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A 7.3 magnitude earthquake hit off the coast of Japan on March 16, 2022, triggering a tsunami warning. (Image: U.S. Geological Survey)

Red Alert for Fukushima Nuclear Plant After 7.3 Quake in Japan

Over two million homes in the Tokyo region were left without power.

Jessica Corbett

This is a breaking story… Please check back for possible updates...

A series of earthquakes off the coast of Japan on Wednesday triggered a tsunami advisory for Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures—just over 11 years after the region endured a major nuclear disaster.

The first two earthquakes, with magnitudes of 6.4 and 7.3, struck within two minutes of each other, followed by another 5.5 magnitude quake over an hour later, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

The strongest quake hit about 60 kilometers or 37 miles below the sea and left more than two million homes without electricity in an area serviced by the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the Associated Press reported.

The AP noted that TEPCO said workers were checking for any possible damage at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Ōkuma, the site of the March 2011 disaster—which was caused by a 9.0 magnitude quake and resulting tsunami that led to multiple meltdowns at the facility.

No abnormalities were found at the Fukushima plant, The Japan Times reported, citing the nation's Nuclear Regulation Authority.

TEPCO also found no abnormalities at the Onagawa Nuclear Power Plant in Miyagi Prefecture, according to Japan's public broadcaster, NHK.

"There is a possibility that another earthquake as strong as an upper 6 could strike in the next week or so," Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters just after midnight local time. "We need to be on alert."

As Common Dreams reported last week, environmental defenders marked the 11th anniversary of the Fukushima disaster with calls for a renewable energy future free of nuclear power.


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