An early indication shows that a 6.7 magnitude earthquake has struck Northern Japan in the early hours of tuesday morning (local time). The quake was measures by the United states geological service at a preliminary magnitude of 7.3, but was later revised to a 6.7 magnitude quake.
The country, which has a long history of earthquakes due to its precarious location is relatively well set up for them, and is certainly no stranger to them. The understanding from local media sources is that there are no immediate injuries or losses of life. This is in no small part to Japanese engineering capability which has developed sophisticated techniques in its building capabilities to minimise the disastrous effects of earthquakes on the country.
The electrical company Tohoku, has said that it’s closest nuclear plant to the epicentre is functioning normally, and is under no threat of damage. This will be a major relief to all after the damage done to the nuclear power industry after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011. This was also as a result of a tsunami caused by the Tohoku earthquake which was of a 9.1 magnitude and claimed the lives of 15,000 people. This quake is thought to be of a much less dangerous nature. Though the world will watch on with care, and hope that another accident doesn’t happen. Tokyo electric power is also in the process of verifying any damage to its nuclear plants in Fukushima.
Nuclear production is almost non-existent in the country now after the accident in 2011, with only a few plants still in service, and none of those are in the northern coastal areas.
Japan has generally turned away from the power source, in search of much safer alternatives since the accident. But reactors are still needing to be cooled, and need to be functional in order to safely contain their potentially extremely dangerous contents.
The epicentre of the violent earthquake is thought to be off of the coast of Fukushima, and it’s thought that waves could reach a height of ten feet due to the location of the quake several miles out to sea. It’s understood that the depth of the quake was 10 km deep. Tsunami warnings have been issues locally with locals guided to find safe ground and to not attempt to enter the danger zones until an all clear has been signalled by local emergency workers. Tremors have been felt as far away as the capital of the country Tokyo.
Joseph is a 34 year old freelance writer from London. He has a wide interest in politics and specialises in the subject. He's also a blog writer in his spare time.