Tokyo, March 16
A powerful 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Fukushima in northern Japan on Wednesday evening, triggering a tsunami advisory and plunging more than 2 million homes in the Tokyo area into darkness.
The region is part of northern Japan that was devastated by a deadly 9.0 quake and tsunami 11 years ago that also caused nuclear plant meltdowns.
The Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, which operates the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant where the cooling systems failed after the 2011 disaster, said that workers were checking for any possible damage.
The Japan Meteorological Agency said the quake hit at 11:36 pm at a depth of 60 kms below the sea.
The agency issued a tsunami advisory for up to a meter (3-ft) sea surge in parts of Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures.
NHK national television said the tsunami might have reached some areas already.
Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force said it despatched fighter jets from the Hyakuri base in Ibaraki prefecture, just south of Fukushima, for information gathering and damage assessment. — AP
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