Earthquake triggers tsunami alert, leaves 2 million without power

A 7.3 magnitude earthquake, with its epicenter near the coast of Fukushima, hit Japan today, shaking buildings and triggering a tsunami alert in the region, according to local channel NHK.

Cities such as Higashimatsushima, 186 km from Fukushima, where the tremor was felt at intensity 6, advised residents of coastal areas to leave their homes and go to shelters organized by the authorities, as there is a risk of giant waves hitting the country, he detailed. the Japanese media, in what is already the early hours of Thursday (17) in local time.

Hirokazu Matsuno, secretary general of the government of Japan, called an extraordinary press conference at around 12:30 am to comment on the situation, detailing that relief workers received between “110 and 119 calls” mainly in Miyagi and Fukushima, where the tremor was strongest. sense.

“We are doing our best (to understand the situation). A tsunami warning has been issued from Miyagi to the Fukushima administration because of this earthquake. Please be careful and do not approach the coast,” the official said.

At least 700,000 without power in Tokyo

The Tokyo Electric Power Company (9501.T) said about 2 million people were without power in the country as a result of today’s quake, 700,000 of them in the capital Tokyo alone, also according to NHK.

The company also assured the local press that a check has already begun on the nuclear reactors at the Fukushima plant, which generate electricity, and that they were affected in March 2011 by another earthquake that hit the same region, with a magnitude of 8.7, generating a tsunami.

At the time, there was the meltdown of three of the plant’s six nuclear reactors. More than 15,500 people died in the disaster that sank cities and destroyed buildings.

The Japanese press still does not disclose information about victims, but images and testimonies collected by witnesses speak of damage caused by the earthquake.

Officials at the Miyagi prefecture administrative building said shelving had collapsed and computers had been completely destroyed by the sudden movement. In other regions where the quake was felt, such as the city of Tome, despite the scare, the objects and furniture remained intact.

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