the United States Congress became a unionized workplace, and that includes my own staff," said Rep. Ilhan Omar. "I am proud of all the people on my team who have played a leading role in the staff unionization effort. Solidarity forever."

Jessica Corbett ·


Destructive Hurricanes Fuel Calls for Biden to Declare Climate Emergency

"Mother Nature is not waiting for the president or Congress to declare a climate emergency. She's showing us in real-time here in the United States—with wildfires, floods, heatwaves, hurricanes, and drought."

Jessica Corbett ·


Spain Approves 'Solidarity' Tax to Make Nation's Top 0.1% Pay a Fairer Share

The country's finance minister said that looming changes are bound to make the tax code "more progressive, efficient, fair, and also enough to guarantee social justice and economic efficiency."

Kenny Stancil ·


'Time to Take to the Streets': Working Class Hold 'Enough Is Enough' Rallies Across UK

"Does a CEO need an extra zero at the end of their salary—or should nurses, posties, and teachers be able to heat their homes?" said one supporter ahead of the #EnoughIsEnough National Day of Action.

Julia Conley ·


Ukraine Responds to Putin Annexations With Fast-Track NATO Application

Lamenting the lack of any progress toward a diplomatic settlement, one anti-war campaigner asked: "Will the world stand idly by as we careen towards nuclear apocalypse?"

Jake Johnson ·

Common Dreams Logo