Tsunami hits Japan after strong quake near Fukushima disaster site
TOKYOA powerful earthquake rocked northern Japan early on Nov. 22, briefly disrupting cooling functions at a nuclear plant and generating a small tsunami that hit the same Fukushima region devastated by a 2011 quake, tsunami and nuclear disaster, Reuters reported.
There were no reports of deaths or serious injuries hours after the quake hit at 5:59 a.m. (8:59 p.m. GMT Nov. 21). It was centers off the coast of Fukushima prefecture at a depth of about 10 kilometers (6 miles), the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said.
A wave of up to 1.4 meters (4.5 feet) high was recorded at Sendai, about 70 kilometers (45 miles) north of Fukushima, with smaller waves hitting ports elsewhere along the coast, public broadcaster NHK said.
Television footage showed ships moving out to sea from harbors as tsunami warnings wailed after alerts of waves of up to 3 meters (10 feet) were issued.
“We saw high waves but nothing that went over the tidal barriers,” a man in the city of Iwaki told NTV television network.
Aerial footage showed tsunami waves flowing up rivers in some areas, and some fishing boats were overturned in the port of Higashi-Matsushima before the JMA lifted its warnings.
The U.S. Geological Survey measured the Nov. 22 quake at magnitude 6.9, down from an initial 7.3.
The cooling system for a storage pool for spent nuclear fuel at the reactor at its Fukushima Daini Plant was initially halted on Nov. 22, said a spokeswoman for Tokyo Electric Power, known as Tepco, but was restarted soon after.
Only two reactors are operating in Japan, both in the southwest. Nuclear plants need cooling systems operating even when in shutdown to keep spent fuel cool.
Tohoku Electric Power Co said there was no damage to its Onagawa nuclear plant, while the Kyodo news agency reported there were no irregularities at the Tokai Daini nuclear plant in Ibaraki prefecture.